How to Survive Christmas Sober

So, your sober curious and trying to survive Christmas? Introducing new habits to old environments can be tricky! As humans we are innately tribal beings supporting group cohesion, so going against the grain can be tough. Taken from dozens of journals, I’d like to share with you a few of my favourite tricks to staying sober, happy and surviving this Christmas.  

1) Find Your Drink!
Introducing the “Mocktail”. Deliciously tasty non-alcoholic treats. It’s important to find a drink that you like and one that you can drink over again. Find something you look forward to quench your thirst with. Worried about feeling like a teenager with a lemonade in hand, Mocktails offer a delicious alternative, and when placed side by side with their counterpart the Cocktail, you wouldn’t know the difference. There are a huge variety of mocktail recipes online including those winter warmers; the non-alcoholic take on Eggnog and Warm Spiced Apple. Just because a mocktail is non-alcoholic doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Make something special this Christmas.  Find recipes here
2) Remind yourself of why you are choosing not to drink, and own it!
You don’t have to make excuses. Be bold. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed, remind yourself of all the benefits to you of choosing not to drink. Take note of what you value and how all those things would benefit from you not drinking.  
3) Have a plan for the next morning
Scanning the internet this appears to be a must. It doesn’t have to be extravagant; it could simply be a plan to complete a home workout or a 5km run. Feel great the next day, start the morning energised and reaping the rewards of a good night’s sleep whilst friends and family nurse their weary heads. It’ll also give you something to look forward to and helps to keep you focused the night/day before. Make your Boxing Day a day to remember for all the right reasons. Find enjoyment in those Boxing Day “Blow the cobwebs away” wintery walks, rather than dragging yourself around sluggishly thinking only of the sofa and getting your head down.  
4) Enjoy the power of no regrets.
I loved this one! And so true. Whilst all your friends and family are slowly becoming more intoxicated on Zoom calls and headed straight for those “oops” moments, take comfort in knowing the next morning you will have no regrets! Secrets intact, I give you permission to be smug my friend.  
5) Be prepared for questions
Whilst you shouldn’t feel the need to justify your actions it might be helpful to have a few responses ready for those inevitable, “What do you mean you’re not drinking” moments. Friends and Family can be quite persuasive. Stay strong! Having some answers ready will avoid those wavering moments where you could easily be swayed. Remember what is important to you. Be confident in your choices.  
6) Whatever you chose to do, whoever you chose to spend time with, Zoom or bubbled, make sure it’s for the right reason.
You do you! Don’t be a sheep and just follow the crowd. Consider if you really want to go somewhere or see that certain someone. What do you get out of it? Like I’ve mentioned before, introducing new habits into old environments can be tricky.  As a general rule you should be able to list at least 3 reasons “for” going or doing something, before actually putting yourself out there and rocking up; you love the company, it’s your favourite place to go to and you feel safe. There is nothing worse than feeling forced into doing something or feeling judged. Be confident my friend and blossom in company that allows you to do you.  
7) Be honest with friends and family before the festive celebrations.  
Tell your friends and family that you chose not to drink. Conversations whilst sober are so much easier compared to when one person is intoxicated! Explain to your friends and family your reasons for not wanting to drink and hopefully this will avoid those tricky questions and disapproving looks in situ. More and more people are becoming sober curious, you never know they might join you next time around!  
8) Always have an escape plan
Leave the festivities on a high! Who knew drunk people could be so loud and repetitive? Leave that Zoom call or be your own taxi ride home. Inevitably, like with any night, you’ll hit the point where your just not feeling it and you’ve had enough. Insert escape plan here! No longer enjoying drunk friends and family members gossiping and spilling their hearts out. Run for the hills. You want to enjoy the festivities, not feel as though they are a chore and resent them.  
9) Be Smug!
No oops moments. No embarrassing moments. No extra taxi costs. Sleeping in your own bed and actually sleeping. No morning hangover. You’re smashing it!

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Laura Bell, Drink Less Lead

December 21, 2020

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