Whilst I may not be the hardest partier out there I have had my fair share of heavy heads and sensitive stomachs the morning after. The easiest and perhaps automatic thing to do is to lay in, slob around the house and fuel up on fatty foods, carbs and coffee. However, whilst the traditional English fry up has been shown to be pretty effective at settling a hungover tummy, there are much healthier ways to look after yourself. I’ll skip the standard points about hydrating before, during and after and drinking on a full stomach –you’ve probably heard all of these a hundred times over. For the morning after, these are my favourite food tips and yoga poses to help relieve the symptoms. Obviously some days you will feel more human and other days you’ll be suffering more, so adapt these tips to how you are feeling. This is what works for me, but won’t necessarily be right for you, but have a play on your mat and try a few foods and see how you feel.
When I am feeling stiff, ill or tired, the first thing I do on my mat is to just roll around on my back and ease out all the kinks on my spine. Happy baby is a great spine massager and a gentle way to loosen up the hips.
No matter the practice, I always love adding in supine twists at the start or end of my session. Spinal twists are very restorative, and you can simply lay in them for several minutes at a time.
Sun Salutations and Free Flow
Sun salutations are such a core part of mine, and many yogis’, practice. I love how it almost doesn’t require thought, and this is a useful factor for when I’m too tired to think! Start off by flowing through your favourite variation of sun salutations and then let your body move as it wants. From taking it slowly with swaying whilst in down dog and forward folds to impromptu lunges and side angle pose, let intuition take over and move you. And if you get stuck, there’s always the core structure of sun salutations to return to.
No Dairy (or whatever else you’re sensitive to)
I’m lucky to have a pretty robust digestive system with few foods that cause me upset. However, as a child a bowl of cereal or mug of hot chocolate was always a guarantee of travel sickness and even today dairy is a no-no when I’m feeling sick. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s psychological or a physical response, but either way it is something I avoid. If you have any foods that you are sensitive to, now is probably not the best time to try it. Likewise, rich foods are more likely to turn your stomach!
Healthy Comfort Food
I mentioned before that English breakfasts are actually quite effective. Make a healthier version with generous servings of mushrooms and tomatoes, a poached egg or tofu scramble, grilling meats rather than frying and maybe adding in some greens such as crispy kale. So long as I make it with nut milk and keep it’s flavours and toppings relatively simple, porridge is a favourite. It’s so comforting, a source of carbohydrates and protein and only takes five minutes or so to make. Alternatively, hot toast topped with nut butter and banana or smashed avocado is the ultimate comfort food and is really sustaining.
Time for Tea
You’ll need to rehydrate most likely, so make it easier by always having a cup of something hot to hand. If you drink coffee, enjoy a mug alongside breakfast or lunch, or caffeinate more gently with green tea. I drink even more herbal tea than usual when I’m feeling the night before, so make sure you have plenty of your favourite blends to hand, or drink ginger tea to ease any nausea.
Aside from some gentle yoga and nourishing foods, there are a couple of things that I find really helpful. First is to have a really thorough scrub in the shower before switching the water cold for a minute. It’s tough love, but makes me feel very clean and awake. Secondly is to get outside. This gives me fresh air rather than a stagnant room and gets me moving, leaving me feeling much more like myself.