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Drinking Safely At Christmas

Drinking Safely At Christmas

Monday 16th November 2020
Direct Training GB Ltd.

We are mid-way through November and the Christmas month of December is fast approaching. For many, the December month is one of the peak times of the year for drinking alcohol - from office Christmas parties to catch-ups with friends. This is all before the family festivities and the big day itself, then later into the month comes New Year's Eve. With all of this in mind, it's easy to see how for some a few units of alcohol here and there can all add up. However, what might be not as clear at first is how this can have an effect on not only your health but also your wellbeing. Because of this, we wanted to put together a quick guide to help you make the most of this wonderful time of year whilst staying safe and healthy at the same time.

- The Chief Medical Officers low-risk drinking guidelines advise that you try and not drink more than 14 units of alcohol in one week. This is approximately 6 standard glasses of wine (13%) or 6 pints of beer (4%). However, if you do choose to drink this much, try and spread your drinking out where possible over three or more days as well as avoiding binge drinking. drinkaware.co.uk provide a free app to help you to keep track of and calculate the units of alcohol which you are drinking. The app also allows you to do great things such as setting goals and measure your progress over time if you are looking to cut down or quit drinking.

- It is good practice to try and allocate 'drink-free days' in the week. This can be several days where you don't drink any alcohol and as a result of this, the overall amount of alcohol that you drink will be significantly reduced. With this, try making your family and friends aware that you are doing this as it is a perfectly normal practice and another benefit is that if you have children it will show them that Christmas doesn't have to include alcohol.

- It is essential that you do not drink on an empty stomach. By having a healthy meal before you start drinking as well as snacks frequently between drinks you are slowing down the rate at which your body absorbs the alcohol and as a result of this you are able to stay in control for longer.

- Avoid drinking before you go out. (Also known as pre-drinks or pre-loading). This is because it is very quick and easy for drinks to stack up and become out of control this way.
A good method of pacing yourself is to alternate between alcoholic drinks and water or soft drinks. Also, try and avoid drinking in rounds as your body may not handle alcohol as well as other people's who you are with and as a result of this you may feel overwhelmed to drink more and faster.

- Try an alternative such as a low alcohol drink or a no alcohol drink such as a mocktail. This way you can drink as many of these as you like whilst still remaining in reasonable control. Whats more, they taste just as good!

- It is essential that if you are going out to somewhere such as Christmas party you make plans in advance on things such as how you will get home. This can be done with someone such as a licensed taxi company or a friend or family member. It is essential to remember that lone men can be just as vulnerable.

- Remember to take a coat as it is essential that you stay warm. This is because alcohol can make you the blood flow to the blood vessels near your skin and therefore away from the core of your body. Because of this, if you go outside in the cold after drinking you can lose heat very easily and quickly and that can be very dangerous, especially in the Christmas month of December where it is colder and goes darker at night earlier.