The holidays are quickly approaching, and along with the joy and festivity that fills the air, something else seems to spike during this time period: drinking. Whether it’s out of celebration or to cope with the in-laws overstaying their welcome, data shows both drinking and alcohol-related incidences rise over the holidays. This micrographic illuminates the dangers of holiday drinking, including the drastic increase in traffic deaths.
Read on to learn more about the impact of holiday drinking and discover fun and festive nonalcoholic alternatives to popular holiday drinks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Why is drinking so intertwined with holiday celebrations? Whether it’s a beer at a summer barbecue or eggnog spiked with rum under the mistletoe, many view holiday drinking as a normal pleasure, a way to accentuate enjoyment of the season. Unfortunately, an attachment to seasonal partying is not so innocent. Alcohol is the primary cause of traffic fatalities throughout the year, but the incidence of alcohol-related fatalities increases during holidays.
New Year’s Eve hosted the most alcohol-related automobile deaths in 2015, while Thanksgiving saw the greatest number of traffic fatalities overall. Although there were fewer deadly crashes on Christmas, 41 percent of them involved alcohol, the same percentage as Thanksgiving. This means the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day contains possibly the most dangerous days to drink of the whole year.
Celebration is not the only motive for drinking during the holidays. Many people experience increased levels of stress in the weeks leading up to the holidays, particularly during the winter season. There’s pressure to spend more money than most people can comfortably afford, attend every party and activity, and seem joyful while doing it all. It’s natural to seek out a glass of wine or cocktail to ease social anxiety and feel more relaxed. However, alcohol is only a temporary balm and it can actually accentuate negative feelings instead of curing them. Many people feel worse once the buzz wears off.
Care for yourself and your loved ones this season by substituting some or all of the alcoholic beverages you’d normally drink with these festive alternatives.
Safety doesn’t have to be boring. Take the time to decide for yourself what the holidays mean to you and how you’d like to celebrate. That often means saying no to invitations more frequently than you say yes. Keep your stress levels low and you won’t feel the need to numb the seasonal frenzy with alcohol.
Talk to your friends and family about safe drinking and driving during the holidays. It’s easier to stay on track with healthy goals when you can surround yourself with like-minded people. The whole world isn’t going crazy for holiday decorations, shopping and parties, despite what your social media feeds suggest.
While it can encourage peer pressure, the Internet is also a great way to connect with others striving to enjoy a deliberate, mindful and healthy holiday season.
Raise a glass to safe celebrating and make sure traffic fatalities aren’t part of your holidays this year.
Posted on December 24th, 2015 in Blog