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Drinking Mindfully Around the Holidays

Drinking Mindfully Around the Holidays

Alcohol & Your Health: Why Moderation is Key During the Holidays

It's no secret that alcohol consumption tends to increase during the holiday season. Whether it's a glass of champagne at a New Year's Eve party or sipping on eggnog at a family gathering, alcohol can seem like an integral part of celebrating the holidays. But as we raise our glasses, it's important to remember the potential consequences of overindulging in alcohol — both for our physical health and for our enjoyment of the holiday season.

Alcohol & Your Physical Health

First, let's talk about alcohol's effects on our physical health. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to liver disease, cardiovascular problems, and an increased risk of certain cancers. It can also impact blood sugar levels and harm cognitive function. And while some believe that a glass or two of red wine may have benefits for heart health, this must be balanced with the potential negative effects on other organs and systems in the body.

Alcohol & Your Mental Health

In addition to physical health concerns, alcohol can also greatly impact our mental well-being. Alcohol is a depressant, and excessive consumption can lead to feelings of sadness and anxiety. It can also worsen symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions, which tend to be higher during the holiday season due to feeling isolated or lonely in the midst of activities.

Holiday Drinking Tips

So how can we enjoy the festivities without overdoing it on alcohol? One approach is to alternate alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks, such as water or sparkling cider. This not only reduces alcohol intake but also helps prevent dehydration and other negative effects of drinking. It's also important to eat before and during alcohol consumption, as food can slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

Saying 'No' to the Eggnog

There's no shame in choosing sobriety — whether for just one night or for the entire holiday season. Choosing to control how much you drink or avoiding drinking altogether also helps to prevent the risks of drinking and driving, which unfortunately also spike during this time of year.

Remember that alcohol is not a requirement for enjoying the holidays, and there are plenty of alternatives for festive drinks and activities. So let's make mindful choices about our alcohol consumption this holiday season — for both our physical and mental health.

Family Medical Care in Ridgecrest, CA

We hope you have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season! Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is dedicated to keeping your family healthy — while providing exceptional medical care when needed. For more questions on our primary care services, contact us today: (760) 446-3551.