Harriet has been practising being sober at Christmas for 14 years – so what are her top tips for avoiding festive fall-out? This is just a very short snippet of the excellent advice video …
Don’t get too tired. Say no. Do things that allow you to relax and avoid overwhelm. Blank out some nights for quiet time. Prioritise your energy and make sure you go to the things you really want to do and leave early or skip the rest.
Keep up with your good habits. Mindfulness, eating well … as much as possible to keep you working towards your goals.
Stay connected with the people and places that help you feel supported. Post on the Club Soda Facebook group when you are wavering.
Eat before you go to a party and keep hydrated to make sure you don’t waver when faced with snacks and booze.
Before you go, decide what you will be eating or drinking – even take your own.
Know what you are going to say – “I have so many events coming up I am pacing myself and this is one of my non-drinking parties.” Best tip for deflecting attention is to move the discussion onto something else – so ask a question of the other person. Plan what that question may be in advance.
Feel free to escape. If a party feels like a punishment it is time to go – you are meant to be having fun!
Wind the tape forward. If you know one drink leads to eight, remind yourself what tomorrow will feel like. That is the real festive fall-out.
Plan fun things – it is Christmas and meant to be fun – keep the gathering, change the activity.
New Year’s Eve is always difficult. You need to decide if it is going to be okay for you to do the same things with the same people, or do you need to change your plans? Don’t white knuckle your way through.