Five Ways To Drink Less — Or Nothing — At Your Holiday Party

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naked mind

Holiday parties are in full swing and that means the alcohol is flowing too. Colorado author Annie Grace, a veteran of New York's marketing scene, drank daily. It got to be too much and in her new book, "The Naked Mind," tells of how she went alcohol-free.

Here are her tips if you want to follow suit:

1. Hydrate: "Once you have a glass in your hand, and are feeling refreshed, your desire for a drink may disappear. When you have a drink in your hand, people are less likely to ask if you want one."

2. Be mindful of your motivation for drinking: "Bring your relationship with alcohol back into conscious thought by asking yourself a few questions before you imbibe. Think of a child's birthday party -- complete fun with no booze. Simply reflect on the validity of this reason before having a drink. You may be surprised to realize you don't want one after all."

3. Change your mindset: "If you want to drink less and have no regrets this holiday season, don't think about it as though you are missing out, but rather think about what you gain with this simply decision: clarity, better health, enjoyable mornings."

4. Be prepared to say, "No:" "If someone asks you specifically if you want a beer or any alcoholic beverage, you can say, 'Not right now, but do you have any water? I'm dehydrated.'"

5. Don't make the conversation bigger than it needs to be: "Giving a health reason can result in the drinker feeling judged or looked down upon. You've raised the bar. You don't want to put yourself in a situation where the host asks, 'Why,' as there are a few answers that don't result in making the conversation awkward. If you simply say, 'No thanks' or 'I'm OK,' the host will surely ask, 'Are you sure?' If people do react strongly to you not drinking, it's important to realize their reactions are probably not actually about you. More likely they feel the uncomfortable about their own decisions and you've brought this discomfort to the surface by saying, 'No.'"