Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hangover tips: 7 Tips for Managing a Vacation Hangover

I have been talking to a number of business professionals who are all suffering from what I refer to as "vacation hangover." What's that you say? Let me illustrate for you.

You scrambled to get everything done before taking a much needed and deserved vacation. Like most people, you centered vacation around a key holiday like the 4th of July. You escaped to a location where there was no possibility of hooking into any of your electronic gadgets - cell phone, PDA, laptop - perhaps even a regular land-line telephone. Seriously. In fact, you enjoyed a relaxing vacation filled with long walks, boating, reading and of course, some great eating. You arrive back home completely unplugged and relaxed and ... WHAM! You are inundated with a backlog of voicemails, emails, and paper mail, both at home and in the office.

The usual, right? Wrong. This time something is different. What's the deal? You are feeling lethargic and unenergetic. In fact, you wonder to yourself, "Wow! How did I lose my edge in such a short period of time away?" You feel as if you can't complete one task let alone all of the tasks that are dropping on you like spent fireworks from a Disney World celebration.

The result: your stress is up, a headache ensues, and you know in your gut, no amount of Tylenol is going to take the edge off. Congratulations! You are now experiencing a vacation hangover. But don't fret. This is a sure sign that your vacation accomplished what it was supposed to

What to do? Simply follow these success tips.

1. Set-up voicemail message stating you are out of the office. Provide callers with an alternate contact person, and choose the option that does not accept voicemails during that period. This will help prevent a back-log of phone calls that need to be returned when you get back from vacation.

2. Set-up an email response stating when you are out, when you will be back, and when you will be responding to email. This will set expectations for work colleagues and customers that are emailing you and help prevent the need for them to email you repeatedly on the same topic or other topics when you are unable to respond.

3. Schedule a day post-vacation for catch-up and include that as part of your "vacation time out of the office." This allows you a day to ramp up and get caught up before people think you are actually back in your office.

4. Create a task list, prioritize tasks and complete the most critical items first. Remember that it took a week or more for everything to pile up and realistically, you won't be able to tackle everything on your first day back.

5. Schedule breaks into your day so that you can take a brief walk, enjoy a beverage or simply breathe. This will help to extend your vacation and provide short opportunities for you to regroup throughout the day. A good practice anytime!

These tips should help you re-immerse yourself into the work environment. If these don't help, do what I do. Plan your next vacation. After all, it helps to have something to look forward to!

Regina Barr is a management consultant and speaker. Her consulting firm, Red Ladder, Inc., specializes in helping organizations and their leaders develop their full potential through strategic project management, executive coaching and training. Regina also helps companies develop strategies to attract, develop and retain women leaders. For more information visit http://www.RedLadder.com or http://www.RedLadder.blogs.com .


Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Hangovers: Beer for remedies

Hangover and beer.
It probably happened to you too, after a long night out with one little drink too many, to feel the world spinning around you in the morning, to feel your head heavy and your stomach crunched. You fill a hangover. That was the moment you cursed your life and promised yourself you'll stop drinking.

So you know that drinking alcohol causes hangovers, but what exactly in it not even the physicians can tell you. They even have problems whether to recommend drinking alcohol or not. Some simply forbid it, while others, knowing the proven benefits of many alcoholic drinks, recommend to their patients a moderate consumption of alcohol. Yes: moderation is the key and the second answer to the question "how to avoid hangovers", the first being: don't drink.

Wine, whisky and bourbon can cause a harder hangover than beer and vodka. Some chemical substances in dark grapes found in red wines or the yeast in unfiltered beer can cause severe headaches in many people.

Although no one really knows what in alcohol causes hangovers, a proven reason for the headaches associated with hangovers is dehydration. Alcohol, being a diuretic, makes you urinate. And if you are a beer drinker I don't need to tell you what drink has the strongest diuretic effect. So, when you feel that terrible headache early in the morning, don't go on drinking coffee. Coffee is a diuretic as well and it will only continue the dehydration process. Drink water. That's what you really need. Or start the day with a strong chamomile tea that will act like a balsam for your stomach and open your appetite for food. Because, although you feel like your stomach can't face food, you must eat. Your body needs carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin C after a hangover. Eat plenty of bread or bananas.

Second, you need to do something about the alcohol left in your body. A hangover makes you feel the need to stay in bed. But the secret to a fast recovery is movement. Sweating is the fastest way to get rid of the surplus alcohol. Exercise and sex are as effective as a bio sauna, even more, because not many people can stand the heat and a hangover.

Now you know what you can do after you get a hangover. But can you prevent it? Yes you can! So let's start with the most important advice: don't drink on an empty stomach. Food will help your body digest alcohol faster. As alcohol attacks your stomach, you might consider eating some fatty food like cheese, or having a sip of olive oil that will work like a balsam or a thin film protecting your stomach membrane.

Beer is fast digested, so if you plan to mix beverages, drink beer first. Beer will help your body absorb the other drinks faster. No matter what alcoholic beverage you drink, remember alcohol is a diuretic and always drink a glass of water between each glass of alcohol.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Beer

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