How to Avoid Looking Hungover at Work

Enjoyed a few too many awesome ales, joyful jello shots or cocky cocktails the night before work? Turning up to work looking hung over isn’t going to get you up the corporate ladder; in fact, just staying in your boss’s good books might be pushing it if he or she realizes your physical presence is marred by a brain still zoning out as it detoxes from partying. Avoid any suspicious stares and head-shaking grilling by hiding that hangover as best you can.

Wash. If you went straight to bed from the pub or club, chances are you smell sweaty, smoky and dank. Wash it all out and wash your hair too. Fresh is best for the start of the day.

Dress neatly. This is not the day to grab an un-ironed shirt and wrinkled trousers. Iron everything with care. If you can’t, get your housemate or kindly neighbor to do it. You must look ironed to avoid scrutiny.

Brush or comb your hair into place. Nothing says “I’ve just rolled out of bed and bumbled my way to the office” than tousled, unkempt hair. Again, avoid scrutiny by ensuring that every single hair is neatly in place.

Use eye drops to remove red eyes. Red or weeping eyes are a bit of a giveaway. While you could plead a sudden attack of hay fever, this won’t work if it’s not spring and it could lead to people offering you allergy pills. Use the eye drops to clear up your eyes and avoid pointed questioning.

Wear undereye concealer to hide those eye-bags. White eyeliner on the ‘waterline’ of the eye makes it look less bloodshot, and a dash of blusher fakes the look of health that you will be sorely missing.

Check your breath. Alcohol on the breath the next morning is stinky. Even if you can’t tell whether it stinks or not, assume that it does. Brush your teeth and use a strong and pleasant mouthwash to rinse. Grab some parsley and chew on it; parsley is great for removing mouth odors. Through the day, suck peppermint candies or chew mint gum. Spritz occasionally with a portable mouth freshener.

If you feel like you might vomit, drink an Alka-seltzer, or buy Motilium from a pharmacy, they both settle your stomach.

If you’re in pain, with a throbbing head, take some painkillers before arriving at work and have more to take during the day. Having a face screwed up in pain all day will attract expressions of concern, which will quickly fade to disdain when you explain that “it’s just a hangover”.

Stay hydrated. Once at work, drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep you awake, reasonably alert and less sallow-looking. Or for sports drinks such as Lucozade or Powerade, or even Diarolyte. These all contain electrolytes which help rehydrate faster than just water. Alcohol dehydrates, so put back in what has been taken out. Plus, lots of fluids gives you plenty of reasons to go to the water cooler and the bathroom, giving you the chance to stretch your tired legs.

Hide and avoid. If you feel yourself slipping into a mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump when all you want to do is rest your weary head and drool all over the keyboard, find somewhere you can hide from everyone. Whether it’s pulling a large potted plant across your cubicle entrance, angling yourself to look awake with your back to everyone and propping your head in your hands pretending to “concentrate hard” while you’re actually snoozing or scampering off to the sick bay for a quick nap, keeping your weary eyes and dribble safe from observation is essential. Appearances are everything!