Drink Wise, Age Well: Top Tips for the Festive Period
There's a lot more to Christmas than alcohol, and for those who are trying to quit or cut-down it can be a difficult time of year. We're here to help and have put together some top tips to keep you on track and where you want to be.
Here our some of our key tips. Enjoy!
Keep congratulating yourself: You have taken a brave step to stop drinking and will hopefully be reaping the many benefits (improved sleep and mood, more energy etc.) so remember to pat yourself on the back.
Avoid the boozy parties: If you are at an early stage in your recovery you may be best to avoid parties and events where alcohol is flowing freely. At this time of year it may be a bit harder to refuse alcohol when everyone else is in the festive spirit. You may also find it more challenging to be around drunk people as this might trigger difficult memories or feelings.
Identify a supportive circle around you: You may or may not want to share your recovery journey with other people as unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma attached to problem drinking. However, where possible, identify close friends and family members you know will be supportive. They can hopefully be there for a walk, or coffee when you are struggling.
Rediscover or learn a new hobby: This will fill your time, provide some structure and help you meet new people outside your drinking circle of friends. There are so many activities to do that don’t include alcohol especially around Christmas - cinema, carol concerts, Christmas markets.
Look at non-alcohol options: Alcohol-free and low alcohol drinks are becoming popular due to increasing demand. It is slow progress, but there is a cultural shift around our relationship with alcohol, with thanks to advocacy groups such as One year No Beer and Club Soda and many people now want to enjoy socialising without the added ABV (alcohol by volume).
Access Digital support there are now many online communities of people like you, trying to stay on the path to recovery and providing support and tips to each other. Soberistas is a membership site, which offers forums and webinars amongst many other things. Drink Wise, Age Well offers advice, support and web chat at www.drinkwiseagewell.org.uk
Julie Breslin, Head of Programme at Drink Wise, Age Well said, “Christmas can be an enjoyable time for many, but for those who have experienced problems with their drinking and are trying to stay alcohol free it can be a minefield. Be mindful of this when planning staff parties and family get-togethers and try to explore alternative options that everyone can enjoy, including those recovering from alcohol problems.”