The Good, Bad and Ugly of Post Party Guilt

Summer is synonymous with friends, weekends away and perhaps a little more indulging than usual when it comes to the beer, wine and cocktails. We’re major advocates of a work hard, play hard mentality, but from time to time we all party perhaps a little too hard. And if you don’t, kudos to you. Whether we choose to admit it or not, however, most of us can say that we have fallen trap to going perhaps a little too far, and ending up getting “university drunk” within the past few months (or at least this year). Let’s be honest: nothing feels great about waking up from a blurry evening, head pounding, mouth dry, and that inevitable frantic cell phone/wallet check. Then the hazy memories (or lack thereof) come flooding back, along with a sick sense of guilt as you think to yourself, “I should know better than this.” 

The Post-Party Brain:
Here is how the early morning post-party brain works, all in the span of a few dreadful moments: What did I say? What did I do? Was I too flirty or inappropriate? Did I screw up my chance with him/her? Did I meet someone who I am going to forget? Sh*t – who did I text?! Damn, I can’t take my phone out when I drink! I said I wasn’t even going to drink last night? What’s wrong with me? God, I am too old for this. Was anyone else as wasted? I am so stupid. Ughhh my head is pounding.

Why We Beat Ourselves Up About It:
After a few days of consecutive drinking (particularly when summertime is so saturated with cottage weekends, weddings, destination bachelor and bachelorettes, vacation days and travel), you are bound to feel less than ideal when you wake up and realize you’ve gone too far, and subsequently question your morals and life in general. Sometimes the moral hangover may indeed be worse than the physical one. It is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant. Like a dark blanket over your already pounding head, it makes it all worse. You will feel better. 

Why We Shouldn’t Feel So Bad:
Although sometimes it can indeed be worse than you recall, most of the time it isn’t. We wake up imagining the worst as we picture ourselves making a total jackass of ourselves in a room full of sober people. The thing is, sometimes we beat ourselves up for no reason at all. Odds are that if your head is pounding and the party was upbeat and long-lived, that you won’t be the only one with a headache and moral hangover. Even if you did indeed take home the “drunkest person at the party” award and act inappropriately, you likely won’t feel as bad as you do about it the day after and, after an apology or two, others will soon forget about your frat boy or sorority girl-like behavior. They’ve been there too at some point, after all. 

The Short-Term Fix:
The bottom line is the more you lament about it, the worse you will feel. Call a trusted friend who was at the party with you to get the lowdown as to if you were really as bad as you thought you were. He or she may actually feel the same way you do, so that may provide a bit of comfort. Providing you’re not bed-ridden, do something to counter the effects of the night and something that will distract your mind. This could mean a yoga class, bike ride with friends or even a nice long walk. If there is indeed no way that you will make it off the couch, at least put on a feel-good movie and your comfiest sweatpants. A few hangover cures? Water, chocolate milk, and two frozen spoons on the eyes does the trick for us. 

What We Can Take Away from It:
Although we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it, we are not saying you can’t learn a thing or two from your over-the-top evening. The fact that you experience the guilt in the first place is a good thing; it means that you recognize that the wild night and hangover leave more to be desired in your otherwise fulfilled lives. Remember how you felt that morning the next time that you find yourself in a situation that may lend itself to a borderline “blackout” night. If you find that you are experiencing post-party guilt on the regular this summer, you may want to reevaluate your lifestyle in general. We are advocates of taking a few weeks or even a few months away from alcohol just for a refreshing break to the system – it is easier than you think, especially after the first week and a half. If nothing else, your vanity and mental health will keep you going, as we promise that you will look better and feel better than you have in a long time. 

Indeed, there is a fine line between fun and too much fun and we can only hope we have enough sense to know when not to cross it. If you do, however, remember that the guilty feeling will likely pass with the hangover. 

Have fun and party safe!

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