Managing Alcohol at Christmas
Managing Alcohol at Christmas can be incredibly important for many of us who like a drink, struggle with drinking, who are not used to it or who don’t want to drink. In our society much of our lives can be centred around drinking or places where you can drink, particularly so before the pandemic. We drink to celebrate, we drink to commiserate or commemorate. We drink because it’s a hot day or its freezing outside. Drinking alcohol can be a central part of our culture, our family our friendship groups or simply our daily routine. Christmas and its festivities with extra pressure from family and friends can be a trigger point. This blog considers different tips for how you can manage your alcohol at Christmas time no matter your situation.
5 Tips if you struggle with Drinking
- Don’t buy more drink than you want to drink over the festive period. When you go shopping for your alcohol make a budget and plan what you want to buy. Ask for someone else to go with you or to whom you can be accountable.
- We are living in an increasingly cashless society, only taking out the money you want to spend can be hard these days. Consider setting up an account specifically for the purpose of going out with a set amount of money in it that you can spend.
- Have alcohol free days, and when you do drink don’t start drinking too early in the day. Set a time that you are happy to start drinking and don’t start before that. Make sure that you eat something before you drink. Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks. Make sure you have plenty of soft drink options in the house. Pace yourself, try to keep to one drink every half an hour or hour for example. Don’t drink out of bottles or cans pour what you are drinking into a glass so it’s clear what you are having.
- Think about what you are drinking and consider alternatives that have a lower strength. Different drinks will have different options of strength, choose a lower strength. Or choose a completely different drink. If you drink wine, maybe choose fruit cider instead it has a large volume and a lower strength.
- Don’t drink secretly, don’t hide what you are doing. Where appropriate ask for help, whether that be a friend you can call on if you need to leave a situation, or someone you can talk to if you feel you are drinking too much and you need support. Consider professional help if you need it there are some resources below.
The above tips can be useful and applicable if you like to drink and don’t want to go to far or if you are not used to drinking and want to have good control over your drinking, below are 5 tips for how to deal with alcohol over the Christmas period if you don’t want to drink.
5 Tips if you don’t want to drink
- Practice saying No for when drinks are offered. Practice with a friend or family member if needed. You don’t need to justify or explain your decision in any way, simply say “No thank you, I don’t drink.”
- Make sure you have alternatives available. Whether you are in your own home or going out to someone else’s home make sure you have non alcoholic alternatives that you can turn to.
- If you are choosing not to drink because drinking is an issue for you, write down all the reasons you have for not drinking, positive and negative, keep this handy on your person or pinned up in your home, somewhere that you can easily access it and remind yourself why you are choosing not to drink.
- If appropriate arrange that you can speak with a friend, family member or professional, if you find that you are struggling with saying no to alcohol.
- Plan fun things to do for yourself over the festive period, maybe this is meeting with friends, going for walks, visiting places you love, connecting with people online. Plan and arrange events that you are looking forward to that will give you the motivation to say no to alcohol.
What if you need extra help?
Whatever your situation you may find that you need extra help, perhaps you have had a lapse or you are really struggling. If you do take a look at some of these helpful resources below.
Thank you for reading this blog, if you would like to make an appointment with Paul for Counselling, Psychotherapy or Supervision, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.