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The Holiday Survival Toolkit: How to Not Drink at Parties (And Still Have Fun)

cocktailThe holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means—parties.

Parties at work, parties at church, parties at school, fundraiser parties, caroling parties, Secret Santa parties…

It’s the season of so many parties that we long for a weekend night with nothing scheduled.

All the parties can lead to excess, but the biggest party of the season, New Year’s Eve, can be the topper.  Many people drink so much that it can take days to feel healthy again. And even if you don’t drink to drunkenness, your extra alcohol intake in the month of December can take its toll.

I think it’s great to celebrate and enjoy the company of your loved ones, but I don’t want to see you sick.  Find out how to not drink (or at least drink less) this party season.

How to Not Drink (or Drink Less) During the Holiday Season

Before you go to a party, it’s good to have a strategy.  Use the following list for ideas about how to avoid alcohol but still have fun.

  • Exercise regularly so your mood is high and you feel good before the party.
  • When you go to a party, have a support person as back-up when others want you to drink.
  • Choose your parties wisely.  If one is likely to have a lot of alcohol, avoid it.  Instead, celebrate the holiday season with those same friends through coffee dates or dinners.
  • Make it clear with the host that you aren’t drinking so he or she doesn’t offer you alcohol.
  • Bring your own non-alcoholic drinks to the party.  Have enough to offer other non-drinkers some.
  • Always have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand so you aren’t tempted to drink something alcoholic.
  • Order drinks that look alcoholic.  For example, order a club soda and lime and ask the bartender to serve it like a cocktail.
  • Order virgin drinks.
  • If you are going to drink, eat food so you don’t have an empty stomach.
  • Position yourself far from the bar so you’re not tempted to visit it.
  • Eat a healthy diet to detox between parties.
  • Drink water before the party so you aren’t thirsty.
  • Have regular acupuncture sessions to reduce alcohol cravings.
  • Avoid sugary, “fancy” drinks.  Some drinks taste so good you think you’re having dessert, and you forget how alcoholic they are.
  • Dance, play games and talk a lot.  Keep yourself busy so you’re not tempted to drink.
  • Practice saying that you don’t want a drink.  You don’t need to justify yourself, but you might feel more comfortable if you know what you’re going to say.
  • Reward yourself for not drinking with another activity you enjoy.

I wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season.  May 2014 bring you health, happiness and the realization of your dreams.

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