In this webinar Laura takes you through planning for Christmas Day, which we know is a worry for many Club Soda members this week.
You may have had a frantic few days of shopping, googling turkey cooking instructions, and dreading the work Christmas party. It may therefore seem tempting, after all that stress and preparation, to indulge in too much food and especially drink over the next few days. But whether you are a mindful drinker or alcohol free, getting through the holidays sober could be a real gift to yourself.
Watch the webinar recording for Laura’s thoughts, and read on for our top 10 tips and tricks for getting through Christmas Day.
1) Plan, Plan, Plan
The first tip is the most important. It is also really simple. Just make sure to think about all the things that might tempt you to drink on Christmas Day, and plan ahead: what will help you in sticking to your goals? And then read the rest of these tips.
2) Stockpile on alcohol free drinks
Get a load of non-alcoholic festive treats in, so that you will have something nice to drink, when everyone else opens their festive bottles. Club Soda has tons of drink ideas, from homemade cocktails, mulled wine alternatives, and many more – read our article on favourite festive drinks.
3) Be ready to answer questions
Depending on who you spend your holidays with, you may need to think of a story. If you expect people to question or even challenge your choice of not drinking, have yours answers ready too. We’ve already listed some ways of saying no.
4) Find the good bits
Getting through anything sober is much easier if you can anticipate the good bits without the alcohol. Rachel Black’s guest blog lists her favourite Christmas activities that don’t include alcohol. You can enjoy the festive food, family and friends, music, presents, and so on.
5) Take some time out
With the best laid plans, your Christmas day will not be filled with nothing but joy. But people are unlikely to notice a short break from it all a few minutes, to be on your own. In his Guardian article, Nick Johnstone talks about feeling shy or awkward, and how they are all ok.
6) No judgement
We hope you will be spending your holidays with people you care about, and who care about you. It is still worth remembering that no one is a mind reader, and people may not quite know what your wishes are. If you feel someone is pressuring you to drink, a polite but firm “please don’t pressure me to drink, I don’t want to” should do the trick.
7) You’ve come this far, keep going
In many ways, the holidays are not that different from the rest of the year. There are always good and bad things, and bits that are just okay. It’s probably not as big a deal as you think it is really, when you think about it. And you’ve already come this far on your journey. Think of the obstacles you’ve overcome, triggers you’ve avoided, things you’ve learned. You do have the strength to manage the holidays too. You might want to read Harriet’s advice, based on her experience of 14 sober Christmases!
8) Challenge the myths
The “alcohol illusion” is at its most powerful at this time of year. But in reality, nobody needs alcohol to have a good time or to celebrate. It is not the contents of your glass that makes a magical festive season. So enjoy the celebrations, and if you want a bit of smugness to go with them, think ahead to the guilt and hangover-free Boxing Day you will get to enjoy!
9) Don’t forget the online community support
You are never on your own. If you find yourself struggling, check in at the Club Soda Facebook group. Someone will always be there, ready to help and support you.
Finally, don’t forget that the holidays are a major milestone in changing your drinking habits, and that fact is worth celebrating. Make the most of everything you enjoy, and take pride in all your hard work.