So it’s totally understandable if you are feeling a little anxious about Christmas and have some jitters about your ability to stay sober in the weeks to come, if you are worried, it's time to work on that mindset and get excited about Christmas.
Having an alcohol-free Christmas is easier (and more fun) than you think. You already know what a pissed up Christmas feels like. You’ve been there and done that. This year there will be no wasting time drinking, falling over the Christmas Tree, or making a show of yourself on the works Chrismas zoom party. Instead, you’ll be ticking things off your to-do list like a warrior and feel good because it’s not a stressful, hungover rush.
This will be the year you discover that you don’t need a mind-altering drug in order to have a good time. This will be the year you create beautiful new memories, show up for the people you care about, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and feel incredibly proud of yourself.
Here are some top tips to help you cope this Christmas
- Reach out to your support network: Join us at Bee Sober, there is always somebody on hand to help out, give advice and listen to you when you need it
- Make a plan: Carefully consider events you plan to attend and discuss strategies for coping with temptation.
- Stay away from triggering places: it is OK to turn down invitations to any familiar hotspots where you used to get smashed. Avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants, or other places if you have to. Do not be tempted to join in or test yourself.
- Don't bow to peer pressure: You have heard it all before "oh come on, don’t be so boring!’, ‘Just sneak a vodka into that coke and ‘Are you sure you don't want just one shot"?’. At first, this can be intimidating but remember you don't have to explain to people why you’re choosing to not drink. It’s your body and how you choose to care for it is as up for discussion or off the table as you want it to be. Have your answer ready though, whether it be a firm No, Thank you, or that you are taking antibiotics the choice is yours.
- Devote time to yourself: Get some exercise, do some charity work, watch your fave movie, download a good book – do what you need to do to keep your mind occupied.
- Know when to say enough: Don’t be afraid to call it a night and go home.
- Reward yourself: Whenever you pass up a drink or other substance give yourself a high five and treat yourself for making the right decision.
- Create new traditions: Rather than worrying about what you are going to do instead of having that usual Bucks Fizz at breakfast or Baileys after dinner why not create new traditions that didn’t include alcohol like a trip to the theatre, Nosecco with Fresh OJ at breakfast and maybe a long walk after dinner.
- Take your own tipple: If you are out visiting family and friends why not keep some alcohol free drinks handy
- One day at a time: Each day of the Christmas/New year period is just another 24 hours, so try not to give it any more power than that. Enjoy your Christmas and New Year, one day at a time.
- Prepare a response: Some people won’t even notice that you’re not drinking, but it’s worth preparing a response for those who do ask about it. I’m driving / I’m tired / I’m not feeling well are all good explanations. Respond confidently and then move the conversation on.
- Be positive and if you think you struggle with the whole ‘think positive’ thing then fake it until you make it! get your nails done, do your hair. have a beard trim, If you feel good on the outside, it will help you feel more confident inside.
- Fake it until you make it! Keep smiling and force yourself to make an effort. act like you’re having a fabulous time and who knows – it might just happen! Sobriety is a mind game so bat away any thoughts about being a sober loser or missing out. and remember you have got this.
- Be Mindful: Use Christmas as a time of reflection. What’s worked well so far? don’t go beating yourself about things in the past just try and learn from them, forgive yourself, and move on. Mindfulness is such a powerful tool over the Christmas period. It not only helps you deal with any cravings and negative thinking that may crop up, but it also helps you experience the joys of this time of year. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment without resistance. It gives you a chance to truly experience life instead of going through each day on autopilot.
Not drinking alcohol gives you a different point of view over Christmas. It certainly highlights how much alcohol is part of Christmas. The first Christmas without a drink is probably the hardest and you do need to be firm, The reality is that you can do it and this Christmas can still be the best ever, despite the fact that no alcohol will pass your lips. Treat yourself to
- Better sleep
- Clearer skin
- No hangovers
- Reduced anxiety
- Stronger immune system
- More energy
- More money
- More time
- More creativity
- More patience
- A better mood
- A better memory
You get the idea…..
Find a Bee Sober Group near you: If you would love to connect with like-minded sober people, join one of our Bee Sober Ambassador-led groups. There are groups across the UK and beyond, and new ones are popping up all the time!
Article Source: Lisa Elsworth (Co-Founder of Bee Sober)