How to drink less alcohol and still enjoy the celebrations

How to drink less alcohol and still enjoy the celebrations

For many, the Christmas season means a greater number of situations where alcohol is consumed and certain social situations whether it be work related, at the Christmas party, or even with family where you will be around people who you may not necessarily connect with.

You may be wanting to reduce your alcohol intake for personal health and wellbeing reasons, or you may be a team leader wanting to role model your organisation’s wellbeing and safety values. If most of the people that you socialise with, from your partner, family and friends, drink alcohol regularly, this will be harder for you however, you can do it if you are clear that this is something that is important to you and you are prepared. We’ve all been there – it could be you feel a little shy or perhaps you are in an environment where you feel bored or just just plain uncomfortable. In this situation, it can be easy to assume that drinking alcohol is a great way to feel more comfortable. Whatever the reason, here are some top tips from the ASWA team to avoid drinking, or at least over-drinking, during this busy social time.

  1. If you are involved in the organising of the event, one of our favourites is to create a fun stylish range of mocktails for all employees and guests made from vegetable and fruit juices.
  2. Our other favourite is to use a wine or champagne glass, but have the mocktail, iced tea, juice or lemon and mint water in the glass instead of alcohol. You will still feel part of the celebrations, you will have a glass in your hand or nearby that you can drink as much as you like from, and you are not dramatically changing your drinking routine however you are reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption while enjoying the moment.
  3. If you do choose to drink alcohol, decide before you go out how much you are going to drink over the hours you are there and stick to it.
  4. Most people respect the choice of drinking or not drinking these days however, if you are not comfortable or simply don’t feel the need to explain yourself, and you definitely don’t need to do so to please others, there’s nothing wrong with telling a little white lie, such as, you are taking antibiotics or just a little under the weather.
  5. If you do decide to have alcohol, finish each drink before you top up. This allows you to gauge how much you are drinking.
  6. Opt out of all cocktails and punches. They are a sure way to drink too much due to the difficulty of tracking how much alcohol is in them.
  7. DOWO Policy. Drink one, water one.  Alternate between glasses of alcohol and water, to keep you hydrated.
  8. Drink from your non-dominant hand.  It will seem a little odd at first, so it will make you more aware of how much you are drinking.
  9. Drink a big glass of water before you start drinking, to hydrate yourself, often the first drink is about being thirsty!
  10. If you are shy or bored, instead of reaching for the alcohol to calm you down or entertain you, shift your thinking to something humorous. This will distract your mind away from self-doubt and shift your thinking into a more helpful state.
  11. Keep an emotional diary over a few weeks to gain more understanding of what the drivers may be to drinking in less than helpful ways are; such as resentment, loneliness, tiredness, boredom, fear and anger. Explore other ways of processing these feelings without transferring them to the drinking of alcohol.
  12. For work christmas parties, we recommend our corporate clients to have no alcohol or a 1-drink only policy. After all, what are you actually celebrating at the work christmas function? Is it the wine and beer consumption? Is it the challenges that you’ve overcome together as a team throughout the year, the successes you’ve had and look forward to over the next year? Is it the relationships that have strengthened within the teams that have built a strong foundation for the next phase of growth and achievement of the vision? Like everything your organisation does, your christmas party event speaks volumes about your values and your brand. Perhaps it provides some food for thought for next year’s events at the very least.
  13. See the festive season as a great opportunity to take control of your own wellbeing whilst remaining gentle with yourself. You can avoid or reduce alcohol and still have fun – it is the silly season after all!

The Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy’s Wellness Within Program is a flexible, scalable training solution for learning work-life integration skills. Delivered in eight bite-size sessions with practical tools, techniques and group support for individuals and teams to be well, healthy, happy and high-performing.

Contact us for more information on our wellness approach for organisations.

ASWA Wellness Team

This article was written by the heart of ASWA. We are a talented team of wellness advocates and contributors with real life and leadership experience and a driving passion for integrating wellness into lives and workplaces.