The winter holidays are approaching, so your closest loved ones will often gather to share food and drink to celebrate the season. During this time of year, you want to enjoy deep conversations with your friends and family, using parties and get-togethers as opportunities to grow closer to those you care about most. However, when alcohol is introduced, you might feel the uncontrollable urge to over-imbibe, which all but eliminates the opportunity to forge stronger relationships with your loved ones.
If you are in the habit of drinking heavily at social gatherings, you need to learn to control your habits for the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you develop a healthier relationship with alcohol for the winter holidays to improve your relationships with friends and family.
Avoid Strong and Stiff Drinks
The stronger the drink, the faster you will become intoxicated, and the more rapidly your intoxication sets in, the less control you will have over the level of intoxication you reach. Though holiday cocktails might be fun and tasty, you should avoid any liquors and liqueurs during seasonal gatherings. Instead, you should stick to lower alcohol-by-volume drinks, like beer or wine.
Eat Before and During the Gathering
An empty stomach will immediately absorb alcoholic drinks into the bloodstream, and low blood sugar could cause the effects of intoxication to become much more extreme. Thus, you should strive to eat square meals before any holiday gatherings to ensure your body is properly nourished. You should also consider taking advantage of available snacks while at holiday parties; it might help keep your hands and mouth busy to prevent excessive drinking.
Use Spacers to Stay Hydrated and Sober
As soon as you step into a holiday gathering, your first drink should be a big glass of water. This will help fill up your stomach and ensure that you are properly hydrated so that when you start sipping your first alcoholic beverage, you will not feel desperately thirsty and will drink faster than necessary. Throughout the night, you should intersperse alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic options, like water, soda, and juice, to give your body time to process the alcohol you put into them. Then, you should not become overly drunk throughout the evening.
Find Party Jobs to Keep You Busy
Holiday parties require careful maintenance. Someone needs to pick up abandoned cups and plates, refill snack trays, monitor music levels, and generally ensure that everyone in attendance is comfortable and happy. You might ask your host for ways you might be of assistance during the gathering, and if you finish your tasks early, you should look for other ways to be a help.
Spend Time With Other Non-drinkers
It can be difficult to avoid alcohol when everyone around you has a delectable beverage in their hands. Fortunately, during holiday gatherings, there is almost certain to be a group that does not engage in drinking. These may be the designated drivers of the event, or they may be sober friends and family members who have struggled with alcohol over-consumption in the past. In any case, spending time with non-drinkers can help you avoid temptation during the holiday season, and building deeper connections with them may help you on your journey to more controlled drinking habits.
Volunteer as the Safe Driver
Many people find that having a responsibility, like safely conveying drunk partygoers home at the end of the night, is a good way to stay clear-headed through an evening filled with drinking and revelry. This task is incredibly important, and failing to remain sober as the designated safe driver puts you and your loved ones at risk. You might volunteer for this position during the holidays. Still, you should also recognize that if you are unable to avoid heavy drinking, you must find another safe transportation solution for your friends and family.
Enroll in a Detox Program
Not everyone can control their drinking. If you find it impossible to drink sensibly and responsibly, even during low-key family gatherings during the holidays, you might suffer from alcohol use disorder. The first step to recovery is participating in alcohol detox in a safe and controlled environment. Once your body is free of the influence of alcohol, you can begin developing smarter strategies for living and thriving in the world without booze.
You and your loved ones want to enjoy the holidays, which typically means avoiding embarrassing levels of intoxication. With these tips — and perhaps with some professional help — you can control your drinking and form deeper connections with friends and family.
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