Today is New Year’s Day, and as the nation rang in a new decade last night, I think it’s a safe bet to say a lot of us are feeling worse for wear right now.
If you are one of the many people with a massive hangover today, that awful physical feeling might also be accompanied by a creeping sense of dread, a feeling that you did something last night that you really shouldn’t have – The Fear.
But what is The Fear? Well, it’s a feeling a lot of us get after a big night out, which tends to involve an overwhelming sense of shame, anxiety and regret, often for no apparent reason.
Don’t worry if you have The Fear today, as you aren’t alone. And not only is it a pretty common feeling, there’s some science that explains why we feel this way after consuming alcohol.
Liz Burns, a lecturer of Mental Health Nursing at Salford University with a specialism in alcohol services, told the Manchester Evening News: “Feeling anxious the next day is down to the interaction of chemical compound glutamate. We may feel fearful because we can’t remember everything that happened the night before; it’s not at the forefront of the mind.
“We may be able to piece together moments, and memories can sometimes come back to us when we’re stimulated by something.”
Our inhibitions ‘turn off’ when we have a drink, making us relaxed, confident, but also clumsy, while our memory becomes impaired, due to brain processes slowing down, as we try to remember what we did the night before, Burns says.
Burns added: “When blood alcohol levels increase with the more we drink, the more ‘switching off effect’ we experience. The more we drink, the faster our liver has to work to break down the alcohol and when it exceeds this rate, that is when we become intoxicated.
“But drinking so much in a single episode can be very dangerous. It can result in alcohol poisoning and in some instances, the body can become unconscious.”
On top of that, a night of boozing usually means we have an awful night’s sleep, which is bad news for your mental wellbeing.
According to Burns: “Someone may think they slept because they had their eyes shut, but the liver is working overnight to break down the alcohol so it’s not a restful sleep and affects the quality. In the longer term, mood problems may occur as people might drink to feel better – but it’s a vicious cycle.
“Feelings of anxiety may initially feel better with drink. Others may have a ‘night cap’ to send them off to sleep, but it’ll actually cause disruption and they’ll be awake earlier.”
But how can we avoid The Fear? Burns says the best way is low-risk drinking rather than the binge-drinking the UK is known for.
This means limiting your alcohol intake to 14 units per week, spread out over seven days – although after last night you might just want to quit drinking forever, and who could blame you.
Ikea is reopening 19 stores on June 1st including Manchester
If you’ve been missing your Swedish flat-pack furniture fix we’ve got some good news for you.
Ikea is set to reopen 19 stores across the country and the Manchester branch is on the list.
The stores will open across England and Northern Ireland from June 1st, Belfast Live reports.
There’ll be strict new safety measures in place to ensure social distancing, according to the retailer.
Ikea says social distancing wardens will patrol the stores and the number of customers will also be limited.
Unfortunately, play areas and the legendary restaurants will remain closed, but you can grab some meatballs from the food market to make at home.
The full list of stores that are reopening on June 1st:
- Norwich collection point
- Milton Keynes
Sites in Scotland and Wales will continue to remain closed, in line with their regional government’s coronavirus advice.
Wetherspoons reveals plan to reopen its 875 UK pubs
Wetherspoons has revealed plans to reopen its pubs, including a reduced menu and temperature checks for staffs.
All pubs closed nine weeks ago now, on March 20th ahead of the lockdown on March 23rd due to coronavirus.
In the government’s latest advise regarding lockdown easing, pubs, hairdressers, cinemas and restaurants won’t be able to open fully until July at the earliest.
Many pubs and restaurants in the meantime have been offering takeaway and delivery services to keep going throughout lockdown.
Wetherspoons pubs like many others have been shut, but this week the chain has announced plans on how it will reopen when the lockdown is eased.
The chain has announced it will be investing £11 million into new measures to keep staff and customers safe.
Its pubs will have temperature checks for all staff before they are allowed back to work, and they will also be offering a massively reduced menu.
Wetherspoons will be employing two full-time staff per pub that will regularly clean surfaces and touchpoints such as door handles, allergen information screens, card payment machines and handrails.
The chain is said to be opening all of its 875 pubs across the UK and Republic of Ireland as soon as its given the official go-ahead from the relevant governments.
Wetherspoons’ chief executive, John Hutson, said: “At present the government have not confirmed any reopening date for pubs. However, it is important that we are prepared for any announcement.
“We have spent a number of weeks consulting with staff who work in our pubs, as well as area managers in order to draw up our plans.
“We have received more than 2,500 suggestions from our staff. The safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”
First look at what post-lockdown pubs could be like
Pubs will likely see some huge changes when they do finally reopen, including revamped layouts, tables separated by screens, disposable menus and ordering on an app.
One of the most popular conversations we are all having at the moment is where we’re going when everywhere is back open. Will you be heading straight to the pub, going for a slap-up meal or something else entirely?
Now that we have an end date in mind, with some pubs potentially opening from July 4th, it’s time for the hospitality world to come to terms with the new business-as-usual in post-lockdown life.
A pub in Buckinghamshire, the Betsey Wynne, has undertaken a revamp based on the coronavirus 2-metre social distancing rules, including putting up plastic separation screens on neighbouring tables.
Customers will read from disposable menus that will be used once, and are expected to place their orders through an app, or preorder where possible.
Peter Borg-Neal, the founder of Oakman Inns – which owns the the Betsey Wynne – hopes this pub can be used as the blueprint for when all bars and restaurants are allowed to reopen.
It’s predicted this could be as early as July 4th should the ‘R’ continue to decrease and we successfully enter the third and final phase of the government’s proposed lockdown exit plan.
The future of retail after Covid-19 remains uncertain, it has been one of the hardest-hit industries, placing a huge strain on the hospitality sector.
While many retail stores have relied heavily on online orders, concerns have been raised for the future of brick and mortar establishments as online orders have spiked exponentially in lockdown. E-commerce is on an upward trajectory that is unlikely to slow after lockdown eases.
Many retail stores we are used to seeing on the high street may no longer be there when the lockdown is lifted, with places such as Oasis & Warehouse, Laura Ashley, Debenhams, Brighthouse and Cath Kidston having all filed for administration. John Lewis is also expecting not to reopen all of its department stores after lockdown.
Ensuring the safety of staff and customers remains paramount for the successful reopening of any business when the lockdown measures ease.
However, COVID-19 has caused one of the biggest and most drastic shifts in consumer behaviour in recent decades meaning retail as we know it might be changed forever.
As of yet, there has been no government advice on the reopening of restaurants, which all currently remain closed for dine-in customers, but many people are assuming it will echo the measures currently in place.
Across the world, restaurants that have reopened have seen restrictions on capacity and strict measures of a 2-metre distance.
Many restaurants will likely need to have a massive overhaul to remain open and profitable. Including, rearranging kitchens so chefs can work back to back, fewer tables and seats spread further apart and increasing outdoor eating and drinking areas where possible.
The issue still remains though, will customers return when restaurants are back open? It’s unlikely that the industry will return to how we used to know it for a while and in some cases, never.
Will you be heading straight down to the local when it reopens? Let us know in the Facebook comments.