Nothing goes down better than an ice-cold beer on a hot summer patio, except maybe a cool Mint Julep on a wrap-around porch, or a plastic cup of chilled white wine at the beach. Let’s face it, summer and booze go together like hookers and blow. That is to say – they’re a dangerous combination.
The sun is at its hottest between the hours of 10am and 4pm, so that’s when you’re most at risk for the further dehydration that hot weather can add to your drinking. Take into account that your body is already struggling to keep up its fluids because of the heat. You’re perspiring in places you don’t usually in the winter, letting a much higher percentage of your body’s water leave you high and dry. Now pour alcohol on this situation, and you’ve made it, and your judgment, instantly worse.
State of Mind
Have you ever noticed how you can feel light-headed on just one glass of wine or a beer when you’re out in the sun? That’s because it’s a lot easier to get drunk in the sunshine. While it feels good in the moment, drinking in the heat and especially in direct sunlight can make you sick in a number of ways.
And the problem with symptoms of heatstroke such as dizziness, disorientation, nausea, vomiting and weakness, is that they’re pretty much the same as the symptoms of being drunk, only way less fun. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your state of mind. How do you feel after your first glass of wine? Listen to your body. Would a glass of water be a good idea before you resume drinking? Should you hang out in the shade for a while or maybe take a dip in the pool to give your body a refreshing break from the booze?
Enlist Your Friends
Sometimes your best friends can be your worst enemies when it comes to ‘peer pressure.’ I’m not talking about funneling cans of Budweiser at a frat party – I’m talking about that adult peer pressure where your host is walking around topping up everyone’s glasses all barbeque long. While this might be good manners, it’s bad news for you.
Don’t be fooled by the uncounted glass refill! I remember once throwing up incessantly after a summer party and thinking, “But I only had one glass of wine!” Yes, one glass, but many top-ups. More likely I drank a bottle, and the sun on my head dehydrated me further, sending me into the bummer zone for the rest of the night.
So learn my lesson and tell your friends (and host) what your booze strategy is – don’t laugh, we’ve all had this conversation before. It’s probably more common with women than men, but there’s always a point at which people discuss their buzz management. “I’ll have my next beer in half an hour – I think I’m pretty buzzed,” or “I better have a water first.” Phrases to live by.
Don’t Kid Yourself
Abstinence, while honorable, is not realistic. You’re not going to stop drinking. It’s summer! And you work hard. You deserve to let loose and have some fun. What you don’t deserve is to be lying in bed staring up at the ceiling trying to get the world to stop spinning because you misjudged your alcohol / sun ratio. Instead, take the heat into account and slow it down.
The important thing to remember is that you’re at the party or gathering to have fun, not to get wasted. Keep your drink at waist height, not up near your mouth, and be conscious of the speed at which you’re drinking. As the drinks add up, it’s more and more difficult to make good judgment calls, but a good rule of thumb is to take a longer break after each consecutive drink in order to re-hydrate and reassess. And of course you’ll benefit from the added bonus of not making an ass of yourself.
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Rhonda M Farrah MA, DRWA
Rhonda M. Farrah M.A., DRWA Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Spiritual Teacher is dedicated to the practice of Health & Wellness Empowerment, assisting individuals in developing life strategies to help them help themselves. Rhonda’s Health & Wellness Empowerment Coaching includes programs that allow us to become as healthy, fit and trim…in body, mind and spirit…as we choose to be. Rhonda advocates all Wellness…Personal, Physical, Environmental, & Financial Wellness…NOW!
Rhonda M. Farrah, MA, DRWA
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