Better Drinking After Work Leads to Happier Hours

We spend a lot of time with our co-workers and at some point they begin to feel more like family or close friends. It can be hard to create a better drinking culture outside of work, especially after a long shift when you’re thinking, “I’d love a drink!”

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I used to work at a very popular bar and restaurant in a little party town in California called Chico. After work—no matter what shift it was—you could bet at least a couple coworkers would be going out drinking or migrating over to our bar. The pressure to hang out and be one of the cool kids was immense. I didn’t want to miss out on all the fun they seemed to be having and I often fell prey to it only to regret it the next day (#becausehangoverssuck). When I changed jobs, I was surprised to find the pressure and FOMO (fear of missing out) was still there, but in a totally different way! Instead of sharing drunk stories and drinking habits I wasn’t fond of, my new coworkers made me jealous of the awesome drinking culture they shared with each other! Who doesn’t want to hang out at a bar but manage to wake up hangover-free? Here are my top four takeaways from my new coworkers culture:

Slow up on the shots

Let's face it, liquor in ounce-gulp form can be hard on your body. You take one shot and feel totally fine so you take another… and another… and, why not, maybe another. Then WHAM! They all hit you at once. By simply changing my drink of choice to lower-ABV beer, wine, or a mixologist-worthy cocktail, I found it much easier to gauge and pace how much I was consuming. Plus, I found that when I drank something more filling it became much easier to listen to my body when it was getting full.

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Avoid the “What?!”

Often after a busy day (or evening) at work, my friends and I would head to the typical overly-packed bar where we could hardly even hear one another. We always enjoyed some live music or the social aspect of the local watering hole but it wasn’t very conducive to co-worker interaction. So what are you left to do when you can’t hear each other? If you’re like me, I’d order another drink and end up back on the dance floor because it compensated for the awkwardness of just standing there unable to hear anything that was being shouted at me over the latest [insert popular artist] single. You know what I’m talking about: Having to repeat “What?!” over and over again because you can’t hear a thing only to finally just smile, laugh out of courtesy, and nod in agreement at hopefully something that reply actually works for. By going to a quieter setting  not only will you you find yourself drinking less because you’re chatting more, you’ll get to know your coworkers more too.

The $1 happy hour

Have you ever worked an entire shift and realized you might have drank one glass of water that whole time, if you were lucky? From all the energy you’ve spent waiting on customers or meeting with clients,  your body is practically begging you to stay hydrated. So if you want to catch your breath during post-work drinks, give your body a hug with a free glass of water. And remember, it’s good form to tip on it if that’s all you’re drinking.

Become a master of leaving parties

No one ever wants to be known as the party-pooper, and we’re not always in a position to stay out as late or drink as much as everyone else. So, what can you do? Become a master of leaving parties. You don’t always have to go out, and you’re not going to be any less of a valuable employee if you go home early. Make a casual appearance, have one drink (or two, or none), give a colleague a high-five, and then politely excuse yourself. Take care of you (and your job).

 
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About the Author

Chelsey Hnyp is a craft beer enthusiast who loves adventures, Star Wars, the San Jose Sharks and her cat, Torpedo. Recently engaged to her best friend and fellow craft beer lover. She loves brewing and drinking beer as well as sharing her passion with others.