Updated: Jan 11, 2022
By Francisca Hernandez
Thursday, May 13, 2021
After an emotionally draining situation where you've felt exposed and triggered, you might feel an emotional hangover the next day.
No matter how great your boundaries are, there will always be some people and situations that energetically drain you. And there's nothing wrong with you if that's how you feel.
Most of the time, you can deal, but sometimes those interactions can really bring up old limiting beliefs and might leave you feeling like slipping back into your old toxic patterns to recover.
Even if you're a highly sensitive person, empath, and/or a recovering co-dependent, know that you CAN pull yourself out of an emotional hangover slump.
An unexpected interaction, emergency, drive, and lack of sleep were more than enough to create the perfect storm for an emotional hangover for me.
Knowing that I might feel some residual effects the next day, I started tending to my emotional hangover as soon as I pulled into my driveway at 2:45 am. I made up my mind that I was only going to focus on one thing when I woke up. And that was my emotional recovery.
Here's the recipe I used for my emotional hangover.
I knew I'd need plenty of rest and compassion with myself, so as much as I could, I cleared the non-essential tasks from my schedule. And since I didn't really need to wake up early, I turned off my regular morning alarm.
Since I didn't have anything pressing, I knew I could take my time and tune in until I felt ready to face the day. Yeah, it took me about an hour to get out of bed. But who cares? It's what worked for me.
But your emotional hangover recipe might look different for you. That's the thing I love about recipes. You can add in what you like and take out things that you don't like.
Heart check-in: While still lying in bed, check in with yourself by placing one hand on your heart. For the first few seconds after waking, bring your awareness to the feeling of your heartbeat against your hands. Take a deep breath in and feel your chest rise on the inhale. As you breathe out, feel your chest fall on the exhale. Then ask yourself, "What do I need today?"
When I asked myself that question, I felt that I needed to return home to myself and soften with a body scan meditation, some in-bed meditations, breathwork, morning pages, and maybe some yoga. So that's what I did.
Body scan: During a body scan, you move your focus and awareness through different parts of your body. Start by bringing your attention to your toes and releasing any stored tension you're feeling there. Then begin moving up to other areas of your feet, ankles and working your way up to the rest of your body parts. Be sure to thank your body for staying present and doing its best. Feeling like I needed someone else to guide me, I used this meditation:
In bed meditation: Here are my favorite go-to's, especially for an emotional hangover. I used both of these that morning.
Breathwork: Of course, why wouldn't I include breathwork for recovering from an emotional hangover? Matching breath helped calm me and got me through that six-hour car ride. And a self-guided Conscious Connennected breathwork session helped me get out of bed the next morning. Instead of going fast with the breathing pattern, I used slower, deeper, extended inhales into the belly and chest. And I used longer and softer than normal exhales. This slower intentional breathing pattern not only held me feel soothed but also helped to energize me.
Bitch & ditch session: This is simple. You bitch about what happened, and you leave it there. Only do this if you have the energy. Otherwise, leave it. You can do this with a good friend. Since I didn't have the energy to interact with anyone just yet, I did my bitch & ditch session in my morning pages.
Yoga intuitive flow: Listen to your body and move intuitively. I put on my Come Home to Yourself Yoga playlist, pulled out a bolster, three blankets, yoga blocks, sandbags, straps, and some eye pillows. I thought about lighting a candle or adding some Eucalyptus and Peppermint essential oils into the aromatherapy diffuser, but it felt like too much work, so I just started moving intuitively.
I began in Sukasana (Easy Pose), then moved into some slow and mindful Cat Cows, followed by some Bird Dog crunches.
Next, I threw in some Warrior flows, then got into my Root and Sacral Chakras with some Skandasana flows and Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose). I let myself cry during the Skandasana flow and then just moved to my body's delight and threw in a wild thing in between the Warrior flow just cause.
I added a balancing flow. I moved through Vrikshasana (Tree Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Chair Pose, and Airplane Pose. And I didn't judge myself when I lost my balance more than a couple of times in Vrikshasana.
I moved by listening to what my body needed. My body said I needed some heart openers. So I grabbed my blocks and opened up with Fish Pose. Then I needed nurturing, so I closed myself back up in Child's Pose.
I used the block also to support me in Bridge Pose and then moved into Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose).
Then I did some detoxing with some reclined spinal twists after using the yoga straps to stretch out my hamstrings.
Afterward, I fully supported myself with a bolster underneath my knees, blankets under my arms, a sandbag on my lower abdomen, and another sandbag on my chest, and an eye pillow in Savansa (Corpse Pose). I laid in Corpse Pose for three whole songs.
Drink plenty of water.
Eat healthily. Even though junk food might seem tempting, try to treat your body well with some fresh foods that make you feel good.
Get some rest or non-sleep deep rest if you can. I intended to do some non-sleep deep rest with some midday hypnosis but instead indulged in a 90-minute nap.
Get outside if you can. I took a long walk and let myself stroll to take in the beauty of the day.
By checking in with myself before I even got out of bed, breathing, journaling, then moving intuitively, I became the observer in the seat of my consciousness to soothe and nurture myself.
The most important thing to remember is that you are the guidance and compass that can help you get back to feeling like you can soon experience ease after your emotional hangover. So listen to yourself, nurture yourself, and above all, honor yourself and your feelings. They matter. You matter.
I'd love to hear from you; what is your emotional hangover recipe? Let me know.
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