Whether it is a corporate party or a gathering with friends, the human body and mind take quite a beating during the holidays, and the first few weeks of January are often spent fighting colds, hangovers, bloating, and memories of drunken embarrassing behaviors.
During the holidays it is important to plan ahead. Make a list of events that are taking place and decide which ones you have to attend and which you can skip. Before you leave your house decide how much you are going to eat and drink at each party. Remember that hors d’oeuvres will not keep you satisfied all through dinner, drinking on an empty stomach will ruin the evening for you, and it’s perfectly okay to eat before you leave.
If you are going to be drinking alcohol make sure that you eat before the festivities begin and keep drinking water throughout the night to prevent the hangover from hell the next morning. Arrange for a designated driver to get you home safely, keep friends close so you don’t stumble into dangerous situations, and never, ever drive drunk.
Sleep is important for your body to recover from whatever damage it has been put through, so make sleep a priority, even if it means cutting your night short. Studies have shown that people who do not sleep enough are at a higher risk for heart disease, obesity and a number of psychiatric disorders.
Remember that it is OK to say no. Turn down food and drinks without feeling guilty. It’s okay not to consume alcohol at parties if you don’t want to, and you should never feel pressured into it.
Finally, remember to laugh. Do whatever it is that will make you happiest, whether it involves attending six parties a night or staying in with a good book and a glass of wine. Understand your body’s limits and respect them, and remember that the holidays are when you get to take a break from all the stress of everyday life, not add to it.