It’s the party season – can’t wait? Or dreading it?

Here are some top tips for surviving (and enjoying!) all those festive dinners / parties / events that can sometimes lead to severe embarrassment, guilt or worse...

1. Be yourself

This may be a North European drinking nation (the Vikings brought us binge drinking), but this is 2017 and you really don’t have to follow the drinking crowd or feel pressured to have one too many by your peers. If you decide not to drink, or to stick to a small number of drinks, just say so! “No thanks”  or “I'm fine, thanks” works perfectly well in any situation. Just make sure no one tops up your drink when you're not looking.

2. Be drink savvy

When you’ve had enough, make sure you're sticking to the soft stuff – you have to drink something right? Why not place a full alcoholic drink next to your soft drink and leave it there? That way no-one will bother you with more alcohol while you can enjoy one of the many non alcoholic drinks around this season. 

3. Plan ahead

Are you sitting down...? Well, then, the good news is it is perfectly possible to make yourself a little plan to only drink the exact amount you choose in advance. You really don't have to “go on, have another”, you can choose to limit yourself to one, two, or three drinks and then switch to soft drinks or (gasp!) sparkling water. Just be mentally prepared to stop at your pre-planned limit and don't let anyone change your mind. 

4. The obvious stuff you’ve read on the BBC

Really, you all should know this by now: Make sure you eat before you drink, drink lots of water before and after alcohol, be mindful of the lower-risk guidelines (maximum 14 units per week for men and women) and stay off the salty snacks. Don’t forget, once you’ve had four of most drinks you’re straying into binge drinking territory. 

5. Watch out for your mates

The benefit of being relatively sober is you can look after yourself much better, but that also goes for being able to keep an eye on your friends. If someone is acting unprofessionally, or acting in any way that is disrespectful or unacceptable, you should inform a manager or senior member of your organisation. Work parties are not a free-for-all and employers need to maintain the reputation of the organisation. 

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Posted by Paula Glassman on 14th December 2017