There have been some interesting developments in the world of hangover recovery recently.
Most New Zealanders experience horrific hangovers from time to time. Tired, headachy, queasy, vomity, sweaty, clammy and flatulent. If a disease made you feel as physically sick as hangovers do you'd be down the A&E first thing.
It's horrific and unbearable and the emotional side is worse. Anxious, impatient, guilt-ridden and humiliated. You search whatever memories you have from the night before looking for reasons to hate yourself. It can break your soul even if you've done nothing majorly shameful.
The truly hungover New Zealander's head is haunted by demons. Some try to hide from these demons by drinking again. The hair of the dog might get you through to the next morning.
But the demons grow in size and strength. They will catch you. Then what do you do? Drink through the next day? Then again? Eventually, you will have to face the monster.
So what can we do about booze demons?
Traditionally we punish ourselves with bad food, bad purchases, rubbish entertainment, power aid, and grumpiness. As I'm sure you are aware. It doesn't work very well.
That's why some kiwis are trying a different way. They're killing their demons with life admin instead of bacon and eggs. Fighting the evil with low-level productivity instead of Adam Sandler movies. They fight the hangxiety by booking appointments, doing chores, and completing their taxes.
Booking appointments is a small acknowledgment that you have a future. We all want teeth in our 60s and 70s. But for some reason, we never have time to go to the dentist. Why not take 2 minutes out of your hungover day to book online. It feels good doing something positive when you feel terrible. Book a check-up with your doctor at the same time. Find out what you got. If you can't handle the seriousness of either of those, book a haircut.
Make your world a slightly better place and you will feel better inside too. Instead of lying around in your own filth creating horrific smells, you could clean the house. Mow the lawns. Spray and walk away. You may pass out doing it. You'll almost certainly sweat like a pig on a spit. If you throw up on the floor. Great. Simply add your mess to the cleaning list.
Normally hangover recovery involves the $25 big breakfast followed by burger and fries for lunch. Then snacking on a mince and cheese, a chicken cordon bleu and three lasagne toppers from the servo pie warmer.
But you will never fill the hole in your soul with food. How about you go for a run instead? It sounds counter-intuitive but pounding out 3 km makes you feel better. The demons come out in the sweat. Your brain may explode out your temples but at least you've achieved something.
Getting your taxes done sounds boring. Because It is. Especially when you are hungover. But forcing yourself to do something you couldn't bring yourself to do when you were healthy feels good. At your lowest point, you have made things a little bit better for your normal everyday self.
Hangovers are horrible both mentally and physically and it's only going to get worse with age. When you're 20 a hangover lasts half a day. When you're in your 40s they can last half a week. A long time to spend with a broken soul.
But just because you feel like rubbish doesn't mean you have to act like trash. As the saying goes 'seize a hangover day and the demons fly away.' That's why more and more New Zealanders are fighting the booze blues with low-level life admin.
Of course, you could give up drinking altogether. Then you'd have no hangover to fight. But let's face it - you won't.