Christmas is almost upon us yet again, and we should be glad of it; it really is the most wonderful time of the year, as much as a cliche as that might be. It’s a time of love, and sharing, and celebration between families, friends and colleagues.
Unfortunately, it can also be a time of excess! Christmas is party season. You’ll probably have a Christmas party to attend at work, as well as invitations from various people to meet them for Christmas drinks and nights out. That can mean a lot of eating and a lot of drinking. You already know that’s not great for your body, but it can be difficult to say ‘no’ when everyone else is saying ‘yes’.
On top of that, if you’re not a regular drinker, it can lead to embarrassment and, worst of all, crippling hangovers that are still there two days later.
There are a few ways to work around it though, which mean you can still accept most of the invites, attend most of the parties, and not end up either too drunk or too sore the next morning.
There’s a reason that being ‘fashionably late’ is a thing, and the people who turn up late routinely might actually be clever, instead of just being tardy. When an invitation says ‘starting at 6pm’, you should focus on the word ‘starting’. If you know it’s going to be a long evening, you won’t miss anything by arriving a little later on, and people will be just as pleased to see you.
At Christmas, people tend to start parties and nights out a little bit earlier than they do at other times of the year. If you start drinking early, you’ll inevitably drink more, and that’s unlikely to end well for you. Take your time at home, enjoy the process of getting ready, turn up a little later and have a shorter night that you’ll still remember the next day!
Avoid peer pressure
People; often very well meaning people; might spot you without a drink in your hand and decide to do something about it. Feel free to turn down the offer of a drink if you’re not ready for the next one yet. Drink at your own pace. Just because someone shouts “shots”, you’re not obliged to join in!
Drinking at someone else’s pace is particularly common when you get into a one-on-one conversation with someone who’s drinking faster than you, and you feel like you have to keep up, and so buy a drink every time they do. Stay calm, and don’t gulp your drink down just because someone else is done and about to go to the bar.
As a side note, this is also how ill-advised office flings at Christmas parties happen; you get into a conversation with someone you don’t normally speak to outside of work, drink too much and decide they’re much more attractive than they were three hours ago.
You’re far more likely to meet an enchanted prince by playing the popular slot game at Clover Casino than you are at an office party, and if you drink too much your eyes will be spinning like the reels on those games, too! Hitting the jackpot on an online slot is a positive experience. Hitting on an inebriated co-worker is a lot more likely to be a negative one! So save your gambling for the casino websites, and don’t gamble on your health or your reputation by going drink for drink with other people.
Don’t drink things you don’t usually drink
For some reason, when Christmas rolls around, we decide it’s an excellent opportunity to ditch the same wine, beer or spirit we’ve been drinking all year, and try something else instead. Advocaat? Why not! Eggnog? Pass the bottle! Rum? Absolutely, why not, it’s Christmas! This is not, as you probably already know, a good idea.
Your body develops a tolerance to the things you eat and drink regularly. If you drink white wine regularly, you can probably cope with a reasonable amount of it without getting drunk. Suddenly switching to vodka, if you don’t drink it, is asking your body to process something it isn’t used to whilst at the same time dealing with a lot more alcohol than you take in your usual drinks. Stick to your favourites!
Don’t get involved in a round
Ah, the age-old round trap. When you go to a bar in a group, it’s almost expected that you’ll enter into a round with two or three other people. There’s even formal etiquette advice about it. It saves on repeat trips to the bar, and means one person isn’t taking the full brunt of the cost all the time. It’s also not a wise idea on a big night out.
If you’re in a round with, let’s say, three other people, every time someone buys you a drink, you owe them one back. That could mean that you’ve just had a drink and decided you’ve had your fill, but you still have two more rounds to complete, and find yourself going back to the bar. Inevitably, you’ll buy yourself a drink while you’re there, leaving you two drinks beyond your point of comfort. Steer clear, and just buy for yourself. H
Have a soft drink between each alcoholic one
We know this advice is as old as the hills, but people keep giving it because it’s true; you’ll feel less drunk if you break up your alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones. Alcohol is a diuretic; it makes you go to the toilet more often, and strips your body of electrolytes. Even though you’re drinking, you’re becoming dehydrated, which amplifies the effects of a hangover.
Drinking a soft drink; especially water; counters that dehydration. It makes a hangover far less likely, and on top of that you’ll drink far less than you would otherwise, which makes you less drunk. You, your bank balance and your body all win!
See? Five little tips that mean you can go out as often as you like, and keep the bad head the next morning at bay. So get dressed up, head out and enjoy the season with a clear head!