Are immaculate! We have a few things to highlight for you as we descend farther into December and the holiday season.
Mark your calendars, folks!
January Self Care Course
ew year, new well-balanced you!
Join EatDenver and CHOW for a FREE interactive group training, and walk away with an understanding of the importance and necessity of self-care, the ability to identify areas of improvement in your own self-care, and new techniques and habits to develop a well-balanced lifestyle.
When: Tuesday, January 10 @ 9-10am
Where: Blackbird Public House (305 S Downing St, Denver, CO 80209)
Facilitator: Alex Yannacone is the Director of Education and Community Programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center and provides programs and trainings addressing mental wellbeing for workplaces, schools, and communities across the United States. Prior to her work at the Center, Alex contributed to the oversight, management, and delivery of a statewide child abuse and neglect prevention program.
Socializing Safely This Holiday Season
December. As individuals, we look forward to getting together with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. It’s also a time when prevention can play an especially important role. December is a deadly month for impaired driving.
The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 210 lives were lost due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That’s 210 people in one week who didn’t make it home because either they or someone with whom they came in contact chose to use alcohol and then get behind the wheel. That same year, more than 10,000 people died from drunk driving crashes alone.
Since 2001, the HeartLight Center – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – has welcomed thousands of grieving people just like you. Together, we have created an open, compassionate community that offers strength, peace, and the support you need to move forward.
Through support groups and education, we are committed to giving you the resources you need to help you feel heard, seen, and validated.
A word about Holiday Parties from SAMHSA
The holidays are a time to celebrate, often with family and friends. Many social gatherings include alcohol. However, many adults partaking in the festivities may not wish to drink alcohol for a variety of reasons. Some might be re-evaluating their relationships with alcohol and are taking a break. Others may be in recovery from alcohol use disorder. Some adults may have different motives for abstaining from alcohol, such as being or planning to become pregnant, taking certain medications that interact negatively with alcohol, or having a medical condition that can be made worse by alcohol. Others may abstain because they are driving afterward or have an early morning the next day. Asian Americans and others who have an inactive allele for acetaldehyde dehydrogenase may not drink because of the resulting aversive flush reaction.
Here are tips on how to be inclusive of any guests who won’t be drinking. These tips can also help prevent guests who choose to drink from overindulging in alcohol:
- Have a variety of alcohol-free drinks—such as water, juices, and sparkling sodas—available for your guests.
- Put more emphasis on food than drinks.
- Make sure your guests are aware if a bowl of punch or food items contain alcohol.
- Avoid games or activities that center around alcohol.
- Don’t call attention to guests who are not drinking, they don’t need an excuse.
- Identify and address potential triggers for someone with an alcohol problem. For example, since the sight of beer and liquor bottles could cause alcohol cravings in some people, consider serving alcohol containing drinks in cups and glasses and keep the alcohol containing containers elsewhere.
The National Insititute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) fact sheet, The Truth About Holiday Spirits, has more tips on how to help all your guests celebrate safely.
If you are looking forward to incorporating healthy behaviors into your routine in the new year, think about your own relationship with alcohol. Visit NIAAA’s website Rethinking Drinking for tips and for tools to help you examine your drinking patterns. Consider participating in an event such as Dry January—which involves taking a break from alcohol for the month—and see if you observe positive changes in the quality of your sleep, mood, and energy level. If you think you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol and needs help, visit the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator to learn about quality care and treatment options near you.
Wishing you happy and safe holidays!