How Not To Be The Drunkest Person At Your New Year's Eve Bash
Look, we've all been there.
You're so excited for New Year's Eve you peak too soon and before you know it you're waking up, still in your clothes, with a broken toe and a pizza box and no idea how you got home. Amiright?
Or you ask your CEO a question. "So, what do you do?"
Or you throw up on your CEO.
Or you swim off a ferry wharf at Sydney's Circular Quay and get chased by the police.
Or you projectile vomit in the toilets at the party venue and they have to be closed. And then fall into a bush.
Or... well, you get the picture. And that picture ain't pretty.
And it's not clever, responsible or good for you, either. So this, year, if you don't want to be "that person", you maybe need to think about how much you're drinking. And how you're drinking it.
Says Professor Alison Hutton from the University of Newcastle, who is an expert in mass gathering health and research, it's all about planning your night.
"I think it's important to have plans -- talk to other people about their expectations for the night so you know the kind of things that may happen and can plan accordingly," she told 10 daily. "That way you will know what you may be dealing with. Make plans to get home, too -- have $50 somewhere safe so you can get a cab, work out where the exit is, where the toilets are, where there is food you can have, where there is a water station.
Think about what you want to drink, and what you want to eat -- I always say it's like Weight Watchers, you have to be prepared and take snacks so you can eat if you need to. It's really crucial that if you're going to be drinking, you don't do it on an empty stomach so make sure you eat something substantial before you start on the booze."
According to Hutton, it's also important to let your friends know if you don't want to be the drunk version of you. That way they can pull you up if need be. "Also make sure you have someone looking out for you. Someone who can tell you to stop drinking, who can get you water or get you home, who can tell you when you've gone over an agreed limit, " she said. "And don't forget you can also make excuses -- there's nothing wrong with saying 'I've got a big day tomorrow' and leaving early, or sticking to the soft drink."
And yes, you can do that even if it's just so you don't end up bailing up that CEO in a corner.
If you're the one having the party, Hutton suggests you make a non-alcoholic fruit punch so that you have something to drink that isn't getting you drunk, but feels posh and looks the part. "Otherwise you do need to do that fundamental thing of alternating with water," said Hutton. "Staying hydrated is really important, especially in Australia around New Year, when it's really hot."
Make sure you can have a chill out space you can go to where you can decompress and don't have to keep drinking -- even if it's just for a few minutes. Reset and see how you feel and if you feel like you are getting too drunk, put the glass down and ask a friend for help."
If you're not drunk, but you can see someone else is -- help them if you think they need it. "You need to help each other -- you never know what people are taking or how much they're drinking, so look out for each other, call for help and don't be afraid to assist them," said Hutton.
According to Wesley Hospital spokesperson Sara Kenna, there are a couple more ways to manage the amount of alcohol you have so things don't get messy -- and the first one is obvious, but not often stuck to. "Keep track of serving sizes," she advised.
"You may think you are only having one drink when you order a glass of wine, but most restaurants and bars usually serve wine in 150ml glasses, which equates to 1.4 to 1.6 standard drinks. Meanwhile, a bottle of beer and cans of premixed spirits can contain up to 1.4 and 2.1 drinks respectively. Manage the number of drinks you consumer by pouring your own drinks at parties, and avoid topping up on a half-empty glass."
And while it may seem a little, well, dry, to do this, if all else fails you can use a technique called "SOBER" to avoid the urge to splurge. "When you feel the urge to pour another drink, Stop and Observe what you are doing," said Sara. "Take a Breath, then Evaluate your choices and whether you need another drink. After that, you can Respond accordingly."
Hint: the response really shouldn't be to have another bottle.
Whatever you do, have a great new year. And remember continued Hutton, "the objective is to have fun -- stay safe and support each other."
Feature image: Getty