You may consider yourself a “social drinker” yet still believe that, during the Holidays, alcohol can be the perfect release for the year’s accumulated stress, or a little pleasure to indulge in more heavily, since you’re not driving anywhere.

Whatever your feelings about the scaled-down holiday celebrations imposed by the pandemic, it’s always wise to avoid drinking too much. That’s right: Even when partying in accordance with the rules of social distancing, it’s still possible to overdo it, resulting in more harm than joy.

Here’s some valuable advice to help you make the most of the moment without crossing the line.

1

Solids before liquids.

Never drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol spreads through the body more quickly than most foods. Eating before you drink slows the absorption of alcohol, so make sure you have enough food on hand. If you’re not serving a meal, eat foods that are high in protein and starch, or that contain a lot of water. Avoid fatty, salty, and sweet snacks that make you thirsty.

2

Don’t chug. Drink slowly and enjoy the taste.

You’ll get more out of your drink and we promise your glass will still be there when you’re done. And remember: Tomorrow is another day! Waking up fresh with clear memories of the night before is a lot more pleasant than nursing a hangover.

3

Finish one before starting another.

It’s a good idea (and also polite) to wait until your glass is empty before asking for a refill (or serving one). And it makes it easier to count how many drinks you’re having. Teach yourself how to pour a standard drink.

4

Without, with, without, with, without.

Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Water is always a good choice, but mocktails are fun! Alternalcohol features 120+ recipes for alcohol-free cocktails that are perfect for alternating, and for people who don’t want any—or any more—alcohol.

These festive, hydrating beverages are also great for teenage guests who are watching us keenly as we drink. Choosing moderation sets a fine example. And this could be just the time you’ve been waiting for to start that conversation about the risks of drinking during puberty.

Pssst! Did you know that the effects of alcohol are felt more quickly when it is combined with something carbonated? Watch out for those punch bowls!

Alternalcohol also has some recipes for low-alcohol cocktails. Check them out!

5

It’s smart and safe to calculate your blood alcohol content. Even if you’re not driving.

Having an idea of your blood alcohol content and watching it change over time is a good way to monitor your drinking and understand it in light of the low-risk drinking guidelines. Try the Calcoholator and see!

6

Human connection is a lot better than alcohol.

Are you suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? Feeling lonely, isolated or depressed? If so, alcohol is not your best friend. In fact, Éduc’alcool strongly advises people NOT to drink to drown their problems or make themselves feel better when they’re down. Alcohol can certainly disinhibit you and make you feel more relaxed, but drinking too much can be very harmful during difficult times.