Alcohol and the Sunday Blues
The violent noise and upsetting vibrations from your phone’s alarm going off suddenly jolts you awake. In your eagerness to silence the alarm, you moved too fast and the blood rushing to your head creates a shocking reminder of the alcohol you consumed the night before. Suddenly, the all-too-familiar hangover symptoms start to creep in; a splitting headache, severe dehydration, and a variety of stomach issues all indicate that the last tequila shot might not have been in your best interests.
There is another symptom that many don’t often associate with hangovers: anxiety.
Alcohol is widely known to reduce inhibitions, which means one might make decisions that they wouldn’t normally when not under the influence of alcohol. Vocalizing thoughts you’d prefer to keep to yourself, risky sexual behavior, sending unintended messages to the wrong person, spending more money than you would prefer, and worse can all lead to some pretty intense anxiety the following day.
You’ve likely heard the corresponding terms before. Whether you call them the Sunday Scaries, Monday Scaries, or Sunday Blues, hangover anxiety is extremely common and can lead to a rough day after a long night of drinking. Let’s talk about what causes this intense dread and what can be done about it to give you some peace of mind.
Does drinking alcohol directly cause anxiety?
In short, it can. Drinking small quantities of alcohol can help reduce stress. As a depressant and sedative, it naturally blocks some of your concerns and other social inhibitors, and can even help you unwind. As with most things in life though, too much of anything can be a bad thing.
Alcohol has been known to alter the levels of serotonin in the brain, in addition to other neurotransmitters. This hormone shift can actually worsen anxiety for hours or days after drinking.
Maybe sticking to beer or wine can help make things better? Turns out, not so much. While liquor or other mixed drinks will likely intoxicate you faster, it turns out there is no known quantity or type of alcohol that causes anxiety more so than others.
How does this contribute to the Sunday or Monday Blues?
We’ve established that hangovers can make anything worse, but the real problems start with drinking in excess on a Saturday night. Sundays can be stressful enough, with many people choosing to get in a workout, run errands, do chores, and other activities to prepare for the work week ahead. Factor in a major hangover on top of all of that and even laundry can seem like an insurmountable task.
There are also the consequences of actions or decisions made the night before. Coming to terms with the events of the previous evening can certainly be stressful, especially if one makes decisions they normally never would if they were in their right state of mind. Sunday errands on top of Monday morning anxiety is hard enough to deal with without factoring in bad decisions, stupid mistakes, overspending, or worse.
How to prevent the Sunday Blues?
This is where Ritual Zero Proof comes to the rescue. We proudly make non-alcoholic versions of your favorite spirits, which means you can drink your favorite cocktails without worrying about the dreaded Sunday Blues. Our products are made with all-natural botanicals to create alcohol alternatives to traditional whiskey, gin, tequila, and rum. All of our products have 5 or fewer calories per serving, meaning you’ll save on extra calories too!
The cool part is you don’t even have to go alcohol-free if you don’t want to. By using any of our products in regular cocktails, you can make weaker drinks. Less alcohol means less inebriation, which reduces your likelihood of doing anything too regrettable during a night out. Be sure to check out our blog and get great ideas for recipes that can be made with any of our spirit replacements!
Besides drinking weaker cocktails, try to remember common sense rules for drinking. Eating a large meal beforehand, mixing in water for every drink, setting a spending limit, and taking a rideshare to and from the bar can all help prevent you from feeling even worse the next day.
How to keep the Sunday Blues from becoming Monday Scaries
Look, sometimes even all of these preventative measures can’t help. Sometimes, you just wake up with the weight of the world on your shoulders, fighting a hangover that brings you to your knees.
The good news is that there are steps that you can take to help make things a little better.
Priority one upon waking up with Sunday Blues should be to rehydrate your body. Fill up a large glass with cool water and slowly sip to replenish fluids lost the night before. Bonus points if you add a slice of lemon or mix in an electrolyte powder for extra vitamins and nutrients.
Now that you have water in your system, it’s time to get some grub. While a big greasy meal is tempting, remember that your body is still in recovery mode. Drink more water, maybe some coffee, and try to get some food with nutritional value. Chicken (or any protein-based) sandwiches can be great for this kind of meal, offering both protein and carbohydrates to help give your body fuel for the next few hours.
Once your nutrition has been taken care of, it’s time to treat the anxiety itself. Some activities that can help when the Scaries come around include: working out, watching light-hearted movies or TV, catching up with friends, doing small/manageable tasks, watching Sunday afternoon sports, and more can all make the day a little easier. If you can, try to set aside some food and clothing for work tomorrow to make your Monday morning a little easier.
Dealing with the Sunday/Monday Blues isn’t an easy thing. But with a little effort, your Sunday can turn around in no time.
Don’t forget to check out Ritual Zero Proof to buy alcohol-free products that can lessen or even eradicate hangover anxiety today!