The holiday season is usually the beginning of gatherings with friends and family, lots of shopping and, of course, eating and drinking to your heart’s content. Because of the festivity of the holidays, it’s easy to forget the importance of moderation. Maybe you haven’t seen this side of the family in years or you’re finally ready to unwind after a long, hard work year. But there are several risks involved in cutting loose for the holiday season and some are more damaging than you might realize. Here are a few reasons why it’s a great idea to stay dry for the holidays.
- “Do you remember what you did?”
Alcohol is used in social situation to help calm anxiety and loosen your tongue in group settings. The problem is that you might become too loose. Drinking in excess can cause states of blackout and results in doing or saying things that your sober version wouldn’t dare. This is why it’s vital to control your drinking whether it’s at your mom’s house or the office holiday party. You don’t want to do or say anything embarrassing that will become gossip.
- “You’re not going to drive home, are you?”
Drinking and driving is a problem throughout the entire year but amplified during the holidays. With the expectation that you’ll drink, it’s easy to forget how much is too much. It’s not enough to know your limit. If you’re driving, it’s simple: don’t drink. And if you find that you can’t avoid drinking, then get a designated driver or plan to use a taxi service.
- “Oh, you have a hangover?”
The morning after a party is usually the time to start cleaning up or go back to work. If you drink in excess, however, you may be laid up with a hangover. Marked by pounding headaches, nausea and sensitivity to noises and light, hangovers are an awful side effect. None of the fun you had the night before will matter when you can’t function the next day. Being out of commission can really cut into your holiday plans. You’ll miss out on a variety of other family activities that take place during the daytime, whether it’s opening gifts or going to a lightshow.
- “She was watching the entire time.”
If there are children present at a function, they will be soaking in everything around them. Even if they aren’t your kids, they’ll be learning from your behavior, sober or otherwise. So be a positive influence and show that having fun and enjoying company doesn’t require alcohol.
- “Your father said he doesn’t want to speak to you again.”
Also watching at holiday gatherings are your adult family members. The holiday season is a time to come together, share and build new memories and strengthen those bonds. But if you’re drunk, wild and out of control, you can instead damage those relationships. You can’t control what you’ll say if you’re not aware of what you’re saying. So be mindful of that if you have any deep secrets.
- “Where did all the money go?”
During the holidays, there is a lot of money spent on vacations and buying gifts for your family and coworkers. Alcohol is an expensive addition to this already high budget. By cutting out liquor, your financial resources will be stronger. Maybe you can buy extra gifts and donate those to charity. Also, by not spending money on liquor, you could even save enough to start the next year off without worrying how to pay for all the holiday expenses.
- “I think you should get some help.”
If none of the previous were an incentive to not drink and you feel that you absolutely cannot survive a get-together without a single drink then it’s time to seek outside counseling or therapy. Being dependent on alcohol to get through social settings is a sign of other underlying problems. Not only are you risking embarrassing behavior or forgetting special moments, excessive drinking can lead to health problems or complications. Recognizing and getting the help you need will ensure that your future holidays will be brighter and more memorable as you get to show those around you who you really are without the assistance or mask of alcohol.