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  • Writer's pictureFiona Hewkin Counselling

10 Tips to Enjoy Christmas Alcohol and Drug Free

Staying sober and clean at Christmas can be particularly hard, especially if you are used to hitting the booze for the festive season. This blog looks at 10 great tips to stay sober and clean through the festivities.

Wine spilling from glass. Fiona Hewkin Counselling

1. Decide You are Not Going to Drink!

Sounds simple huh? Not so much. Don’t wait to see how you feel. A “maybe” or the old “I’ll decide when I get there” rarely ends well. Make the decision

2. It’s Just Another Day

You may well be used to the concept of One Day at a Time. Let me let you into a secret, Christmas is just another day, with tinsel on it! It’s just another day, treat it like one. If you manage to stay sober in the days before Christmas, you can do it on the day too.

3. Keep Doing What Works

So, what has been working for you so far? Keep doing the things that help you stay on track. Make time to do the things that keep you sane.

4. Reach Out

If you have a sponsor or a sobriety buddy, then talk to them! Give them a ring Christmas morning and run through your plan for the day. Call them at the end of the day and go through what worked and what didn’t. Please don’t think “oh I can’t call them it’s Christmas” you may well be helping them stay sober too.

5. Have a “dry” house

If people are coming to you, it is perfectly ok to tell them it’s a dry Christmas in your home. I have found when we have done this that the only people likely to seriously object are the people who have their own problems with booze. We did it one year. Yes, it annoyed the person who wanted to drink but nobody got drunk and punched anyone. I’m taking that as a win.

6. Prepare your Response

Most people won’t notice if you’re not drinking, but there’s always one who does. They like to urge you to just have one or tell you that you should drink because it’s Christmas. This probably says more about their drink problem than yours! Prepare your answers, I’m tired/driving/not feeling well are all perfectly good explanations.

7. Bring Your Own

If you aren’t certain that friends will have nice, non-alcoholic drinks in for you then take your own. Nothing worse than clutching a glass of the kids squash when everyone else is on the fizz. You deserve nice drinks too!

Remember that half a gallon of high caffeine drinks like cola will give you a nasty jittery buzz. Sparkly water with a slice of lemon looks like a G&T and won’t leave you with a sugar crash.

8. Have an Escape Plan

If you are going out, always have a way to get home when you want to. It’s OK to leave a party early. Drive yourself if you can and always park your car so you can get out without having to ask anyone to move their car and let you out. If you are hosting, make sure you can escape for a break if you need it. Go to another room, walk the dog, call a friend, do whatever you need to make space for yourself.

9. Keep it in Perspective

I know small talk can be excruciating. Chatting with that annoying uncle or doing polite at the office do can feel like nails down a blackboard. Is booze or a line really going to make that better? Play it through to the end, how much of a prat are you likely to make of yourself if you get drunk or high?

10. Be Smug!

Revel in the fact that you are the only person around on boxing day that doesn’t have a hangover! Remember if you are sober the chances of you insulting your boss, snogging someone you shouldn’t or upsetting the family are much much lower! This is a good thing, trust me on this…

Text: You got this! Fiona Hewkin Counselling

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