The Holidaze

The holidays mean get-togethers and gatherings. Friends, family and coworkers congregate to enjoy the company of each other. There is the holiday work function, the New Year’s Eve party, the family functions at your Aunt’s or Uncle’s. Not to mention the Novenas, the Chanakahs, and the Winter weddings. Inevitably, someone at the party will likely party a little too hard, and end up needing an Uber.

A long, long time ago, at a holiday work party far, far away, Cassandra, an employee, had a wee too much to drink. As a matter of fact, she drank so much that she nearly passed out. Fortunately for her, a good coworker hailed an Uber for her. Unfortunately, however, the coworker had no idea that Cassandra had recently moved and had failed to mention her new address to anyone at work. When the Uber arrived to the address given, the new tenants of the property had no idea who was in the car and Cassandra was passed out, with nowhere to go. Ultimately, she ended up staying with a friend. The following day was a disaster and said employee had to call in sick from a wickedly bad hangover.

In order to avoid the “holidaze” as I like to call it, and avoid the embarrassment at work, there are some things you can consider. It may seem obvious, but first and foremost, limit the alcohol intake. While everyone’s alcohol threshold is different, some people are much more sensitive to its effects. For some, a beer is enough, for other’s, a half a bottle of vodka. Know your limits.

Staying hydrated is also important. Alcohol is a natural diuretic. In addition to visiting the bathroom regularly, too much alcohol can also lead to vomiting, which will further dehydrate a person. The loss of fluid can affect fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. As a good rule of thumb, remember to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink to try to stay balanced.

Other factors that can contribute to the dreaded hangover are a lack of sleep. Typically, alcohol is a depressant and can actually induce sleep, but with regular, routine drinking, sleep disturbances can develop, where people will only be able to sleep for three to four hours a night and can exacerbate a hangover. Not to mention that sleep may again be disrupted by the need to urinate from alcohol.

Also, the type of alcohol may also adversely affect the following day. Some alcohols are high in something called congeners, which are byproducts in the process of making alcohol. The darker the liquor, generally speaking, the higher the congeners. These congeners may affect alcohol metabolism and thereby cause more hangover like symptoms. So, avoiding wine and whiskey and sticking to gin or vodka may actually help avoiding the day-afters walk of shame. There are other hangover cures, from regional types of breakfast soups to the “hair of the dog” treatments, but the best way to avoid it is to stay in front of the problem. Obviously, drinking responsibly can prevent a walk of shame, but it can also prevent a disaster, like car accidents or worse.

For Cassandra, she still can’t live down the embarrassment. Every holiday party that comes round, those that were around mention her as if in folklore around these parts, as a cautionary tale of a fun-time gone wrong. Don’t be that employee.

By: Dr. Juan Borja
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