Navigate The Holiday Season, Staying Sober.
OK kids, buckle up.
This is going to be a different holiday season for many reasons!
While there might not be many of the drunken company Christmas parties of the past, you can be pretty sure that many people have been over-indulging on alcoholic drinks this last year, so there will be no slowing down this holiday season. And so, you're likely this season to find yourself in a situation where there are some heavy drinkers around you, so lets prepare for that now! Below are five simple tricks you can use to stay sober, when everyone else is not.
1. Brace Yourself Mentally
Nothing beats a strong mindset. So if you're not feeling strong, then let people know not to bring alcohol to your house, or when you are expected at a friend's house - skip the visit if you're not in the right head space - you'll thank yourself in the morning.
If you are feeling strong, then reinforce those feelings and beliefs. Personally, at the beginning of my alcohol-free journey, I would line up incentive rewards for myself for being strong - for example I would promise myself a new pair of shoes or some other item if I managed to stay sober during the whole month. Nowadays, bringing my own non-alcoholic drinks is reward enough - but bribes work great at the beginning.
2. Come Prepared
Nowadays, I always come prepared. For weekend trips, I bring a "wine tote" (coming soon to our store!) full of non-alcoholic and dealcholized wine selections. Usually, I'll have a red, a white, a rose and a sparkling. I also bring my wine preserver, so I can save a bottle and make it last more than one day.
For parties, where I'm only coming for a few hours - I usually leave my tote in the car (yes I can drive to parties now that I'm sober all night!) and after introductions/hellos, I'll go back to my car and select some choices. Leaving them in the car while I make my entrance, allows me to avoid looking like I'm being overly picky (i.e. bringing my own drinks). Be stealthy, but come prepared.
3. Busy Yourself
Idle hands are the devil's workshop, as they say. So now be sure to busy yourself with lots of activities this holiday season. Going for walks, chopping wood, cooking new recipes, writing Christmas cards, and other long neglected tasks or books - whatever your fancy - but be sure to line up a choice of activities to keep you busy.
4. Exercise Frequently
Even if it's just a walk, get outside everyday. If you have space for a yoga mat or even a home gym - set yourself up with a variety of activity choices. Exercising each day will reinforce the athlete in you - and athletes make smart choices (generally speaking) - you can too! Your mindset will be strengthened by the routine of exercise - it's an easy win.
5. Line Up Rewards
Your hard work and discipline deserve to be rewarded.
Personally, I'd reward yourself on Jan 2nd - for being sober all December, then again on Feb 1st - for being sober all January (i.e. Dry January). I'll never forget that I quit alcohol as a challenge for Dry January, and am still dry today!
It's a great time to start! February is also a great month to stand apart from the crowd, as many people finish Dry January, and resume their alcoholic habits.
Anyway, I hope these ideas above give you some strength this holiday season. Let me know what else you do in the comments below.
To Your Health And Happiness!
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Plus, Here is Some Suggested Christmas Reading...