Lifestyle 31 December 2017
Hey, it's the holiday season, we're supposed to be festive and merry, right?
Sure, have a great time, but we're also all grown-ups and have to wake up in the morning and go about our routine. If you had too much fun last night and are suffering thru work this morning, we've all been there – and it's miserable. A few women shared their horrifying hungover at work stories – and how they handled it. Then, we share some tips on how to avoid this happening next time!
1. The dreaded arrival to work in last night's outfit...
“Years ago, I was working an event in Manchester, I was living in London at the time. It was meant to be a 'day work thing'. My colleague and I met some 'famous actors from LA' who were filming a movie, we were partying - hard. Missed the last train back to London. Decided to carry on partying. I got the first-morning train from Manchester to London, did the walk of shame to my office in last nights clothes and makeup. Got to my desk just in time. The GM walked past my desk: 'you look very dressed up today'. Me: "thank you! I have some important meetings today so wanted to make an effort'. GM: 'that's' the spirit'. Internally I was dying. And still drunk. Once the 'drunken' state turned to 'hangover hell', I 'booked a last minute very important meeting' and just left and went home early."
2. The drink-induced international conference call mid birthday bash...
“I have a couple of stories but one where I was called into work while out drinking heavily to celebrate my birthday while working at a major broadcaster. Signed my buddy into work with me. He passed out in a co-workers cube under the desk while I led an international conference call, barely coherent. I've got other unmentionable details that shouldn't be mentioned here. Also, baby aspirin before bed and one glass of water per drink tends to kill the hangover for me."
3. The Christmas party hangover that never ends...
“I was 22 years old and working as an account assistant at a PR agency in Boston in winter of 2000. This was still in the heyday of holiday parties, when budgets hadn't been slashed, and you looked forward to dressing up and going somewhere fancy to celebrate. We were invited with a guest, so I took my best friend/roommate/partner in crime as my plus one.
It was open bar of course, which we took advantage of ASAP, especially since both of us were making paltry salaries out of college and were still capable of consuming copious amounts of liquor... or so I thought. Cut to me, ordering round of lemon drops or kamikaze shots for the entire agency and basically talking smack/force-feeding one to one of the VPs. Then cut to me making out drunkenly in the coat closet with an account supervisor. Everything else was blurry.
The next morning, I downed Advil and water, attempted to febreeze the smell of cigarettes (this was when smoking was still allowed in bars - and though I was not a smoker - many people I worked with were) and liquor off of my hair/coat, picked up a bagel egg and cheese on my commute in and overall tried my hardest to pull together and make it to the office in one piece. I hear all this water cooler chatter about several rounds of shots, impromptu karaoke (there was no microphone, for the record) and how two people were buried among winter coats smooching their faces off.
I laughed right along with them, until a friend of mine at the office pulled me aside to let me know I was the one responsible for the shots, spontaneous singing and making out. My hangover kicked into a new stratosphere with this news, and I may or may not have spent the rest of the day trying to make myself disappear. Needless to say, I very quickly wisened up as to how much liquor to consume — or not consume — whenever at a corporate function."
4. The jungle juice saga...
So, my agency had just wrapped a major holiday campaign with one of our highest-paying clients - I had been slaving over it for months. The owner of our agency promised to take us out to a nice, fancy lunch the second it ended, so we planned it for a Thursday. Me, being a young 23-year old, thought it'd be fun to throw a holiday party at my house the night before and invited probably 70 of my friends over for cheese, crackers, and... rum punch (AKA jungle juice). Anyways, I accidentally ended up drinking so much that I passed out at about 10:30 pm - the party continued until 2 am while I was asleep - and didn't wake up until I had to head to work the next morning. I got there and was miserable, but made it through until the nice, fancy meal our owner had promised to take us out to. Well, guess who puked the whole way through lunch and couldn't even stomach one bite of her meal? Me. All in front of the owner of our agency, this incredibly well-known, powerful woman in our city. We left and I died of embarrassment and, yep, went home to sleep. That was the day I learned the most important lesson of them all: jungle juice is not meant to be consumed after age 20."
5. The awkward co-working space cubicle catch up...
“Believe it or not, I've had a few hangovers in my life, but one that I remember being especially bad was when I was around 24 and wound up on the floor of my cubicle trying to "sleep it off" for a bit. It didn't work and I wound up throwing up in the trash bin just a few steps away while my cube mates heard. I was actually in a shared office like a WeWork so all these other companies heard me wretching as well..."
6. The "where to barf" dilemma...
“A day of desk-sides in NYC was the day after the James Beard Awards and the many ensuing after parties. I was violently ill and had to spend the day in the back seat (never a good situation for me) of a car in stop and go NYC traffic. Lurch, lurch, lurch. I walked into almost every meeting praying that I could ask where the ladies room was without throwing up while trying to get the words out. I think I threw up four times before the client wanted to go the Carnegie (or some such) deli for lunch. As a vegetarian, I was further sickened when I had to watch him eat one of those sandwiches with two inches of meat piled up between the bread. I staggered out on to the street for some fresh air. I was happy to see a trash can into which I could throw up. Imagine my surprise when I picked my head up to find my boss (who was also in NYC but had no plans to meet me) standing over me. Of course, I told her I had a stomach bug and all she could say was "well, can you or can you not go to the appointments tomorrow?"
7. When working from home turns south...
“I was at work, but work was at my house. I had a video Skype dating coaching session with a client. I told her my internet wasn't working and I had to take the call on the phone. During the call, I had to throw up. So I brought the phone with me into the bathroom and pushed mute as I vomited. Over and over again. I don't know how I gave any decent advice, and it was a first test session. Somehow though, she was so impressed by me that she bought 10 more! Another time, with a long time client who I knew very well, I told her that I had the flu. She wanted to have a video called anyway because she was desperate. I took the call, on video, from my bed."
"I looked like complete shit and warned her that I would probably have to get up to vomit during the call. Sure enough, midway through I had to throw up, I told her I would be right back, ran into the bathroom and vomited. I was able to come back onto video and continue to call."
If you are looking to not get hangovers…
As for a cure: You may have a hangover, but the world doesn't need to know you do! “Prepare in advance your remedy inspired by OleHenriksen Face/Body rituals and no one will know about that hangover... unless you tell them!" says Vance Soto, Owner of the OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa.
Cleanse and steam the face to revive that 'I shouldn't have had that last pinot' complexion, and massage your face too to promote lymphatic drainage (aka fast track to complexion brightening!). Now: “Apply cool and grated cucumber (grating releases the enzymes from the cucumber!) to your eyes to de puff and soothe," says Soto.
Sit back for ten minutes while you replay over and over again your stellar dance moves that the entire office had the pleasure of enjoying... next, enlist some essentials oils such as eucalyptus to energize and you'll feel right as rain again. “I like hot towel compresses infused with lavender to calm the mind, we all know a hangover can mean anxiety too," says Soto.
Do all the above with a glass of prosecco to take the edge off, but drink plenty of water as steaming can dehydrate you (and since you're hungover in the first instance, you'll already be dehydrated).
Or, hell, just drink some more. Nothing cures a hangover better than the hair of the dog that bit you. “A couple of great cocktails to cure a hangover include the Corpse Reviver #2, a classic pre-Prohibition era cocktail from New Orleans that combines Gin, Cointreau, Lillet, Fresh Lemon, and Absinthe. It's surprisingly refreshing but boozy enough to bring you back. You can also never go wrong with a spicy Bloody Mary," says Parker Boase, co-founder of Liquid Lab NYC, a cocktail catering business.
Of course, one of the best ways to cure yourself of the worst hangover is to prevent it. Never Too Hungover is the beverage you drink before your first alcoholic drink., it works by helping neutralize toxins, restore vital nutrients, and it hydrates the body.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."