When I was struggling with my drinking, I couldn’t get my head around the idea of a sober Christmas and New Year.
Booze is such a big part of the festive season, and I was totally convinced that alcohol-free meant fun-free. There was no way I could be sober and still have a good time … right?
It took me ages and ages to realise this, but sobriety is a mindset game.
It’s your attitude, your outlook and your beliefs that count – not the contents of your glass.
So no matter how stressed out or apprehensive you are, let’s try and get some perspective on this, so you can head into the festivities with the right mindset.
Here are 5 limiting beliefs – and how to reframe them:
‘Christmas will never be the same without alcohol’
Yep. It won’t be the same … because things are going to be so much better. This festive season you’re going to be bright-eyed, clear-headed and fun to be around. This will be the year when you actually get round to doing all those things you plan to do, like reading books, watching Christmas films and catching up with people you haven’t seen in a while. This will be the year when you actually tick things off your to-do list and feel good because it’s not a last minute rush. This will be the year when you can eat an extra mince pie (or two) because you’re not consuming your body weight in liquid calories.
‘Alcohol is what makes Christmas special’
Nope. Christmas is special for all kinds of reasons but alcohol isn’t one of them. Fortunately for you, this festive season is going to be your best yet, because this will be the year that you don’t waste time drinking, recovering from drinking or thinking about your next drink. Instead, this will be the year where you feel a new sense of self respect. This will be the year when you create new memories and work out what’s genuinely special for you and your family.
‘Alcohol brings people together’
It’s not booze that brings people together – it’s the festive season. This is one of the few times of the year when we all get some time off work! This year, you’re going to see parties and gatherings for what they really are – chances to spend time with people you like and care about. This will be the year when you can appreciate spending quality time with friends and family, because you’ll be fully present and living in the moment.
‘Alcohol helps me cope with stress / annoying visitors / family arguments…’
Real life doesn’t always go smoothly, but drinking won’t help with that. Alcohol can massively backfire on us; it makes us more argumentative, more sad and less resilient. As coping mechanisms go, it’s a pretty crap one. This festive season, you’re going to face tricky situations head on. This will be the year when you discover you’re stronger than you thought, and some situations are not as bad as you imagined. This will be the year when you’re clear-headed enough to know what you really enjoy and what you don’t – so that next year, you can plan some changes. Big changes…
‘I’ll feel as if I’m missing out’
What, missing out on the hangovers? Missing out on the headaches and guilt and remorse? No way. This Christmas you’re going to remember that you’re choosing to do this. You are choosing to give yourself the best holiday possible by keeping a toxin out of your system. This will be the year when you discover that you don’t need to consume a mind-altering drug in order to have a good time. This will be the year when you realise that some people are actually a bit jealous that you don’t need to drink. And this will be the year when you discover there is nothing to miss … and everything to gain.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Please share any tips and advice in the comments below. Have a wonderful Christmas!