The month of December and the holiday season are boozy times with all the parties, dinners, and "fun" outings. If this is your first sober Christmas or you are thinking about quitting drinking, you may be second-guessing that there is a better time to quit when there isn't so much going on. But let’s do a reality check.
First, there will always be a million reasons not to quit, and not one is in your best interests. Plus, if you are anything like me, how many times have you been down this road, saying you are going to quit and then changing your mind?
Second, you really won’t be missing out on anything. Drinking does not guarantee a fun time. In fact, many Christmases are a disaster when alcohol is involved because of family dynamics and added stress. Or maybe you don't have anyone to spend the holidays with, and the bottle is your companion. Whatever your situation, I have you covered in this article.
This article is for women for who moderation does not work. If this is you, instead of dreading December, turn it into an empowerment month.
Let's get started.
1. Knowing what to say when someone offers you a drink
The first time you go out where alcohol is being served with the intention of not drinking, it is super scary. You will have all kinds of thoughts. Can I do I it? Can I be around all that alcohol and not drink? What do I do when someone offers me a drink? How do you even say no?
It's simple. No thanks. I'm not drinking tonight. I said simple. I didn't say easy. But the first time you do this, it is momentous. Any of the "firsts" are. Whether your first sober birthday, Christmas, or saying "no thanks" to a drink for the first time, it is huge. "Power moments" such as this helps propel you forward, and saying no gets easier and easier as you become stronger and more confident.
2. Shifting your mindset
For example, when you say "no thanks" to a drink, there will always be people trying to get you to change your mind. Rather than feeling pressured, use the opportunity to flip the script and create a paradigm mindset shift. Here is how it goes. When people are uncomfortable being around sober people, that is their problem, not yours, and it is more indicative of their own relationship with alcohol. Shifting your mindset opens your eyes to the truth. Be proud and stand tall and proud. You are stronger than other people's hang-ups or misguided opinions! You are beating this battle by not having one drink at a time.
3. Having a backup plan
If you are going where there is alcohol, have a backup plan. For example, can you call your girlfriend, who is at home doing her nails and can come to get you at a moment's notice? Having a backup plan also applies if you don’t have any plans. Yup, that’s right. For example, if you are prone to depression and know that spending Christmas alone is a killer, organizing something ahead of time, like volunteering to serve dinner to the homeless, can be very rewarding. Being prepared gives you a sense of confidence, knowing you have got this!
4. Practicing self care
Practicing self-care includes saying no. You do not have to accept invitations to parties or family events you don’t feel comfortable attending. You know best what you need to do to safeguard your sobriety. Practicing self-care may feel awkward at first, but self-care is a critical part of recovery.
5. Disclosing your alcohol-free status
You do not have to explain to anyone that you are not drinking. You can so “no thanks” and walk away when someone probes. It is entirely up to you who you tell. Some people never need to know, and others you will feel comfortable telling. Every situation is different. Over the holidays, telling a trusted co-worker serves as a safety measure when attending things like office parties.
6. Putting in other safety measures
Find yourself a nice, non-alcoholic beverage and always have a drink in your hand at functions. Bring a sober friend with you to parties. Turn alcohol advertisements off on social media. Don’t keep alcohol in the house. Talk to your partner, if he or she still drinks, and ask for their support through December. Find a women’s support group.
You can still celebrate December and the holidays and have a good time without alcohol. In fact, the best memories you create in your life and with your family will be sober memories.
Help me keep the discussion going? How are you feeling about the upcoming holidays? Do you have tips you would like to share with me and other women? Please leave your comments below. Thank you!
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