Who doesn’t like a good party, especially on New Year’s Eve, I don’t know about you, but the dumpster fire that was 2020 is going to have me celebrating extra hard this New Year’s Eve because of the fact that this year is finally over. With that being said I want to remind everyone that you can still have a fun New Year’s Eve night without compromising your safety. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate a new year hopefully filled with health and happiness, so the last thing you would want is to ring in the new year in the ER. “The holidays are always a busy time of the year in the Emergency Department,” says Northwestern Medicine Emergency Medicine Physician Steve R. Edelstein, MD, FACEP. “Conditions outside are precarious, and people are inclined to do things they normally wouldn’t do.” Yikes. Before you decide to lock yourself in your house for the night- who am I kidding, not even a pandemic could stop Americans from letting loose this past Halloween, so I doubt a Physician’s warning will derail any of you from celebrating New Year’s Eve night. But don’t worry, there is good news too, which is: no matter what your New Year’s Eve plans are, you can celebrate safely and happily by keeping these tips in mind.
1. If You Arrive Together, Leave Together
Not just on New Year’s Eve, but one of your life rules should always be: if you come together, you leave together. But especially on New Year’s Eve, which is a holiday synonymous with resolutions, and heavy drinking. A lot can go down throughout your New Year Eve’s night, so make sure to plan your night accordingly ahead of time. Be it a party or a public event, you want to make sure your friends, and family stay safe. So commit to whoever is in your party that night, that if you guys arrive as a group, you leave as a group. And if your plans change throughout the night make sure to communicate that to your party. I’m looking at you, drunk friend who notoriously disappears in the middle of the night to hook up with your ex boyfriend. TBH that person is me, but trust me when I say the Irish Goodbye is the quickest way to have your friends and family file an unnecessary missing person report on you, and the aftermath of that is never conducive to a fun New Year’s Eve night.
Another helpful tip is to always be aware of your surroundings while you are out, if you get separated from your group, have a specified meeting point, or something like that, where everyone in your group knows to meet at if someone gets separated from the group. One of the easiest ways to ensure you stay in contact with the people you’re partying with, is keep your phone on you, and make sure it is fully charged. Most restaurants and bars have chargers at their establishments, but on a crazy night like New Year’s Eve there may not be any available. So it be smart to bring your own, even better bring a portable charger if you have one. In conclusion, wherever your night takes you just make sure to know where you are, where you’re going, and where you’re spending the night.
2. Monitor Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking is practically a staple of New Year’s night, and not just drinking but usually heavy drinking. Even if you, and your friend group don’t partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, it is practically impossible to avoid at least intoxicated party goers throughout your night.
If you are someone who plans on drinking though, try to always keep in mind your limit. A good way to ensure you don’t consume too much alcohol is to not drink too much, too quickly. You can always get more drunk, but you can’t get undrunk. God forbid you spend your New Year’s eve night in the hospital getting treated for alcohol poisoning. A few helpful tips to ensure that doesn’t happen is pace yourself, and for every alcoholic drink you consume, drink a glass of water, or have a non-alcoholic beverage after said alcoholic drink.
Another tip is make sure you eat a filling meal before you start your night of drinking. A filling dinner is another way to help you prepare for a long New Year’s Eve night. Eating a filling meal is good for two reasons, having food in your stomach helps you absorb some of the alcohol you will be sipping on, and if you’re trying to start your New Year’s diet that night, eating a full meal beforehand will keep you from pounding back as many bar snacks as you are drinks.
This sounds like a no brainer, but please don’t leave your drink unattended, and if you do just get a new one. Better to be safe than sorry. Sadly there are shitty people out there, and you don’t want to risk putting yourself in a dangerous situation over a five dollar glass of beer. Again NEVER LEAVE YOUR DRINK UNATTENDED.
Finally, don’t drink and drive people! For the love of everything holy, drinking and driving is so dangerous for not just you, but everyone involved. If you chose to drink and drive you could very well kill yourself, or others. You can easily avoid killing innocent people though by just taking an Uber, and if you’re throwing a party, and you see someone get too drunk please take their car keys. Your friend may be mad at you in the moment, but trust me they’ll be thankful tomorrow morning, as well as hungover.
Last but not least keep in mind this fun little fact, it only takes 10 minutes for alcohol to reach your brain.
3. Careful Where You Pop Champagne
I already went over some safety measures you can take while out with your friends, but let’s talk about New Year’s Eve’s most famous drink of them all, champagne. More specifically champagne corks, you may think what i’m about to say is silly, but according to research champagne corks can travel up to speeds of 50 miles per hour, if that is hard for you to visualize that is fast enough to shatter glass. But there is an easy way you can avoid blinding your friends and family while still popping bottles. One, never open a champagne bottle near your guests, or something of value. And two, try to open the bottle at a 45 degree angle, not only is it the safest way to uncork a champagne bottle, but is the ideal temperature to avoid spontaneous combustion.
4. Watch Your Step
Literally watch your step this New Year’s Eve, especially if you live in a colder climate. Winter weather can be treacherous, so make sure if you’re outside this New Year’s Eve to watch where you’re going to avoid slipping on ice or snow. If you’re like me who hates cold weather, the easiest way to avoid a fall is staying indoors, but for those who enjoy sweater weather look out for slippery icy sidewalks. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, one simple fall can lead to a broken wrist or twisted ankle, worse case scenario your injury is bad enough that it requires surgery.
5. Avoid Driving If Possible
Cold weather doesn’t only make for icy sidewalks, but for dangerous driving conditions. Winter weather is beautiful, but can make driving difficult due to icy or snowy roads, which is especially dangerous at night. And like I mentioned earlier many people will be consuming alcohol New Year’s Eve night so to stay safe, and try to avoid driving all together. But if you do have to drive, again absolutely do not drink or drive, and don’t allow your friends to. There are many ways you can avoid drinking and driving which include but are not limited to asking a friend to stay at their place, or get a hotel room walking distance of where you plan to party.
Bottom line is no matter how you choose to spend your New Year’s Eve, safety should be your top priority. “While it’s important to have fun, keeping a level head and not getting injured or taken advantage of should be a primary consideration,” says Dr. Edelstein. Which if you ask me seems like an accomplishment worth celebrating. Hopefully 2021 won’t suck, but who knows since it seems like every year has gotten worse since 2016. Sus, since a certain Cheeto became president that year.
writer, filmmaker, and hipster overlord