If you're new to being sober or haven’t had alcohol for ages, but still dread the way drinkers tempt you with booze at holiday parties, READ ON!
I haven’t had alcohol for almost two years, and so I write with the experience of a seasoned alcohol-avoider. Here are my top tips for getting through the party season without falling foul of the booze trap!
Find a drink you like.
You need to find a drink that you enjoy enough to have a several over the course of an evening. Water is boring but calorie-free, so it's great if you're watching your weight. Soda is full of sugar and caffeine, and OJ always seems like a breakfast beverage more than something to down at a dinner party.
Mocktails are a great solution, but you can't always count on your host providing them. If you're close to your host, why not call her pre-party and ask to bring along your own mocktail? (With any luck, she may even offer to get the ingredients and make a few for you.) One great option is a virgin mojito, which is delicious and won’t make you feel like you're missing out!
Have a plan for the morning after.
If you're staying the night at your party destination, pack your running gear and plan a run for the next morning. When everyone else is groaning in bed with debilitating hangovers, you can throw on your Lycra, burn some calories and return fresh-faced, feeling great and with a certain degree of smugness to boot, while your boozy friends are staggering around the kitchen, sipping super-strong coffee in an effort to revive their weary bodies. (You will enjoy that moment, I promise!)
And even if you're not spending the night, having something to look forward to the next morning will give you added motivation to steer clear of those cocktails!
Avoid people you don't like.
If you can be at all selective of the company you'll keep during Party Season, do yourself a favor and only accept invites from people you actually like. Spending time in the company of boring, self-interested, idiotic people might actually stir you to have a few drinks. Once you've spent time with those same people sober, you'll be amazed at how much you used to put up with!
Remind yourself of all the money you're saving.
It all adds up, especially in a season when money hemorrhages from your purse! Taxis, expensive alcoholic drinks, cigarettes – think how much more relaxed you will be, knowing that you have plenty in the bank for Christmas gifts and delicious festive food, without wasting wads of money getting wasted and then not even remembering your night out!
You could even keep a pot between now and the New Year, put in the money you would have spent if you had drunk alcohol, and then treat yourself to a Christmas gift; a present from you, to you!
For additional motivation, notice how people behave when they've had too much to drink.
Next time you attend an event, take a look around the room and notice how those who've had a few too many drinks behave. Most likely you'll observe people loud, boring, immature, repetitive, and/or slurring their words. Maybe you'll see friends staggering in high heels, arguing, or acting self-important – drunk people are not cool! Ask yourself, do I want people to look at me in the way that I am looking at this bunch of drunken idiots?
I’m guessing your answer will be no!
If everyone around you is going down the drunken road of no return, politely make your exit.
Remember: the point of a party, after all, is to have fun. If you're bored stiff and tired of being the one-person audience at a drunken freakshow...leave! Don't feel like you have to hang around until 3 am, even if you're there with a partner who is expecting a lift home. (Hello, taxi!) Say your goodbyes or sneak out--they aren't going to remember anyway. You must be able to enjoy the next day, fully appreciative of having not touched a drop the night before.
So get dressed up, have a great time, dance the night away - and then get yourself home to bed when you find that you're the only one left standing. You will feel remarkable in the morning, I promise :-)
Ssshh…it’s my secret bonus tip…
Me and my sober (and very cool) friend, Anita, launch our brilliant website for sober people and those looking to get off the booze in JUST TEN DAYS, on November 26th. If you're really struggling to avoid drinking alcohol during the festive period, why not sign up for our mailing list and get support and more tips to help you achieve your goal?
Hope to see you there! www.soberistas.com