Every year, workplaces have holiday parties. You probably don’t really want to go but you know you should. Instead of thinking of it as a party, think of it as a networking event with your coworkers. Plan to talk to each person at the party to ensure that they know who you are before they leave.

  • Eat Before You Go – The best way to handle a holiday party that probably gets the food catered with high fat, salt, and sugar is to eat something before you go to the party. Depending on whether it’s a sit-down meal or a buffet, create a game plan in advance based on the menu.
  • Socialize More – Instead of spending your time eating and drinking, spend the time socializing with your co-workers. It will take you some time to talk to each person. Think of a question you’ll ask each person so that they can spend their time talking to you and you can spend your time listening to them.
  • Dance – If there is dancing, you should be on the dance floor. When you’re dancing, you’re moving, happy, and having fun. You’re not thinking of the food, the drinks, or anything else. Plus, you can help encourage others to get moving with you.
  • Don’t Drink – The only time you should drink alcohol at a work party is during a toast. Even then just take a sip. The rest of the time drink sparkling water with lemon or lime in it. You’ll be glad you did because even though you’re at a party, you’re kind of at work, too.
  • Volunteer – If they ask for volunteers to help with party planning, step up. That way you can have some control over what’s offered in terms of the menu. Remember, you don’t even have to tell people you’re trying to stay healthy during the holidays. Just pick the healthiest food choices available to you at the time.
  • Share – If you really want a fancy dessert that’s being offered, ask yourself if it’s special enough for you to indulge. If it is, find someone to share it with you. If your spouse is with you, let them get the desserts and then you can take just one bite. When you take a bite, savor it, so that you can get the full enjoyment out of it.

Work holiday parties are fraught with pitfalls to start with that have nothing to do with holidays. A holiday party is really designed so that you can celebrate each other and take some time out from work to get to know each other better. In some ways, it’s like team building. If you can think of it this way instead of as a “party” you’re going to be much more successful.