Christmas 2020

2020’s been… pretty awful! Here’s some top tips for staying in control of your drinking over Christmas and New Year

This year has been pretty…. scary, unbelievable, miserable? There aren’t enough words to describe it really. As we reach the end of the year, we’re also being asked to stay safe and keep our family safe over the holiday period.

The one thing we can control is how much we choose to drink. If you really don’t want to overdo it, here’s some top tips to stay in charge so you still feel healthy, rather than regret overdoing it.

  1. Plan ahead - make yourself a plan of which days you will drink and which days you won’t. Try and have 3-4 dry days per week. On the days you drink, decide how many alcoholic drinks you’ll have and when these will be. Try and stick to just two or three drinks on the days you do drink, that way you’ll avoid being too inebriated and feel much more in control. You can space these out and only sip, to make the drinks last longer.
  2. Then make sure you have something else to drink before and after that. You really don't have to "go on, have another", you can switch to soft drinks or (gasp!) tea, coffee or sparkling water. Alternatively, decide to stick to non-alcoholic drinks all night.
  3. Prevention is better than cure – if you do drink alcohol, make sure you eat before you drink, drink lots of water before and after, be mindful of the lower-risk guidelines (maximum 14 units per week for men and women) and stay off the salty snacks. Don't forget, once you've had four of more drinks you're straying into binge drinking territory where accidents, injuries or arguments become more common.
  4. Watch out for your mates - the benefit of being relatively sober is you can look after yourself much better, but that also goes for being able to keep an eye on your friends. If someone looks like they’re going to be unsafe getting home, be sure to call them a licensed cab – or use an app on their phone to call a ride.
  5. Finally - be yourself! This is 2021 (almost!) and you really don't have to follow the drinking crowd or feel pressured to have one too many by your peers. If you decide not to drink alcohol, or to stick to a small number of alcoholic drinks, just say so! "No thanks" or "I'm fine, thanks" works perfectly well in any situation. Be confident that you’re allowed to drink what you want.

Thankfully, this Christmas and New Year you can choose exactly how much or how little you want to drink – the choice really is in your hands.