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How to play hard - and still feel good

Get up. Exercise. Work. Play. Sleep. Repeat. Sounds familiar? But how can you have the energy to work hard, work out hard and play hard?

The solution, says meditation teacher Emma Mills, is not to look for balance between work and going out, but to think of it all as your life. ‘If you approach it as one life, you’ll think about looking after yourself in all areas,’ she says. For example, overexercising might stop you enjoying a party later on, and overworking will stop you going to the gym. ‘Remember, the actions you take in one part of your life will have an effect on the other.’

Before you go out: just add water

You already know this, but especially if you’re going out and exercising, you need to drink two litres of fluids a day. ‘If boredom of the plain taste of water is what puts you off,’ says nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik, ‘make it more attractive and aesthetic, so you want to drink it more. Put it in a nice jug or glass bottle - an old plastic bottle isn’t inspiring. She adds slices of lemon, lime and fennel – see her video here [LINK]. ‘And always, always eat before you drink,’ she says. ‘It slows down the rate the alcohol goes into the bloodstream, so decreases your hangover.’ And it makes eating six pieces of toast when you get home less likely. 

While you’re out: Drink clean

Ok, so alcohol will never be a health food – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of some of the rubbish that comes with it. ‘There can be a lot of chemicals in wine, and there’s a theory these chemicals make a hangover worse,’ says Eve. When she can, she buys organic/biodynamic wines – you can find them now in supermarkets.

Raw confectionary creators The Hardihood, are more into superfood cocktails. The idea is to remove the sugar from the recipe, replace it with fresh juices and botanical extracts. ‘Cut out the sugary mixer and nourish as you go!’ says The Hardihood’s Daisy Payne. ‘We’re quite partial to tequila and fresh grapefruit juice. And in summer, we blend rum with frozen bananas, cinnamon and a little water, for a twist on a pina colada.’

The morning after: Exercise (gently)

‘Exercise can make you feel better if you’ve been out the night before – but only if it’s relatively low level,’ says Pilates expert, Hollie Grant. ‘Be wary of exercising when you’re overtired or on a low immune system. And make sure you eat carbs before you exercise, otherwise you’ll be trying to run on empty.’ Post party, make your exercise either low impact or low level, so jogging or cycling rather than a hardcore class.

When you’re at home: Learn from being alone

Sometimes, if you’re very busy and social, when you finally go home on your own it can be a bit unnerving, says Emma. ‘You might need to learn how to come down, otherwise you’ll keep going and doing and going and doing,’ she says. So how to stop and get calm? ‘Sit and listen in to yourself. Focus on your own experience at that moment, how you feel and what feels right for you. Once you’re with other people again, that’s a good opportunity to test out what you’ve learnt.’

Hollie recommends yoga, because it takes you out of your mind. ‘In that hour where you’re concentrating on your body, you have to be in the moment and pay attention to your body and how it’s feeling, so you’re not thinking about your full-on life.’