Did you get alcohol-free or sober curious over the pandemic? Is this your first Christmas without alcohol? The holiday period can be really activating for our nervous systems – family, socialising pressure, stress, and so on. It's a big fat lie that alcohol relieves stress, even if that belief takes a bit of shifting. Your body goes into hyperdrive as soon as it consumes alcohol, prioritising the removal of it from your system above ALL else. This leads to the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin - which are like pouring petrol on the flames of our anxiety and stress.
If you REALLY want to have a stress-free Christmas, the following ideas can help you to not only keep booze at bay but have blast while you do so!
If you are not feeling it. Don't go. You are under no obligation. Your early alcohol-free journey may not be ready for socialising yet. Don't push it. Kids & Covid are great excuses. You can organise to do something different with the guests or hosts at another less busy time like coffee, breakfast or a walk. Relish in your first experience of JOMO (joy of missing out) - I have it down to a fine art!
Christmas is the perfect time for cameo appearances. It's the silly season and everyone is mega busy. It's perfectly OK just to drop in. Say 'Hi' stay for a bit and make a swift exit. Most people won't even notice you're gone. I know -"rude!"
FIDFO: Fly In - Dazzle - Fly Out
If your Christmas traditions tend to be booze-centric, create new ones. Wouldn't it be boring if everything stayed the same. Depending where you live in the world, mine now revolves around the beach, the food and the family. I still have a bucks fizz/ mimosa in the morning just made with Alcohol-Free bubbles. If alcohol-free alternatives are not triggering for you this can be a great addition for Christmas.
We all need a little bit of help when the shit hits the fan. Make sure you have your toolbox to hand.
Visualisation is an awesome tool for the afore mentioned box. Run through the whole event before hand from getting ready before hand through to getting home and feeling mega-proud of yourself. What story do you have as to why you are not drinking? What will you order to drink? What time will you be leaving? How will you be getting home? If you are arriving with multiple people how will they know your plan? Is there a place you can get some time out? The better prepared you are the less likely you are to have a drink.