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Holiday hangover: How to bounce back

In the coming days and weeks, many students will celebrate the conclusion of finals, spend quality time with family and friends and enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. Though these times are fun and festive, they can sometimes result in something not so fun: hangovers.

In case anyone is unsure about what a hangover is, it’s easy. Late, great Chicago columnist Mike Royko described it best: “It is nature’s way of telling you that you got drunk.”

Now, I’ll admit, explaining hangovers to college students is like explaining infidelity to Tiger Woods. For many, Hangover Management might as well be a minor.

The methods for curing one are as extensive as a tallboy is deep. All students have their proven remedies that they depend on when times are tough. Of course, the only guaranteed way to stop a hangover is to avoid consuming alcohol in the first place. If that is your strategy, you can probably stop reading now.

For everyone else, feel free to try any of the ideas below.

Some suggest that the best way to cure a hangover is to continue drinking. Although it might have short-term benefits, extended use of this tactic can lead to serious problems, like foul breath and poor grooming habits.

Another idea I’ve heard is to participate in hard labor. That could include splitting logs, shoveling snow or looking at Justin Bieber without laughing. On second thought, some things are just too difficult.

One method, which dates back to the first Thanksgiving, is leaving a full, open can of Coca-Cola in the refrigerator overnight and then consuming the flat beverage the next morning. It works best if you drink it without adding whiskey or rum, though they are both delicious.

On a related note, if your hangover was caused by mixing caffeine and alcohol, then it doesn’t matter what you do — just make sure the Food and Drug Administration does not find out.

It might sound crazy, but perhaps you could consider going for a morning jog, especially if conditions are icy. That way you can slip, fall and crack your head open on the driveway and lose consciousness. At that point, you will no longer be aware of your hangover, or anything else for that matter.

WARNING: This paragraph was not approved by a government agency. Proceed with caution. When a person knows that a hangover is looming, he or she will commonly take pain killers before going to bed. That usually solves the problem; though I have heard over time this can turn your liver into roadkill. Know your priorities.

Hangovers are a part of life — especially during the holidays, when “one more” often becomes “hand me the pitcher.” They are not fun, but at least they inform you that the previous night was enjoyable, even if your memory is fuzzy at best.

So the most useful advice I can offer someone nursing a hangover is just not to think about it. Under those conditions, thinking hurts the brain.

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