The holidays are that one time of year where nearly every bit of self-control that we usually possess tends to fly out of the window. The sheer number of delicious foods and desserts at our disposal, as well as the various opportunities for engaging in festive drinking with friends, family or co-workers, means that we have to work extra hard to make sure that we don’t overdo it. One of our greatest allies during this period of time can be a combination of self-control along with a daily regimen completely focused on your personal health and well-being.
So why exactly is it a bad idea to partake in large amounts of holiday cheer? Alcohol is actually not a joking matter, and millions of Americans suffer each year from alcohol-related addictions. It can be used to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or it could be an opportunity to simply drink even more, which makes it difficult to deal with one’s particular addictions. Excessive drinking can not only be harmful to your immediate health, but can also have lasting impacts in your life. While each man or woman may have different tolerances or references as to what constitutes “excessive” drinking, the reality is that it is not a difficult concept to know when you are drinking more than you should.
There is no doubt that the holidays is an excellent time to unwind and share some beverages with your favorite groups of people; but let’s consider some effective guidelines to make certain that you don’t go too overboard with the booze:
- Avoid Feeling Pressured
Sometimes we tend to cave in to pressure when every other person around us is drinking. If you feel that you would be unable to control your alcohol intake, especially if you plan on driving, make sure to politely decline and even resist pressure if you are uncomfortable. If you are at a party and nearly everyone seems to be imbibing alcoholic beverages, then see if you can ask for a non-alcoholic drink, such as water, tea or a soda. Ultimately, if you feel pressured to drink, then you should likely remove yourself from that situation to begin with.
- Plan Ahead for When You Do Drink
If you do plan on drinking out, be it at a restaurant, bar, pub or a holiday party of some sort, then it would be wise to make sure that you have a designated driver. It is not recommended to drive after consuming alcohol, even if you feel that you are able. Even when you stop drinking, depending on the amount that you drink, it can affect your motor skills, coordination and significantly impair your judges for hours past the point that you stopped. In fact, many people wrongly assume that if you aren’t slurring when speaking, you are safe to drive; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Plan ahead for a safe time, realize your limitations and make sure to keep yourself and those around you as safe as you possibly can. Make sure to limit yourself beforehand and make sure to not exceed what you planned to drink, as well as what you know you are capable of.
- Stick to Your Health Goals
You will have a far easier time reducing your alcohol intake if you remain steadfast in your health and fitness goals throughout the holiday season. It is easier to avoid excessive drinking when sticking to the goals that you have worked towards all year long; with a plan in place and drive to succeed, you can limit your intake to just a drink or two. Once you fail to continue focusing on your diet, or your fitness goals, it becomes far easier to develop a lax attitude towards other indulgences. So stick to your health plans and you’ll be rewarded as the New Year comes around!
Drinking in moderation is not wrong, it just comes into question when you engage in more drinking than necessary, for any reason. If you feel that you or a family member really do have a drinking problem, dependency on alcohol and addictions to it, consider getting help. A behavioral health facility such as Clear View Behavioral Health is able to not only offer substance abuse counselors, mental health specialists and the ability to help deal with your addictions, but it also offers a free and confidential assessment. Contact them and start getting the help that you need today.