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Holiday Stress, Parties and Hangovers: Drinking Responsibly This Holiday Season

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drink responsibly this holiday season and avoid stress and holiday hangovers MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

And if you can’t drink in moderation, that is a major red flag.

“I would say that having a hangover and missing work after a holiday party is a sign that you have a problem with alcohol,” Stratyner said. “Anytime alcohol interferes in your life, you have a problem with alcohol. You have now interrupted the way you earn your living.”

Many employers have to make cuts as it is, so looking irresponsible and foolish by over-drinking at a holiday party is not a wise choice. Unfortunately, he said it is quite common for people to overindulge in alcohol during the holidays due to holiday stress.

“People tend to self medicate because they want to relax, escape or manage difficult emotions that may come up,” Stratyner said.

However, alcohol tends to cause more problems than it solves. He suggested engaging in healthier ways to relieve holiday stress, such as shopping early and online, planning a potluck holiday dinner so everyone contributes, and avoiding alcohol and drugs (especially while driving). He recommended exercising consistently, and focusing only on positive past holiday memories.

Rosalie Moscoe, a registered nutritional consultant practitioner and author of “Frazzled Hurried Woman! Your Stress Relief Guide to Thriving ... Not Merely Surviving,” said in an email that hangovers can lead to lower self esteem, especially if people are perceived poorly in the workplace because of their lack of control.

Besides a hangover, an excess of sweets and alcohol can also lead to hypoglycemia, which is associated with mood swings.

She said that for people who are already struggling with substance abuse, holiday parties can be a trigger because of the acceptability of profuse amounts of alcohol.

It can be tempting to drink more at holiday parties because of all the additional holiday stress that piles up, including financial stress and dealing potentially with unpleasant family members.

Nerina Garcia-Arcement, a licensed clinical psychologist, said in an email that if holiday parties involve co-workers, sometimes it can be an awkward situation.

People are anxious about how they should be acting.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.