Sober curious during the holidays
By: Mama with a Mocktail, Natalie
Handling the holidays can be stressful! Last year, my experiences didn’t start things off the right way for me. This year, things are so much different, so much better, and includes much less alcohol.
Here’s my experience and some ways to be sober curious over the holidays.
My holidays last year didn’t start out the best. About two weeks before Christmas, a very toxic person came by for a visit. Right after I asked her to please leave my house, I went right for a drink.
Looking back, this person has triggered me to drink. A few years back I hid a bottle of wine in my car so I’d have it to sip on so I could get through Thanksgiving with her.
Luckily, this year I don’t have to deal with the toxic person! And, this year I’ve also been significantly cutting back on my alcohol intake.
I’ve been more mindful of my drinking and have learned ways to handle the holidays alcohol free.
To me, being mindful means being more aware of saying no, more aware of other things I can do besides drinking and more aware of how I feel the next day.
Here’s some ways that have helped me to handle the holidays alcohol free.
Remove the toxic people! Or, just the people who drive you to drink. The people who trigger you to drink should probably be avoided.
Because of covid, it may be easier than you think to politely excuse yourself from any awkward holiday gatherings. Just say no to those people who create not so pleasant gatherings. Celebrate with those who love you, show their kindness towards you, and who you feel comfortable with.
Load up on non alcoholic drinks. Come with a supply of the good stuff! If you have a non alcoholic choice in your hands, you have options to drink that beverage. You already have a drink and don’t need to have some ask you what they can get for you.
You can also bring your own mug or cup out with you. I remember that it was odd for me to tell my friends and family I wasn’t drinking. They’d automatically think I was pregnant if this came out of my mouth because why wouldn’t I drink! So I didn’t hear it from people, I’d pour my non alcoholic beverage into my plastic red solo cup. My secret was safe and no one asked why I wasn’t drinking.
Rethink how you drink. Start with something non alcoholic and then decide if you really want to drink something with alcohol in it.
Make yourself the designated driver. I remember a friend of mine would make herself the designated driver when her family went out for the holidays. Her husband liked to drink and she was never too happy that he’d drive buzzed. After they had their first baby, she decided it was more important to not drink and keep her family safe. She’d let her husband drink his Crown Royal and she’d keep her family safe.
Team up with others who don’t drink. My sister has never been a big drinker. If I go places with her I won’t be tempted to join the boozer group since she won’t drink when we go out.
Treat yourself to something just as satisfying. I’ve noticed that I’ve started to enjoy a good piece of dark chocolate or a few bites of a yummy dessert instead of drinking.
Our Escape Mocktails are pretty delicious, so they satisfy my craving.
Use other things besides alcohol to control your feelings. If the thought of being around new people sends your anxiety on overload, think of ways to handle that anxiety. If it’s an event you have to attend, maybe go for a run before you get ready to go, or try breathing techniques like deep breathing or round house breathing right before you step into the room, or if you want to feel even more stylish, or go shopping for that power outfit.
Just know, it’s ok not to drink. It’s ok to only have one drink. And, it’s ok to just say no.
Hopefully, these tips can help you handle the holidays alcohol free and have given you a few ways to be sober curious over the holidays. Or, at least help you think before you drink.