The holidays can be a lovely time of celebration, joy and socialisation. As many holiday events often involve food and drink, it’s not uncommon for alcohol consumption levels to rise during the festive season.
Now’s a great time to consider how you can approach this festive season with an understanding of your preferences and boundaries around drinking – ensuring a meaningful holiday experience.
If you are going to be drinking this festive season, we’ve put together six easy tips below. These strategies form part of an overall harm minimisation approach to alcohol consumption.
Do: Pace Yourself
Make a habit out of pacing yourself by slowing down with smaller sips, pacing out your drinks, and alternating with non-alcoholic drinks. This will help by making you more mindful of your alcohol intake. It’s also wise to sip on water throughout each event to make sure you’re staying hydrated and not at risk of feeling the effects of alcohol.
Don’t: Assume Everyone Around you is Drinking
While you may have a healthy relationship with alcohol, this may not be the case for all your friends, family members or colleagues. In fact, with many Australians struggling with alcoholism, the holiday period can be challenging for those working on their sobriety or choosing not to consume alcohol for personal reasons.
If there isn’t a level of consideration and awareness at play at events, this can lead to uncomfortable social environments. You can counteract this by creating intentional events as a party host or by bringing kindness and consideration into group events you attend.
If you’re hosting a Christmas event, make sure to offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and enough food. This can help guests who aren’t drinking have an easy option without the need to draw attention to their choice not to drink. Food is also essential for those who are drinking, as a lack of food can increase the impact of alcohol within an individual’s bloodstream.
Do: Keep Track of How Much You’re Drinking
It’s wise to set a limit ahead of time and stick to it. It’s also important to be aware of how many standard drinks there are in your drink, for example, a cocktail may contain two standard drinks.
Even small amounts of alcohol can significantly impact our judgment and coordination. It’s always better to play it safe rather than sorry – if you do find yourself tipsy or drunk, leave the car where it is and find another way home.
Don’t: Drink on an Empty Stomach
If you want to avoid feeling intoxicated quickly, it’s important to eat something before you start drinking. Look for foods that are higher in complex carbohydrates and fibre, as these can help to soak up the alcohol in your system and keep you feeling fuller throughout your event.
Do: Make Your Own Decisions
Is there a particular friend who constantly pressures you into ‘one more round’? Got a family member who’s topping up everyone’s wine glasses without checking?
Regardless of the choices of those around you, your relationship with alcohol is your own. Remember who’s in control of the choice to consume another drink – ultimately, it’s nobody else’s business if you choose to stop at one, or not to have one at all.
Don’t: Fall for the Myth that Alcohol is Necessary for a Good Time
Some of our best memories have come from days when there was a lack of alcohol involved.
Australia’s culture is often heavily focused on group drinking experiences. With more people choosing to live a sober lifestyle, you’re not alone if you’re looking for holiday experiences that aren’t centred around alcohol.
If you’d prefer to minimise or eradicate your alcohol consumption this holiday period, you may be happily surprised by how present you are throughout parties and family events. Don’t fall for the myth that it’s necessary to have a glass of wine in order to enjoy yourself – in fact, sometimes the most fun comes from being the most sober person in the room!
Whatever you choose this festive season in regards to how you mindfully engage and consume, know the choice remains yours and no-one else’s.
Help is closer than you think
If you think that you or someone you know may be struggling with alcohol misuse, it’s important to seek help sooner rather than later. The Banyans private, luxury rehab offers holistic and multidisciplinary programs designed to achieve long-term, sustainable results.
Learn more about our alcohol dependency programs, or call our expert team 24/7 for a confidential discussion on 1300 226 926. Alternatively, you can make an enquiry via the form below.