The festive season is a time of joy, celebration, and, often, increased alcohol consumption.
With Christmas parties, family gatherings, and the general festive spirit, it’s easy to find yourself drinking a little more than usual. However, for various reasons, many people aim to reduce their alcohol intake during this period.
In this article, we explore why it’s a good idea to cut down on drinking alcohol this Christmas, offering practical tips and effective strategies to help moderate consumption.
Why Do People Drink More Alcohol Over Christmas?
There are many reasons why people tend to drink more over this period.
Christmas is traditionally a time for social gatherings and celebrations. Family reunions, work parties, and get-togethers with friends are common during this season, and these events often include alcohol drinks. The festive atmosphere and the spirit of celebration encourage people to indulge more than they might usually.
Cultural norms and traditions can also play a role. For example, in many cultures, such as here in the UK, heavy drinking of certain alcoholic beverages is closely associated with the Christmas season.
Mulled wine, eggnog, prosecco and champagne are traditional Christmas drinks in various parts of the world. The consumption of these specific beverages can be seen as part of the holiday festivities, leading to an overall increase in alcohol consumption.
Christmas is also widely seen as a time of relaxation for many people. With the break from work and the festive mood, there is a tendency to unwind and indulge, often resulting in increased alcohol consumption.
This habit can be intensified by the stress that the season can bring for some. From financial pressures to the challenges of a new year and family dynamics, some individuals may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism.
How Can Cutting Back on Alcohol During Christmas Benefit Your Health?
Choosing to drink less alcohol during the Christmas season can have lots of benefits for your physical and mental health.
Let’s start with sleep. Alcohol can really disrupt our sleep patterns. So, if you cut down on the drinks, you’re likely to sleep better at night. This can lead to feeling more awake, refreshed and full of energy during the day, which is particularly helpful for keeping up with social activities over the festive period.
Additionally, alcohol can sometimes make it difficult for us to think clearly and remember things. By drinking less, you might notice that your memory is sharper and your thoughts are clearer, helping you enjoy and remember all the wonderful moments.
Another aspect to consider is the caloric density of alcoholic beverages. Reducing alcohol consumption can subtly contribute to managing our calorie intake, promoting a more healthy balance.
Reducing your alcohol intake over Christmas isn’t just about feeling better right now. It’s a great step towards working on building a better relationship with alcohol, helping you enjoy the time with loved ones to the fullest and stay healthy over the holidays, as well as the long term.
Tips for Cutting Down on Alcohol at Christmas
Whether it’s to maintain health, adhere to personal goals, or simply wake up without feeling groggy, cutting down on alcohol can enhance your Christmas in unexpected ways.
See below for practical and easy-to-implement tips to help you enjoy the festive period whilst also lowering your alcohol intake.
- Decide on a limit. Whether it’s a specific number of drinks or certain days when you’ll abstain, clear goals can help keep you on track.
- Try to be mindful of how much you’re drinking and remember to stay hydrated with water, especially if you’re consuming alcoholic beverages. It’s important to balance your fluid intake to maintain good health and avoid negative effects on your body.
- Stock up on non-alcoholic drinks that you enjoy. This could be alcohol-free wine, mocktails without drinking spirits, flavoured water, or non-alcoholic versions of your favourite drinks.
- Try to find ways to enjoy social gatherings that don’t involve drinking. For example, board game nights, cinema trips and winter walks.
- Let your friends and family know about your decision to stop drinking as much over the Christmas period to avoid any social pressures.
- Try to drink slowly and space out alcoholic drinks with glasses of water or non-alcoholic drinks.
- If stopping drinking altogether is not your goal, try opting for a smaller amount of a high-quality drink that you’ll truly enjoy rather than several cheaper, less satisfying options.
- During Christmas, some people may start drinking earlier in the day. So, remember not to drink on an empty stomach. Eating something substantial will help with your body’s ability to slow the absorption of alcohol.
- Whether it’s Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, if you’re attending something that centres around heavy drinking, have a plan. For example, bring your favourite non-alcoholic drink with you, arrive late, leave early, only have one drink and then switch to soft drinks, or bring someone along who’s also cutting down on alcohol.
- If you do drink more than intended, don’t be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge it, learn from it, and move forward. Plan how you’ll cut down on alcohol moving forward.
- If you regularly drink and are finding it challenging to cut down, it’s possible to have developed an alcohol dependency. Consider seeking professional support or looking into local support groups for guidance.
Reach Out For Support Today
We hope you’ve found our article and advice on how to cut down on alcohol over Christmas useful.
If you’re finding it hard to limit your alcohol intake and are worried about what this might mean, we can help you. Please reach out to our team today by calling us on 0800 001 4070.