Christmas is around the corner and who doesn’t love a Christmas party and a mince pie, or two, or three? But this is a time when many people find themselves drinking more than they usually do.
Drinkaware, the UK’s leading alcohol education charity, has put together the 12 top tips of Christmas to see people safely and healthily through the Festive season and into 2019.
If you choose to drink alcohol this Christmas:
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, in any week
2. If you choose to drink this much, then spread the drinking over three or more days and avoid binge drinking. Drinkaware’s app is there to help people track and calculate their units so that they can see their progress over time. Visit: drinkaware.co.uk/app
3. Try allocating several days every week when you don’t drink – the drink free days. This will help to reduce the overall amount of alcohol that you drink and let family and friends know that you are not always drinking 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. Find out more at drinkfreedays.co.uk
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 to drink less and reduce the amount of calories that you are 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 will get home, with a licensed taxi 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 are driving, even if that’s the morning after
12. And looking ahead to 2019: 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 to their drinking that can benefit their health and wellbeing. Drinkaware has a wide range of tools and apps to help. drinkaware.co.uk