Coping with Emotional Hangovers: Strategies and Tips

Various alcoholic drinks symbolizing that hangovers can be caused by emotions, not just alcohol, highlighting the concept of emotional hangovers

You wake up feeling drained, lethargic, fuzzy-headed sluggishness, and feeling less than 100%– perhaps even a little nauseous – but you didn’t drink last night, So, what could be going on? Well, if you had a nasty argument with a loved one, a stressful work bust-up with a colleague or going through a breakup, chances are you might be experiencing an emotional hangover.

So, what's the deal with emotional hangovers? An emotional hangover tends to be the aftermath of a draining emotional encounter. Although 'emotional hangover' is very much not a clinical term, we often can become emotionally and physically drained from [emotionally-charged] interactions at times.

An emotional hangover can stem from diverse stressors like arguments, tough workdays, financial surprises, or even tear-jerking movies. However, even joyous occasions like weddings, promotions, concerts, or vacations can leave you feeling drained.

While there's no surefire way to prevent them, here's how we manage our emotional hangovers:

🍸Manage your response in the moment: Techniques like slow breathing or mindfulness exercises can help regulate your reaction during emotionally charged situations,

🍸Express your feelings: Don't bottle up your emotions. Allowing yourself to cry or express your feelings naturally can serve as a form of self-soothing, reducing anxiety and distress.

🍸Gentle movement: While intense workouts may seem daunting when feeling drained, engaging in gentle movement such as walking or yoga can help alleviate emotional distress. Being in nature and getting fresh air can also contribute to a sense of well-being.

🍸Self-care: Take time for yourself and prioritize self-care. Rest, alone time, and rescheduling plans if necessary can help ease emotional hangover symptoms. 

However, if you find yourself grappling with persistent and profound emotional exhaustion, please seek professional help.