Planning Christmas drinking prevents that sinking feeling

It’s that time of the year again when Christmas drinking takes off

All the Christmas ads are already appearing on TV.  The junk mail coming in the door with special offers on Christmas drinks. The invites to sessions and office Christmas parties. All of us trying to control our drinking can find the pressure to take part in Christmas drinking tough.

We’re much more likely to wake up with that sinking feeling of yet another hangover.

Fail to plan and prepare to fail

As Roy Keane famously said

“Fail to plan and prepare to fail”

So our Christmas job list should always include a task to plan how we’re going to manage our Christmas drinking.

What works for you?

A big problem is the perception there is only one right way to control our drinking that works for everybody. So not drinking at all seems to be the only option. That can work for some people.

For other people the pressure of not drinking means they actually end up giving in. Then they drink too much and end up with a hangover.

The only right way is the way that works for you personally

This is different for everybody so we need to understand what works for us.

Good questions to ask are

Should I cut out Christmas drinking totally or can I drink a little?

When am I most likely to drink too much?

Who am I with when I drink too much or am I drinking on my own?

How do I feel when I start drinking too much?

When I’ve controlled my drinking in the past what did I do?

You might find our course Janus useful if you’re finding it difficult to decide.

Decide what you’re going to do

Once you’ve decided whether you are going to drink or not, start planning exactly what you’re doing to do. For example

  • Practise saying no
  • Have one drink and then a glass of water
  • Have a drink that looks alcoholic but is n’t. e.g. alcohol free wines (check out with the venue in advance if they have these)
  • Stick to alcohol drinks with low levels of alcohol
  • Organise a supportive friend to ring you at the Christmas party at a set time saying your child/pet is sick so you have to go
  • Bring your car with you if you know you won’t drink and drive (plan your exit though if you don’t want to drive boozy pals home)
  • Only have alcohol free drinks in your house
  • Plan some enjoyable alcohol free activities with supportive pals

Focus on the positives

Because we’re brainwashed by advertising into thinking alcohol makes us happy. It can be a really difficult time with all that Christmas drinking.

So every day it’s really important to take five minutes every day to think about the positives of controlling your drinking.

Don’t think about it in a negative way as that does not work as well.

e.g. It’s better to think

“I’m going to really enjoy catching up on the soaps in peace and quiet tomorrow morning”

Rather then

“I don’t want to have a hangover in the morning”

Brainwash yourself into understanding you’re not the problem

As we’ve previously written we’re all brainwashed into thinking drinking is normal. So we need to hear opposite views.

I find short videos poking fun at our drink culture really help me to realise I’m not the only one who does not enjoy drinking.

Good videos included

The Irish intervention


I don’t drink poison

Every time I watch these, they really make me laugh. They also make me realise just how mad our drinking culture is.

So plan your approach to Christmas drinking and avoid that stinking feeling.

For more tips on Christmas drinking click here

This post was written by Carol

As some who gets hangovers lasting a week, Carol never drank too much - Once she got to a sensible age! However as a patient with an auto immune illness, since she was a teenager she has to drink very little. So she really understands how Irish society makes this very difficult. Carol is responsible for all aspects of Lifewise operations that Valerie and Angela do not cover.

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