Drinkaware's 12 tips to make the most of Christmas

As Christmas approaches, it can be hard not to get carried away with the ‘good cheer.’ First come the office parties. Then the Christmas catch-ups with friends, swiftly followed by family festivities – and that’s all before we get to New Year’s Eve. It’s easy to see how the units in drinks can quickly add up. What might not be so clear is the how they’re affecting your health and wellbeing. That's why we've put together this quick guide on how to make the most of the most wonderful time of the year:

  1. Keep in mind the Chief Medical Officers’ low risk drinking guidelines and try not to drink more than 14 units, which is six standard glasses of 13% wine or six pints of 4% beer, a week
  2. If you choose to drink this much, then spread your drinking over three or more days and avoid binge drinking. Our free app is available to help people track and calculate their units, set goals, and measure their progress over time. 
  3. Try allocating Drink Free Days several days every week when you don’t drink. This will help you reduce the overall amount you drink. Try telling your family and friends know that you're planning  and that it's perfectly normal not to do so. If you have children, it will also show them that Christmas doesn't have to include alcohol. 
  4. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. A healthy meal before you go out or start drinking, and snacks between drinks can help to slow down the absorption of alcohol, helping you stay in control.

  5. Avoid drinking before you go out, what some people call ‘preloading’– it’s very easy for the drinks to stack up that way.
  6. Pace yourself by alternating any alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks and avoid drinking in rounds, which may make you drink more and faster than you intended.
  7. Try downsizing your alcoholic drinks – it will help you drink less and reduce the amount of calories that you're taking on board.
  8. Try having a no or low alcohol alternative or an alcohol-free mocktail – they are just as tasty. 

  9. If you’re heading out to a Christmas party, make your plans in advance on how you'll get home, with a licensed taxi or cab, and with people that you trust. Remember that lone men can be vulnerable too.
  10. Keep warm and always take a coat. Alcohol makes blood flow to the blood vessels near your skin and away from the core of your body. If you then go out in the cold after drinking, you can lose heat very easily and quickly. And that can be dangerous.
  11. Remember that drinking and driving kills. It’s best to avoid alcohol completely if you're driving, even if that’s the morning after.
  12. The New Year is a fantastic opportunity for people to really look at the amount of alcohol they drink and, where necessary, to make long lasting changes that can benefit their health and wellbeing. So, why not take a first step towards achieving your New Year's resoultions and check out our range of tools created to help you cut back and feel better?

Worried about your own or someone else's drinking?

Our trained Drinkchat advisors are available, weekdays from 9am-2pm, to give you some confidential advice. And it's all online, so you don’t even have to make a phonecall.

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