The holidays are a great time to bust out those seasonal drink favorites. Warm mulled wine, peppermint schnapps cocktails, and cranberry mimosas can really amp up your Christmas party. However, too much indulgence can turn holiday laughter into a holiday disaster. The National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism states that 40 percent of fatal accidents during the holidays involve someone who’s been drinking. The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America also states that alcohol poisoning in the United States alone leads to six deaths per day, and during the holidays, these numbers increase.
This season, it’s truly important to pace yourself and drink responsibly. Whether you’re hosting or attending a holiday party, keep in mind that an open bar doesn’t mean you have to partake. If you do, there are many ways to keep yourself safe and still have a great time. Since our bodies are made up of more than 50 percent water, staying hydrated will help you drink responsibly and prevent a nasty hangover in the morning. Try adding more ice to your glass, drinking a glass of water between cocktails, and even making sure to consume plenty of water before you arrive to the party. When you’ve reached your limit, make sure to fill up on more water to flush your system and rehydrate.
While people may encourage you to overindulge, knowing your personal limit will help you stay in control. Saying “No” is not only responsible, it’s a boundary we should be proud to adhere to. Unfortunately, some of us with good intentions have a tendency to go over the limit. If this is the case, bringing a friend to assist with your accountability may be the difference between a night filled with holiday cheer or an evening you’ll forever regret.
We all know indulging in alcohol on an empty stomach not only leads to discomfort, but also increases our chance of getting drunk faster. As you hydrate before a party, also have a bite to eat. When you arrive, don’t be shy at the hors d’oeuvres table, and snack throughout the night. While alcohol in your system will enrich cravings for fatty and salty foods, salty treats will increase dehydration and fatty ones take longer to digest, which prolongs the metabolism of the alcohol you’ve consumed.
This season, as you eat, drink and be merry, spend more time socializing than you do at the bar. If you do drink, remember to hydrate, and stay within your limits. Eat healthy and pace yourself. You want to remember the evening, not embarrass yourself, get hurt, or worse yet – potentially hurt others. Acting responsibly involves having a designated driver, calling for a car service, or staying put. Driving under the influence is not worth the risk for any amount of holiday cheer!