The fear of festive hangxiety is looming over us – here’s how to deal with it

Written by Leah Sinclair

Festive hangover anxiety  also known as festive hangxiety  is the negative feeling people get after a session of drinking alcohol, particularly at Christmas work parties, with people often feeling riddled with anxiety the day after (or even longer). 

In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, one of the things we can all look forward to is a good ol’ Christmas party.

It’s an opportunity to put on our favourite party dress, ply ourselves (responsibly, of course) with champagne and have a knees up with our colleagues after a long year of hard work – but it does come with its challenges.

After all, the day after the work Christmas party is often the most salacious, filled with legendary stories about what our colleagues got up to when they thought no one was looking and retelling tales from Christmas parties past – all done under the haze of a particularly irritating hangover.

But beyond that, there can be a real sense of festive hangover anxiety dangling over us, and it’s something that women in particular deal with.

Festive hangover anxiety – also known as festive hangxiety – is the negative feeling people get after a session of drinking alcohol, particularly at Christmas work parties, leaving them riddled with anxiety the next day or even longer.

According to a survey from CBD brand Trip, almost a third (32%) of the UK’s female population has suffered from ‘hangxiety’ in the past 12 months, 6% more than the male population, with oversharing being the main cause.

According to the brand, other concerns women have around hangover anxiety are spending too much money, seeming too drunk, memory loss and acting out.

While Christmas is often a time to let loose, having concerns about drinking and how it affects the way you feel and appear in the workplace is understandable – and if you’ve already found yourself battling festive hangover anxiety, wellness expert and Trip founder Olivia Ferdi has shared some tips.

Drink lots of water

“Managing your physical needs can help calm your mental state, as the mind and body are intrinsically linked,” says Ferdi. “Alcohol is dehydrating so it goes without saying to keep up your fluids throughout the night and the following day.”

Get much-needed sleep

“Researchers have found that anxiety-prone people are especially sensitive to the effects of insufficient sleep which can, in turn, cause anxiety,” she shares. “Make your environment as comfortable as possible for the best sleep, even during daylight hours. You can also try taking a shower, putting on some relaxing music or diffusing some essential oils for aromatherapy.”

Play your favourite music

“Studies have found that listening to music can help calm your nervous system and lower cortisol levels, both of which can help to reduce stress,” says Ferdi. “Tuning into good music can also induce endorphins in our brain, helping us to cope with symptoms of anxiety – not to mention distract our mind from negative thoughts. It goes without saying tune into upbeat songs, sounds of nature or instrumental music with an upbeat tempo.”

Get some fresh air

It can be hard to drag yourself out of bed when you’re dealing with festive hangover anxiety, but Ferdi says you’ll feel better for it afterwards.

“Being in nature is a proven stress reliever, plus you’ll get your blood pumping and it gives you a chance to practice mindfulness, another great anxiety reducer,” she says. “Even just getting out of bed, showering and changing into a clean pair of clothes can help lower your cortisol levels and lessen your worries.” 

Plan a return-to-reality treat

After a booze-fuelled party, knowing you have to face colleagues the next day can add to your festive hangover anxiety. Having something to look forward to, even if it’s something small, can help make the days ahead feel more manageable.

“Book a pre-work breakfast with a colleague, stop by your favourite coffee shop and treat yourself to your favourite cup or even get up early and go for a nice long work to enjoy some time to yourself,” suggests Ferdi.

While in an ideal world, we would all avoid festive hangover anxiety at all costs, the possibility of having it is real – and knowing how to deal with the aftermath in order to keep ourselves calm amid the chaos is key.

Image: Getty

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