Last week we wrote about identifying your Christmas drinking triggers, in this post we talk about taking action on Christmas drinking triggers.
As regular readers, will know it’s all about the planning.
Why is planning so important?
In our alcohol obsessed culture where drink is everywhere it’s very easy to drink too much. So it takes effort and advance planning to make sure we’re don’t get sucked down into the glug glug of boozy Christmas drinking.
Everybody’s different so what works for one person may not work for another. So thinking about what will work for you is really important. Once you know what’s going to be your Christmas drinking triggers you can take action. You might find these tips helpful.
Create an advent calendar
Creating an advent calendar covering those days which are most stressful for you can be useful. Lidl sell a range for just €4.99 were you fill each day yourself. You can use this to write little notes or reminders to yourself for different days. Or maybe even put in little gifts to help you stay focused.
To get you started, here‘s a calendar we came across that many people liked. It focuses on happiness.
Office Christmas parties
These can be a real killer as a Christmas drinking trigger. Everybody out to have fun, relax and in many workplaces there’s a free bar. Not drinking means you can be seen as a real killjoy.
One way to avoid this pressure is to ring the venue in advance and see will they be serving no or low alcohol drinks. These can often look like the real thing. So you look like you’re drinking when you’re not actually drinking. Sneaky huh! For suggestions on low alcohol drinks see this post.
For even more tips on office parties click here.
Family events can be real Christmas drinking triggers
If you’re part of a family where socialising consists entirely of sitting around drinking, this can be very tough. It’s easier to take part then sit watching as the conversation gets more and more boring as people start slurring their words.
Also there’s usually one toxic family member present. I’ve heard one woman say we’re all encouraged to cut toxic people out of our lives, so why do we all feel the need to meet up with toxic family members at Christmas? It’s strange all right. So very important to keep our expectations of enjoying toxic family events low!
Here’s a few tips for family events we’ve heard you might find useful.
Not really good manners, but when the event is going to be a long drinking session, arriving late means you cut the amount of drinking time you spend there. And managing your drinking is much more important.
Bring any kids in the event for a short walk in the fresh air
I know we’ve been minding kids all year, so going for a walk in the cold, does not sound appealing. But I’ve found even a little break from the event does wonders. It freshens me up, the kids can be really funny and I always go back in better humour. The other adults always appreciate you more as well.
(Did anyone see the wonderful Toy Show, I’d love a walk and chat with so many of those lovely kids in particular Scott and Grace)
Make a bingo card
In Club Soda, one lady suggested making a bingo card. The bingo card has a range of different tasks on it. Like count the number of people at an event, or talk to someone who is not drinking. Or count the number of times someone mentions a particular word or phrase. Crossing off the bingo card when no one was watching made the event much more interesting.
Line up a friend
So you know an event is really going to be full of Christmas drinking triggers. For example, you’re going to feel really lonely in that crowded room because you’re the only one not drinking. Your sister in law will be making snide comments about your kids, while the brother boasts on and on about his new car. So plan ahead and line up a friend that you can text or WhatsApp when you go to the bathroom. That way you can get a bit of moral support to help with those lonely feelings.
Christmas is not perfect
So make your plans, but remember despite all the pressure around us to have the picture perfect Christmas it really is just another few days and we don’t have to be perfect or even to actually enjoy it!