Minimal Drinking = Maximum Fun this Holiday Season

Happy Holidays! Tis the season for giving, receiving, decorating, baking and… drinking. I mean, what’s a good holiday party without the champers, the mulled wine, and the holiday craft beer, right? Well, I know that some of you love to get tipsy beneath the mistletoe, but you might also want to hide beneath the covers the next day…

What if you drank less and had more fun this holiday?

Let’s explore this for a moment, shall we? First, let’s define fun: enjoyment, amusement, light-hearted pleasure. While consuming a few cocktails can surely add entertainment to a festive party, a tomorrow met with an empty pocketbook, a sleepless night and a terrible headache are probably less than enjoyable.

So how about trying a new holiday dress on this year? One that’s a little more about being mindful about your alcohol intake – or slipping into something a little more sober perhaps – so that you can still go out, connect with your favorite people, have a great time, then come home feeling so fulfilled, get a great night’s sleep, and meet the next day with the same level of enthusiasm you went out with the night before?

Here are my tips on how to manage alcohol consumption, party sober, and have maximum fun for the rest of 2014:

1) Reframe your brain. Perhaps you learned that the only way to truly celebrate was to get totally inebriated. Well, I got news for ya – it doesn’t have to be that way. For me, celebration is about connecting with friends and loved ones, and really enjoying the time to be able to engage with them. Alcohol is not a requirement.

2) Set an intention. Before going out to a holiday dinner or party, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What do you really need? What would be the most ideal for the night ahead? How do you want to feel when you get home later? How do you want to feel the next day? Based on your true desires, set an intention for yourself. You set the stage.

3) Stay present. I find that being sober allows me to be more present and available to the conversations I have. This makes connecting with others much more powerful and fulfilling than waking up the next day asking WTF?

4) Drink water. Follow each alcoholic beverage with an 8-ounce glass of water. This not only helps keep you hydrated and minimize the effect of that dreadful hangover the next day, but this can also slow your drinking down. Slow and steady, darling.

5) Eat something. Always drink alcohol with food, which slows the glucose uptake to your brain and liver. Healthy fats are preferred – guacamole or nuts. (Hint – keep a small emergency snack in your purse if need be. like some nuts or a Kind Bar).

6) Exercise. If you have a social engagement on the calendar, be sure to get some yoga or fitness in earlier that day. Making time for this will alleviate stress so you can go into your evening feeling relaxed and less inclined to binge on drinking or food. This will set you up for so much success!

7) Dress to the nines. Girlfriend, you are fabulous whether that glass is filled with champagne or sparkling water, so own it! I want to see your hair, makeup, nails, heels and jewelry DID. I can’t wait to see your holiday Instagram! (Follow me @michellemahlman ).

8) Drop it like it’s hot. Let’s be real, dancing is the most fun thing about going to a party. I have to admit that it’s also my favorite way to “pre-game” these days. I find that if I have a little private dance sesh in my apartment before I go out, it elevates my vibe and I show up to the fiesta with more confidence and excitement. Also, no booze required to shake what your mama gave ya!

I really hope this inspires you to be true to yourself, take ultimate care and most of all HAVE FUN TO THE MAX this Holiday. I’m wishing you great health and happiness for this season and beyond.