12 Days till Christmas Guide on alcohol from Georgia Foster creator of Drink Less Mind a training guide for people wanting to manage their drinking habits and reduce their drinking and enjoy it before the next stop – which would be to stop drinking completely.
If you are worried about drinking too much in the build up to Christmas and the day itself, here are 12 daily tips to support you to drink less alcohol.
Start reviewing in your mind the day before the social function you are going to, seeing yourself socially confident without a glass of alcohol in your hand. Keep practicing this. The more you do this, the more your mind will recall these moments and utilise them in the reality of this time of year.
Make a list of all the people who could potentially sabotage your healthier drinking habits. Becoming aware of the people who coerce you will help recognise who you need to watch when re-filling your glass.
Plan a few alcohol free days (AFDs) so you feel refreshed before your big party night.
Make a plan to eat something healthy before you go out or while you are drinking so that the alcohol has something to attach itself to.
Make a few notes on your phone, or somewhere readily available, about how great it feels waking up without a hangover after a party. Keep looking at this when you feel a desire to drink too much.
Stick to the alcohol you know you can tolerate and are familiar with. Do not try any fruity cocktails that pack an alcoholic punch.
Don’t be dragged into negative or fearful conversations about life. If you feel trapped in a deep, drunken discussion, lighten it up by saying ‘Let’s talk about something nice or funny that has happened to us recently’.
For every drink you don’t have remember less calories and a slimmer and healthier you in 2015!
Make a plan to have a number of different conversations that are stimulating during boring parties, that people will find entertaining. This will help you to drink less, knowing that you are entertaining yourself and others without the need to drink too much.
With each alcoholic drink, keep a glass of water handy to hydrate you.
Hold your glass in your non-dominate hand. It will feel slightly uncomfortable so you will be more aware of what you are drinking.
Remember Christmas Day is only 1 day and whatever you have to deal with socially or emotionally will just be a memory tomorrow, so pace your drinking and enjoy the moment.
10 mantras for a happy, healthy, binge-free New Year
Your mind is an amazing tool. Irrespective of your past, the neuroscientists confirm that you can change your unhelpful thinking habits to be more positive. The key is to utilise the emotional part of the brain. The best way to do this is to lie somewhere comfortable, put on some relaxing music, close your eyes and imagine yourself achieving what you want to achieve, while saying the following mantras or ones that resonate with you. Practice this for 5 minutes a day and over a few weeks, your mind will learn that this is normal thinking and will enact on it more easily and comfortably.
5 things most people get wrong about drinking alcohol
The 5 tell tale signs that your drinking has become a problem
Bad Drinking Habits and how to break them
Bad habits are actually not bad habits. The emotional part of the brain doesn’t know the difference between good and bad. This part of the brain is where we learn and store coping strategies. So, if you have learnt to associate alcohol with feeling better, then your brain may start to create an unsupportive drinking behaviour. Below are a few examples of how to train your brain to move on from this vicious cycle of drinking.
Binge drinking, or what I call ‘all or nothing’ drinking, is driven by the perfectionist personality. The Perfectionist drinks excessively or not at all. There is no in-between. This means that alcohol free days are easy but drinking a healthy amount in one sitting is fairly impossible. A great way to combat this behaviour is learn some daily relaxation techniques to take the pressure off to be perfect but rather be in the moment and enjoy. When your mind learns it is safe to ‘just be’ it won’t need to drink to run away from being perfect.