Submitted Date 12/30/2018

The new year is almost here. Much of the world will be doing something social and celebrating in style on New Year's Eve. So if you're going to pop bottles and tip your glass make sure to have a plan. These six tips will help keep you safe while you ring in the New Year.

1. Safety Net
Once you decide where you're going to celebrate don't forget to tell a few friends and family members. You may stop by several places before you settle in for the night, but some quick texts can save you a lot of grief later on. You may want to warn your check-in list that they'll be getting updates from you. Tell them where you are and who you're with each location change. While you're there it's also a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings and keep note of who's around you and your group. Staying vigilant won't spoil your fun, I promise.

2. Buddy System
When you're out and about amongst the crowds and good cheer try to stay together. There is safety in numbers and it's easier to keep track of everyone if you can actually keep an eye on them. A small residential get-together won't pose as big of a risk. But public places can prove difficult to navigate with NYE crowds and high spirits.

3. Designated Driver
Alcohol is almost a prerequisite on New Year's Eve. Many people will be drinking. Some people will be drinking and driving. Don't be in the driver's seat, passenger seat, or the pedestrian crossing paths with a drunk driver. Have a designated driver if you can. If you're driving yourself drink in moderation, or not at all, and watch out for other drivers on the road. If you're walking and/or taking public transportation be careful of intoxicated drivers and stay alert around intoxicated people. Leave lots of wiggle room and extra time for ride shares or taxis, as they will be very busy and charging surge pricing.

4. Watch Your Drinks
It sucks to say it but you need to be vigilant around your drinks. Keep visual tabs on your beverage as much as possible to make sure you don't ingest anything you don't intend to. If you can pour your own drinks. If not, take from a tray or serving area that is servicing everyone, not just the ladies. Take your drink with you or leave with a trusted friend if you need to scamper off to the loo, or need a free hand for a moment. If you set your drink down somewhere keep watch over it even if you stay in the vicinity. Don't leave it unattended just as a precaution.

5. Count Your Drinks
Speaking of keeping track of your drinks, try to keep a tally of the number of cocktails you have each hour, and in total throughout the night. Attempt to imbibe one alcoholic beverage per hour, if you can. Also make sure to drink plenty of water, particularly in between each drink. You'll use the restroom more often, but you're less likely to over do it New Year's Eve and more likely to feel better New Year's Day.

6. Eat Enough
New Year's Eve is typically the last day of freedom before the restrictive and lifestyle changing requirements of a New Year's resolution. So it's easy to indulge and go overboard the night before. But don't be afraid to eat too much. In fact, it's better to overeat than undereat on NYE. Eat normally throughout the day so you have some leeway if you can only get in a few hors d'oeuvres or apps before the drinks start flowing. But in any case, never drink on an empty stomach. And especially on New Year's, don't stop eating too early to make it through the night.

January 1st is the dawn of a new day, a new year, and maybe a new you. But before you begin your New Year's Eve night, go through your checklist so you stay safe during the celebration. Feel free to have fun with friends and family and watch the ball drop with a glass of champagne. But wherever you go, know and relay where you are, who you're with, and how you're getting there and back. Enjoy the festivities, the refreshments, and the feeling of being alive in 2019! You made it!

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