December 06, 2021 | Tags: Healthy Outlooks Wellness

For many people, the holiday season brings joy, celebration and happy times spent with loved ones. However, with the prospect of a second holiday season impacted by COVID-19, those feelings could change to anxiety, sadness and loneliness. Studies suggest that alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic. So, between the changes in routine brought on by the holiday season and COVID-19 precautions, care must be taken to not overindulge.

Excessive alcohol use can cause many adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, liver disease, memory problems and mental health issues. Binge drinking during the holidays has also been associated with a sudden occurrence of irregular heartbeat, called Holiday Heart Syndrome, in people with no known heart disease.

Everything in moderation

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines drinking in moderation as up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Since excessive holiday drinking can be a real hindrance to your health and wellness, you’ll want to keep these tips in mind to help you sip smarter when celebrating.

  • Sip alcoholic beverages slowly so you’re not tempted to drink too much.
  • Drink water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and decrease your consumption.
  • Keep the focus on celebrating the holidays with those you love.

Do your best to drink smarter during the holidays. If you intend on consuming alcoholic beverages, please have a designated driver or call a transportation service. Visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) website for additional information.

Restructuring the holidays

Here are some fun and different ways you can connect with family and friends near and far that do not have to involve drinking:

  • Virtual karaoke
  • Virtual festive family game night
  • Virtual Secret Santa

If you think you need professional help, you can visit the NIAA website at www.niaaa.nih.gov. You can also call Medical Mutual Customer Care at the number on the front of your member ID card to find appropriate care.

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