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Coping With An “Emotional Hangover”: 5 Things To Know

Tired photoHave you ever noticed your emotions the day after a very stressful day running errands, meeting people, supporting family or friends, working, and meeting deadlines?

Have you awakened wondering if you could have done something better the day before?

In this article, I will discuss the signs and impact of emotional exhaustion.

You mostly feel tired, have physical pain, desire time alone, or want to sleep. After a full day, you might feel emotionally drained, foggy, or even depressed. I call this the emotional hangover. If you are like me, you desire to take time out of your day to reflect, to experience life at a more authentic level. You become sensitive to the world around you and experience everything with your God-given senses. But you never have enough time!

An “emotional hangover” is like a typical hangover, you remember certain details from the day before, you might feel guilty (even if you didn’t do anything wrong), your body may feel stressed or tired, and you would rather do nothing but rest. This state of emotional existence can last all day or even a few days. The only remedy is rest and some pampering.



I have tried 5 self-care tools that you can use after an “emotional hangover:”

  • Exercise: Exercise is extremely important for people under chronic stress. Stress, at very high levels, reduces the body’s ability to cope. Our stress mechanism turns on when we need to act quickly (fight or flight) and turns off when we don’t need it. While under chronic stress, the stress mechanism turns on for no apparent reason. So the body is in a state of constant anxiety. To reduce this, you want to move around:
    • take a walk,
    • jog,
    • clean, or
    • try my favorite activity, Zumba
  • Eat well: Eating well is important (leafy green veggies, wheat/grains, etc.) so that your mood can be stable. Proper nutrition has a positive influence over mood and can act as a natural medicine in some cases.
  • Have a good cry: Sometimes you simply need to cry by yourself or to a trusted, loving person. Crying is something that not only emotionally releases tension but also helps “unload” the heart.
  • Prayer or self-reflection: Spending time in prayer is wonderful once you learn how to do it! Spend some time alone (30min) ironing out what bothers you. Reflect and think out loud.
  • Engage in a psychological retreat: If you are feeling overwhelmed, get away! Do something healthy to remove yourself psychologically from your immediate environment.
    • Think about something that makes you happy,
    • listen to music, or
    • take a walk.
    • What about doing some introspection before you get out of bed in the morning, have you done this? If not, I encourage you to. I am a big proponent of  self-reflection and spiritual pursuit.


I learned a long time ago that I could not be help to anyone unless I first helped myself. Take your overall health seriously! Burn-out, emotional exhaustion, and depression steal not only your life, but your motivation. Find ways to guard your strong emotional self, sometimes it’s all you have.


I’d like to hear from you! If you have things that help you recharge, share them by clicking on the “leave a comment” tab!

All the best

This article was originally published on 3/16/13 but has been updated to reflect comprehensiveness and accuracy.
Coping With An “Emotional Hangover”: 5 Things To Know

Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC, is a licensed therapist and internationally certified trauma professional, in private practice, who specializes in working with children and adolescents who suffer from mood disorders, trauma, and disruptive behavioral disorders. She also provides international consultations and works with some young and older adults struggling with grief & loss or life transitions. Hill strives to help clients to realize and actualize their strengths in their home environments and in their relationships within the community. She credits her career passion to a “divine calling” and is internationally recognized for corresponding literary works as well as appearances on radio and other media platforms. She is an author, family consultant, Keynote speaker, and founder of Anchored Child & Family Counseling. Visit her at Anchored-In-Knowledge or Twitter and Youtube Youtube If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth family consultation, feel free to let me know. *Ms. Hill has moved all content to her other social media platforms. Take care!

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APA Reference
Hill, T. (2019). Coping With An “Emotional Hangover”: 5 Things To Know. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jul 2019
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