Top Tips For Staying Sober This Season. From The Sober Yorkshireman
Wether you’re just trying to go sober or your far down the road to recovery. This party season is one of the hardest times of year for staying sober. Just for starters you’ve got the works Christmas party. Not to mention all the other drinking occasions like, drinks with girls/lads. Drinks with school mums, Christmas eve drinks, pre Christmas dinner drinks, the dinner. Then that long spell before new year when your not at work. Finally to top it all off and hopefully without topping you off with it, you’ve got new years eve.
Thats when I used to crash and have enough, a drink on New Years day and I was ready for Dry January. I was pretty good at lasting til February sometimes beyond in fact, only problem was. Soon as I had that first pint back on it I was a mess for the rest of the year. Its why now when people ask can’t you moderate I know I’m not built with that mechanism of an off switch. So then whats my 12 days of Christmas tips, here you go:
1: Plan your drinks, plan ahead
Make a plan. Always have a plan. If your going to have drinks in the house to get you through the season, make sure you stock up on alcohol free options. If it’s a party your going to or a friends or family house for Xmas day. Phone ahead to the venue ask them to get alcohol free options in for you. They shouldn’t discriminate against people who don’t want alcohol.
2: Have responses to why your not drinking
This is your biggest tool you can have in your tool box. ‘The response’ to ‘why you not drinking’. I’ve used loads in past but the one that gave me biggest sense of freedom and weight lifted from my shoulders is ‘I don’t drink’. When you finally utter those words you feel empowered. Others you can use are;
- I’m on a challenge for 28 days.
- I’m doing a break from booze for charity
- I’ve not been well of late
- I’m on medication
Just remind yourself when people are 5-6 drinks in they won’t notice your not drinking anymore.
3: Talk yourself down
Talk yourself down does exactly what it says in the tin. Start asking internal questions about where alcohol would improve this situation:
- Will it make this evening better
- Will I regret it in the morning
- Will drinking now ruin all I’ve achieved so far
- Yes the drink now will be nice but the same shit that’s going on right now will still be there in morning
- Can I just take myself away for a few minutes even a little walk or to another room for some me time
- Once you’ve gone through all these the moment / craving may well of passed.
4: Have an exit strategy
Just like an SAS solider that goes into a volatile situation. They go in with an exit strategy. You should go into a party or an event with an exit strategy. Have someone call you half way into the event to see how you are. Just like that call you get on a date incase it’s going bad. If that fails just do one and get out of there, you should have your car on hand as your not drinking.
5: It’s just another 24hrs
This one speaks for itself. The sun will rise as will the moon and then the day be gone. You’ve done many 24 hours before. Why does this one have to be different. If anything it should fly as you’ll be so busy. If not make yourself busy. Remember you got this sober life shit going on.
6: Don’t be fooled by others image of themselves
Social media we all go on it too much. Your possibly reading this blog on social media Right!!
People portray only the good side of Xmas on social media. They don’t want you to see the disaster of a ruined turkey, they’ll hide that under gravy. They won’t show you the argument between in laws. Neither will they show the image of kids upset because mum or dad has shouted at them. Due to them been cranky with an hangover after Christmas Eve night out.
7: Ask yourself ‘ is alcohol going to make this situation better ‘
As in every situation involving alcohol. You just have to ask yourself. Will alcohol make this situation any better. Will mixing all those festive emotions with alcohol really make the day any better. Will it just numb it for 24hrs where you’ll wake up hungover and regretting your decision. Ask yourself when did alcohol ever make things better.
8: Stay connected to your support network
Hopefully if your in the early days or even longer down road like myself you’ll have a support network. If not there are many out there online look up my own Facebook page @TheSoberYorkshireman for any advise. Or just for someone to chat to.
9: Make the decision ‘ I’m not going to drink ‘
Make the decision before you even go out of the door that I’m not going to drink. Telling yourself, empowering yourself with those words ‘I’m not going to drink’ puts you in a positive mindset. It’s something I still tell myself if I’m going out for a few drinks with lads. I still get worried that a slip up is only sip of alcohol away.
10: Treat yourself
Buy yourself a gift. Something really special. Something you’d of never bought yourself when drinking. I’m a big lover of my trainers for you it might be shoes if your a woman. Just this year I bought myself a pairs of trainers. Yeah they cost a bit more than I’d usually pay. But oh my did it make me feel special. It might be that sparkly dress or getting your makeup done at a department store before your Xmas party. Or that latest running watch you’ve been admiring. Anything you’d not normally do, DO.
11: Remind yourself why your making this choice
Remember why you made this choice. Could be that last Christmas you couldn’t remember any of it. Could be that you started drinking at 10 and by 5 you was asleep on sofa. Maybe you got so wasted that when your son/daughter asked you to play with their gifts you couldn’t. I gave my daughter a gift for life when I decided to get sober. It’s best gift she’ll ever receive.
12: Finally be proud of yourself
Be proud of what you’ve achieved so far. You might be 1 day in, 1 month or heading towards your first sober year. Give yourself some credit as abusers we abuse ourselves. We used alcohol to do that. We’re the best people at putting ourselves down. Try just this once to look in mirror and say ‘I’m proud of you’ because I tell you now. People around you are proud of you.
If you’ve found these useful or want to suggest your own for future years then comment below, share my blog and sign up to my newsletters to receive the latest blog.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank You For Your Support, The Sober Yorkshireman Karl.