Hi SIN Says,
With the pubs and clubs opening again, I am anxious about being in a social setting and drinking again. It has been so long since I have been on a night out and don’t know what to expect. I want to go out and socialise, but I fear for my safety. I also do not like the feeling of being tired and hungover. Do you have any advice?
Dear Apprehensive Student,
Thanks so much for getting in touch. I would like to reassure you that what you are feeling is completely normal. Many of us are very overwhelmed with the sudden lifting of restrictions and a certain return to ‘normality’ once more. I have compiled a list of tips for reducing stress on a night out below;
- Put yourself first: Don’t feel pressured to go out if you are not feeling up to it and don’t apologise for doing what is best for you. There will be plenty of opportunities to go out in future if you want to.
- Have a plan of action: This includes organising a way in and out of town in advance, where you will be going and who you will be with. This will give you peace of mind for the night ahead and ensure everyone is safe coming home.
- Drink your water: Ensure that you drink plenty of water before and after your night out to keep hydrated and perhaps reduce the effects of your unwanted hangover. Also, leave a bottle of water beside your bed for the next morning.
- Food: Avoid drinking on an empty stomach and make time for a meal before you go out. Pasta and bread are my go-to foods for lining the stomach.
- Keep an eye on your friends: It is easy to get separated from your friends on a night out but please watch out for each other and stay in a group where possible. Avoid walking anywhere alone and always mind your drinks.
- Know your limits: If you haven’t been out in a while, it is likely that your alcohol tolerance may have lowered. Take it easy, pace yourself and include a few glasses of water between drinks.
- Cash: Always have cash on you as well as your bank card in case you need to get a taxi or have issues with your bank account.
- You don’t have to drink: Not drinking alcohol is your own personal choice so if you choose to opt out of drinking, remember you can still have a good time with your friends.
- Appearance: Feeling confident in your appearance will often help your self-esteem on a night out. Take your time getting ready and choose an outfit you feel good in. If you are not feeling that confident, try to fake it until you make it.
- Enjoy: The most important thing is to enjoy yourself. After a very tough two years, a chance to relax and unwind is the least you deserve. So make the most of your night out, stay safe and have fun!
If you have any ideas up for discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.