Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Treat A Horrible Hangover

Although Christmas and New Year’s Eve are behind us, this season is still full of parties and gatherings. The party invites can stack up, often leading to overindulgence in libations. The morning after can mean a headache and damage to all of your body including your skin. Excessive alcohol consumption can severely dehydrate the skin, making it tight, dry and puffy – a hefty price to pay for a night of fun.

A friend gathering with alcohol and pizza.
Drinking dehydrates the body--so be sure to
hydrate throughout the night.
Image: Shutterstock
Relieve your tight skin with a splash of water. While most of us rely on moisturizer to get rid of dry skin. But did you know that over moisturizing, especially if you are prone to acne, can lead to clogged pores? Instead, try filling the sink with cold water and ice cubes. Once they are melted, splash your face 25 times.

Load up on vitamins. Since alcoholic drinks can deplete vitamins from the skin and body, it is important to load up on topically and internally. Green veggies like kale, spinach, cilantro, mint and parsley contain high concentrations of antioxidants; consuming additional nutrients and electrolytes can also help heal a hung-over body.

Hydrate your body by drinking water. If you get tired of plain old water, munch on strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and watermelon instead. Your body will be able to absorb a lot of water from these fruits. You can also try a sports drink like Gatorade to gain back electrolytes you lost from dehydration the night before.

Practice hangover prevention. Limit your alcohol intake and choose your drinks wisely. Go for drinks with less sugar and you will likely drink slower and less. Try to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you have as well. This provides the dual benefit of slowing your alcohol intake while at the same time rehydrating.  You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Break Up with a Toxic Friend

A woman contemplates breaking up with a toxic friend
It's time to break up with your toxic friends.
Image: Shutterstock
There are many good friends you will come across in life. You know, the ones who will always pick up the phone and sing your praises when you’re not around. As we get older, many people experience their friend groups decrease in size, but the friendships they do have become more intimate. However, as friend groups continue to change, some people will encounter “frenemies” – people who use you as the butt of the joke or make you feel terrible about yourself so that they can feel better about themselves.

Toxic friendships need to be busted. You don’t have to stay in friendships where you are used as an emotional punching bag—because you are worth more than that. Downgrading a friendship isn’t easy, especially if you move in the same circles. Below are some tips on how to navigate a friendship sabbatical.

First take some time to reflect. This could just be a phase in your friendship… or it could be symptomatic of something going on their life. If this behavior continues, it suggests a simmering resentment to you on some level and you will need to deal with it head-on. Evaluate your relationship with this person using a critical lens; if this “friend” is offering nothing positive, it might be time to break up with them.

Second, brave the talk with them. Sit down with this person and be strong. During your conversation, take deep breaths and make direct eye contact. State the facts and address how they are not being kind or respectful to you. Try to be objective rather than hostile. And remember, if they are a true friend, they will show concern and not defensiveness during this exchange.

Then, prepare for the fallout. After confronting them, you might realize that their behavior towards you was just an excuse to blow off some steam, and this conversation could end up making your friendship stronger. You need to be honest with yourself and with them about what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren’t. If this friend isn’t open to altering their behavior towards you, you need to let them know that this toxicity isn’t healthy in your life and that you need some space.

Finally, move on. Sometimes it’s easier to start simple, such as by reducing the amount of text messages and phone calls, invites, etc. until the friendship dies of its own accord. Remember, break-ups aren’t just for romantic relationships, but unhealthy platonic ones too. You’ll be better off for breaking up with a toxic friend so that you can focus your attention on the positive people in your life.