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.
Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death
Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today
Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.
According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.
Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.
Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.
Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.
According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.
Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.
The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.
The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.
As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.
Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99
NEWS JUST IN
Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed today.
A tweet on The Royal Family Twitter account announced the news.
The Duke of Edinburgh was born 1921, and was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years – officially the longest-serving consort in British history.
The official announcement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There’s been no official details about the Duke’s funeral released yet, however it has been reported that he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.
Hairdressers told not to offer ‘long’ treatments like highlights when they reopen
Salons have been told not to offer ‘long’ treatments when they reopen on Monday, including things like highlights or braids.
To reduce the time customers spend being seen, the government is advising hairdressers to keep things ‘short and basic’.
According to government guidance, hair and beauty salons ‘should consider providing shorter, more basic treatments to keep the time to a minimum’.
People across the country have been looking forward to finally having their hair sorted out, after months without access to hairdressers and barbers due to lockdown.
In England salons will be able to reopen on Monday, April 12th, but some people will be gutted to discover they might not be able to book anything considered a ‘long’ or ‘complex’ procedure.
Things like highlights, braids or deep conditioning treatments could be classed as ‘long’ procedures, and lengthy massages might also be off the cards.
The official guidance goes on to say that if you are to perform a longer treatment, then workers should ‘consider how the length of the appointment could be minimised’.
Ministers have branded the rules ‘slapdash’, and there’s been calls for further clarity.
Labour MP Judith Cummins, who co-chairs Parliament’s group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing, told The Telegraph: “It’s very difficult to make a living if you’re given guidance that is very woolly and very unclear.
“What’s a short appointment, and what’s the medium appointment, and what’s a long appointment?
“I’ve got no idea, and I doubt whether the Government has any idea either.”