How to Survive an Emotional Hangover


How to Survive an Emotional Hangover. You know what happens when you drink too much champagne, tequila or beer: headache, vomit, chills, exhaustion, moans, groans and more. It's a bonafide hangover. But what about when you spend too much time in a situation that poisons your spirit in the way alcohol does your body? You feel anxious, isolated, depressed, insecure, angry and completely sad. It's an emotional hangover--and while it may not be as well-known as the physical sort--it is just as painful, albeit for different reasons. If you find yourself down in the dumps after a family get-together, a company party or even a spontaneous outing with friends--you could be suffering from an emotional hangover or "post holiday blues." May these tips help nurse you back to sound emotional health.

  • Realize that the world is insane. So much around us is warped, tilted, twirled, mediated and distorted. People who are vastly intelligent, fiercely creative, spiritually centered and socially aware are often dismissed as "nobodies," while people with nothing more than physical beauty, pockets full of money or loud voices are exalted as "kings." The more sensitive a person you are, the more likely you are to feel trampled in this loony bin of a world in which we live.

  • Realize that not everybody is as sensitive as you are. People speak without thinking and act without considering those around them. If somebody does something that hurts your feelings, chances are it wasn't intentional or a direct attack on you personally, rather it's just that this person is acting completely unconsciously. Remember this mantra: "It's not me, it's you."

  • Identify the cause. If you find yourself feeling down after a social event, assess if there was a specific incident that triggered you. Were you ignored? Was somebody rude? Did you just have a general feeling of not connecting with the others in the group?

  • Notice patterns. Are there specific people who seem to always make you feel bad after you are with them or specific situations in which you find yourself regularly feeling blue?

  • Talk it out with a third party. Sometimes it is difficult to sort through emotionally damaging situations in your own mind--after all, you are too close to see yourself clearly. If you are having trouble figuring things out, analyze the situation with a trusted friend, family member, spiritual leader, counselor or mentor who you are certain has your best interest at heart.

  • Forgive yourself. If your emotional hangover is caused by something you did, don't beat yourself up about it by replaying what you could have, should have or wish you would have done differently. Be tender with yourself and move forward gently.

  • Nurture your soul. It is essential that you do something to heal yourself after spending time with people who bring you down. For me it usually means a yoga class, listening to my favorite music and writing in my journal. What is it for you?

  • Vow to be more particular about with whom you share your spirit and spend your time. The Bible tells not to cast our pearls before swine. If you find that the same people leave you feeling emotionally beaten and battered again and again, perhaps it's time to eliminate those people from your life.

  • Create a centering ritual. Maybe it's meditation or prayer. Maybe it's exercise. Maybe it's reading sacred texts. Or maybe it's as simple as slowing down the way you move about your day. The more centered you are in yourself, the less likely you are to feel trampled and disoriented in difficult social situations.

  • Be aware moving forward. The next time you find yourself in a situation that is likely to cause an emotional hangover, get out!

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