Thursday, February 13, 2014

Walking on Sunshine

So I woke up with a bit of a hangover today. A Thursday. Kind of unusual for me to have a hangover during the week, but I had lunch with a friend yesterday. Had some nice Mission Hill Pinot Grigio. It might have something to do with that because B.C. Wines have always had a potent effect on me.

I remember a few years ago, the hubs and I were in Whistler, British Columbia for a few months while he was working on a reality show about Whistler kids (Peak Season) - and how much they love to party. (This just before Jersey Shore immortalized bad behavior in resort towns btw.)

The hubs definitely enjoyed the B.C. wines, but every time I had some (especially too much!), I'd get a mountain of a hangover.

Of course, it's not just the wine at lunch. The hub's schedule has been insane because of his current gig, so I think I might've quaffed my full-night's wine too quickly last night. Stoopid. So I'm paying for it with a midweek hangover. Just like in my 20s and 30s. Only this time, I only woke up with a headache, not a scorching soul-ache over having fought with whoever was closest to me the night before. Or a blackout that encompassed the whole night. Not just being a little foggy about how The Following ended. Or even if I finished watching it at all.


Omg, I'm kidding. Not about the laughing. And not really about The Following. But in my defense, I don't always remember the endings to my fave TV shows - even when I'm stone cold sober.  Must have to do with watching them late at night.

Downton Abbey on the other hand? I always remember that one. (omg! Is Bates going to kill Lord Gillingham's valet next week - or what?!! I hope so - but that he gets away with it. That they bury the evil bastard out beneath the new pig barn. Because pigs are very stinky! I know that because I've been to a pig farm before. I actually jumped off the silo on a pig farm for a college film production I was working on with my roommate - a professional stuntwoman. She jumped from the top of the 90 foot silo into an airbag, btw. I could only flop from about 20 feet into it. And it was so damn scary! Took me so long to let go of the ladder, the camera operator had to change the battery! But I was sober. Bet if I had some 80s boxed wine in me, it would've been a lot easier. It's pretty safe to say there was a lot of boxed wine after the jump. Why? Because there was always a lot of boxed wine flowing for me back then. Whether I was jumping off silos or not. Anyway, from what I remember, that pig farm was very stinky. About the stinkiest place I'd ever been. And that's why I want Lord Gillingham's creepy valet buried beneath the new pig barn!)

btw, I'm submitting that one to the 2014 Digression of the Year Contest. Your support will be greatly appreciated when voting begins. ;)

So for my hangover, I had some Milk Thistle tea because it's good for liver detoxification (read more here) and I squeezed lots of lemon juice into my water. Lemon is a great anti-inflammatory and what I'm using right now because my current ginger tea (normally my fave morning-after drink) contains some kind of other herb that I may be having a reaction to.

But I also took a nice walk to the store. It was about 11 am and such a beautiful winter day out there. So sunny and not as cold as it's been. I knew I had a few things to pick up, so I bundled up and trundled out into the sunshine. A nice walk is always a great hangover cure. In fact, a nice walk is a great cure for just about anything that ails you.

If you have a 9-5 job, it might be hard to just pack up at 11 am for a walk. But go out on your lunch or coffee break, especially in the winter when you might not be getting enough sun. And ditch the shades - at least for a few minutes. Why? Because when sunlight hits your eyes, it increases the manufacture of  serotonin in your brain. Serotonin, like our other neurotransmitter BFF, dopamine, is responsible for feelings of wellness and joy.

Ever since I learned that, I've been making sure that I don't wear shades 100% of the time when I'm out in the sun. I haven't been able to conduct a scientific study yet, but after a little bit of sunlight on my face - even 5 minutes - I really do feel a lot better. Um ... btw don't look directly into the sun, of course. That's not the way it works. Just sunlight glancing around you does the trick. That way you won't burn your retinas out. Which would totally suck. (Learn more about serotonin, sunlight and your moods here.)

I really did feel better when I got back from my walk. And I've been able to have a good productive day since. But it is a cleanse day. Which makes my liver - and my head - very happy.

In the old days, long walks and sunshine were not my favorite hangover cure. My favorite cure back then was another drink. A lot of other drinks, actually. In fact, it was the only thing that worked. If that meant walking to the liquor store in the sunshine, well, put it this way - it was the liquor store part that worked, not the walking.

But back then, before I started cleansing, I was lost in the throes of depression because my brain had suffered so much alcohol abuse, it had stopped producing dopamine on its own. My brain needed alcohol in order to feel even the smallest jolt of relief - let alone 'joy.' I'd left that in the dust decades earlier.

But since cleansing, a nice walk in the sunshine really can and does improve my mood. I can feel happy again - even without alcohol in my system. And even after some overindulging. Impressive.

For the record - a cleanse day and a long walk is a much better hangover cure than getting drunk again ever was.

Honest. Try it next time. You'll see.

Speaking of the 80s, walking and sunshine, I can't resist!! Here's Katrina and the Waves and their smash hit Walking On Sunshine.  A fun tune anytime. And, as coincidence would have it, one of that stuntwoman friend of mine's favorite songs ... :)

btw, there's absolutely no sunshine in it at all. The 80s were so ironic, weren't they?