Christmas is my favourite time of year. Nothing quite compares to the aroma of mulled wine, “Last Christmas” playing repeatedly on the radio and your neighbourhood adorned with sparkly decorations. And with all this festive cheer comes a full social calendar of parties. Before you know it, your diary is filling up with events and next thing you know, not only are you going to your work Christmas party, you’ve also signed up to your friend’s work Christmas parties and just about any party you can get an invite to. But having fun and forgetting about your personal safety can quickly turn this joyful time into a nightmare. So here are some useful tips to ensure you stay safe while enjoying the festive season this Christmas:
Plan your journey in advance: Always make sure you know how you are going to get home ahead of time. Whether that means catching a uber or jumping on a train. If you are travelling on public transport late, wherever possible, make sure you don’t travel alone. Travelling solo can make you more vulnerable and there is always safety in numbers.
Stay aware of your surroundings: If you find yourself having to walk home alone late, make sure you are vigilant and stay aware at all times. In the UK, statistics show crime exponentially increases over the Christmas period. By not being aware, you are telling potential criminals that you are an easy target and that they have enough time to pick-pocket or steal from you. Security companies in London advise avoiding unlit or quiet areas, keeping your mobile phone hidden while you are out and observing your environment if you have headphones in.
Hold onto your personal belongings: You want to go and have a boogie on the dance floor, but don’t want to be weighed down by all your stuff. So you leave them at the table thinking they will be ok for a minute, only to come back and they’re gone. By leaving them unattended, opportunistic thieves will think Christmas has come earlier and there is nothing worse than having your phone stolen or going through the hassle of cancelling all your bank cards.
Don’t Drink and Drive: There are more cars on the road over the Christmas period and often more people driving longer distances. Combine this with higher alcohol consumption and naturally the temptation to drink and drive increases. Whatever you do, don’t take the risk. Drink driving fatalities are rife over the festive period and it simply isn’t worth the risk. Never try to drive a car after drinking and if someone offers to give you a lift home, make sure they haven’t been drinking before accepting.
Keep an eye on your drink: The drinks are flowing and it’s easy to get distracted and put your glass down somewhere without thinking. If you do need to leave it for any reason, make sure you ask a friend to keep an eye on it for you. Beware of the communal punch, it may look delicious but you never know what could have been mixed in there.
Don’t overdo the punch: Besides embarrassing yourself at the office Christmas party and waking up with a pounding headache, drinking too much can cause your defences to lower and put you in potentially dangerous situations. So without putting a damper on your festive fun, here is some advice learnt the hard way: drink and be merry but remember your limits, try to drink water in between the cocktails and avoid that last nightcap.