New Year’s Eve can be a lot of fun. A great time to get together with friends or family, blow off steam from a busy holiday season, and set an optimistic tone for the year to come. That is as long as you do it safely!
Every year thousands of Canadians start their year off on the wrong foot by partying to excess and making themselves sick. Sadly, those are the lucky ones. There are always a few people who wind up facing harsher consequences than a nasty hangover, including serious injury or legal trouble.
Make sure you get off to a strong start to 2019 by following a few simple tips and enjoying New Year’s Eve safely.
Make a plan (and a backup plan)
New Year’s is always better with friends and loved ones. If you’re heading to a party or a bar, make sure to touch base with your group first and make sure they are all on the same page. Who needs a ride and who can act as a designated driver? It’s better to know before you get there. Are you staying the night anywhere? Make reservations and be sure you know the address. Where are you all meeting and when? You don’t need to synchronize your watches or anything, but just making sure you have some basic plans in place can make the evening go so much smoother.
Of course, the best laid plans rarely survive contact with the commotion of New Year’s Eve. This is why it always pays to have a backup plan. Keep your phone with you and fully charged to make sure you can contact your friends and make other arrangements. Have any important addresses already loaded in your phone in case you get separated, and maybe install a ride service app or toss a taxi company’s phone number in your contact list before you start the night. Yes, this is the kind of thing you could just Google, but if you wind up partying too hard, you’ll be glad you set things up ahead of time instead of having to fumble through Google while seeing double.
There is nothing wrong with ringing in the New Year with a few drinks. Unfortunately, when everyone is celebrating and you’re feeling the holiday spirit, a “few” drinks can turn into “a few too many” pretty quickly. Remember to stay within your limits and drink responsibly. Alcohol takes time to process in your body, so don’t chain drinks back-to-back thinking you feel fine. In twenty minutes you’re liable to be flat out on the floor.
A good strategy is to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Having a water or cola in between every hard drink will not only slow your pace so you can accurately gauge how drunk you feel, but the extra hydration will help you avoid the nastiest symptoms of a hangover. Similarly, be sure to eat a decent meal at the start of the night. Having something in your stomach will help prevent sudden inebriation and regulate your evening. Besides, it’s New Year’s Eve and you deserve a nice meal!
Keep an eye out for errant corks
This might sound silly but watch out for those champagne corks! People love to celebrate the new year with a bottle of bubbly, but let’s be honest, how many of us drink champagne on a regular basis? For many of us, champagne is a once-in-a-blue-moon treat. This is why every year you see fresh YouTube videos of people shooting themselves in the eye with the cork, blasting their loved ones in the side of the head, or shattering a bottle all over the kitchen floor trying to “saber” it open. Don’t roll into the new year with a black eye, open your champagne the right way.
The safest way to open a bottle of champagne is to hold it at a 45-degree angle pointing away from anyone else. Twist off the wire cage, hold the cork with one hand and the bottle with the other and twist the bottle. Once you feel the cork start to shift, let go and let it pop! If it seems to be taking a little while or is stuck, resist the urge to look down on it with all your might – treat it like a loaded gun and don’t get caught looking down the barrel of it like some knock-off Elmer Fudd. If you want the absolute safest, most professional, high-end restaurant way of opening a bottle of champing, drape a towel over the top. This will both help catch the cork and any spill over (honestly though, part of the fun is launching the cork, so we’ll forgive you if you skip this tip).
If you want to saber a bottle open… um… good luck? Also, where have you been carrying that sword all evening?
Catching a ride
It should go without saying that you absolutely, under no circumstances, should consider drinking and driving. If you’re going to be drinking, make arrangements ahead of time. This means finding a designated driver (and making sure they don’t flake halfway through the night), catching a cab or ride service (be ready for that nasty surge-pricing), or ensuring you have a safe place to stay for the evening.
If you’re the one hosting the party, be ready for the possibility that rides fall through or people try to make a bad decision. Collect keys if you must and be ready to offer a couch or air mattress to anyone who might need one.
Try to stay off the roads as much as possible. On New Year’s Eve there is always a risk of drunk drivers on the road and troublemakers on the street. Don’t make plans that involve a lengthily walk to a bus or subway stop, especially if you’re solo. Keep any outdoor time short and use the buddy system if a walk is unavoidable.
The trick to starting the year off right isn’t hard at all. Remember these tips, plan ahead, and go easy on yourself when it’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions.
Happy New Year from the Staebler Insurance team!