5 Ways to Avoid Drinking During the Holidays
The holidays are all about celebration, and, for better or worse, alcohol plays a major part in some of the most honored traditions. Because of this, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people are more likely to drink, and drink more heavily, during the holidays. This makes the holidays an especially dangerous time for those struggling with alcoholism or alcohol abuse. There are at least five good ways to avoid drinking during the holidays.
Perhaps the best way to avoid drinking, is to avoid places and situations where alcohol is likely to be. Some of these are:
- meals in bars,
- get-togethers in clubs, and
- family functions where alcohol is likely to be present.
Avoiding these places makes it much easier to avoid drinking.
2. Say no
Another way to avoid drinking during the holidays is to just say no when someone offers you a drink. There are a number of ways to make saying no easier, including:
- having a drink in your hand, including alcohol alternatives like “mocktails” and nonalcoholic beer,
- making eye contact and being firm,
- having ready excuses like work, or health concerns, and
- planning answers ahead so it doesn’t feel forced, and you don’t have to make something up in a pinch.
Utilizing these methods makes saying no easier and more effective.
3. Be a designated driver
According to the University of California- Davis, designated drivers can participate in all of the festivities of the holiday season, and spend time with their friends, family, and colleagues, all while remaining sober. Some of the benefits of being a designated driver are:
- no pressure from others to drink,
- free nonalcoholic beverages at most bars, clubs, and restaurants,
- not missing out on anything, and
- the opportunity to be a hero, and ensure that your friends and family members are able to get where they need to go safely.
These benefits make being a designated driver a great way to avoid drinking during the holidays.
4. Talk it out
Still another way to avoid drinking is to have someone to talk to, and to help keep you grounded. This can be any person that understands your situation, and is trustworthy. This can be:
- a trusted friend,
- a close family member,
- your AA sponsor, or
- a counselor or therapist.
These people can mean the difference between drinking and sobriety this holiday season.
5. Get help
Sometimes the pressure of the holidays just becomes overwhelming, and the temptation to drink is more than you can handle. In situations like this, there is no shame in asking for help. AA sponsors, 12 step meetings, and substance abuse counselors are all there to help you maintain your sobriety. The most important thing is to not lose sight of your reasons for avoiding alcohol, and to do whatever is necessary to for your health and well-being.