Here's some top tips for surviving (and enjoying!) all those festive dinners/parties/events that can sometimes lead to severe embarrassment, guilt or worse...
- Be yourself - this is 2020 (almost!) and you really don't have to follow the drinking crowd or feel pressured to have one too many by your peers. If you decide not to drink alcohol, or to stick to a small number of alcoholic drinks, just say so! "No thanks" or "I'm fine, thanks" works perfectly well in any situation. Be confident that you’re allowed to drink what you want.
- Be drink savvy - when you've had enough alcohol, make sure you've got an idea of the non-alcoholic drinks you can choose from - you have to drink something right? That way no-one will bother you with more alcohol while you can enjoy one of the many non alcoholic drinks around this season.
- Plan ahead - the good news is it is perfectly possible to make yourself a little plan to only drink the exact amount you choose in advance. You really don't have to "go on, have another", you can choose to limit yourself to one, two, or three alcoholic drinks and then switch to soft drinks or (gasp!) tea, coffee or sparkling water. Alternatively, decide to stick to non-alcoholic drinks all night.
- Prevention is better than cure – if you do drink alcohol, make sure you eat before you drink, drink lots of water before and after, be mindful of the lower-risk guidelines (maximum 14 units per week for men and women) and stay off the salty snacks. Don't forget, once you've had four of most drinks you're straying into binge drinking territory where accidents, injuries or arguments become more common.
- Watch out for your mates - the benefit of being relatively sober is you can look after yourself much better, but that also goes for being able to keep an eye on your friends. If someone looks like they’re going to be unsafe getting home, be sure to call them a licensed cab – or use an app on their phone to call a ride.
Thankfully, this Christmas and New Year you can choose exactly how much or how little you want to drink – the choice really is in your hands.