For many people, the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. Between gift-shopping, trip-planning and party-hosting, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. When tense family get-togethers and awkward office parties become too much to handle, you might find yourself overindulging in the food and drinks — you and millions of other Americans. Nearly 70% double their intake of booze between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Just because everyone else is upping their alcohol consumption doesn’t mean you have to, though. Choose to stay sober this season and enjoy a handful of benefits.
1. Look and Feel Your Best
No one will notice if you had just one more glass of wine, right? Well, your imbibing is probably more obvious than you think, especially if you’re already a few drinks in. At some point or another, you’ll smudge your lipstick, get a little blotchy or drop some food on your shirt.
However, if you stick to being sober, you’ll look put-together, merry and bright. Plus, you’ll skip that terrible post-party hangover that’s sure to strike some of your friends the following morning.
2. Enjoy More Holiday Treats
Beer, wine and festive cocktails may taste delicious, but are they worth the calories? A few drinks can add up to a few hundred calories or more, depending on what kind of beverage you favor. Plus, they’re bound to leave you nauseous and bloated.
Stay sober and make more room for cake, pie and other treats instead. Don’t think twice about grabbing a second plate of food. Without a drink in your hand, you can enjoy it all without an ounce of guilt.
3. Save Money as a Host
Alcohol is expensive, so if you don’t want to serve drinks at your holiday party, your guests will understand. Give them the option to bring their own if you don’t mind others getting a little silly.
By skipping out on a visit to the liquor store, you’ll likely save a few hundred bucks that you can spend elsewhere. Buy a present for a friend, cater in for your holiday party or put the money towards a home renovation project. Whatever you end up spending the money on, it will probably be better than alcohol.
4. Avoid Enabling Addicted Loved Ones
Serving or drinking alcohol might not be an issue for you or your friends, especially if you limit your consumption to one or two drinks. However, if you’re enjoying the holidays with someone battling alcohol addiction, the presence of alcohol may enable them.
Instead of ignoring their addiction or denying that they have a problem, openly accept the reality of your loved one’s situation. Then, refuse to be an enabler by creating healthy boundaries and keeping alcohol out of your festivities. If everyone around them is sober, they won’t be as tempted to overindulge and fuel their addiction.
5. Prevent Unnecessary Drama
If you have difficult family members, you’re less likely to argue with them if you stay sober. With your wits about you, you’ll be less likely to take their bait and you’ll know which topics to avoid. You may even be able to deflect an escalating potential dispute if you aren’t inebriated.
Plus, you might even enjoy spending time together if you aren’t itching to drown them out with a stiff drink. Still, it’s best to stick to noncontroversial topics and bond over something you all can agree on.
6. Have the Freedom To Do as You Please
Of course, the family get-together can still turn into a chaotic mess, even if there’s no alcohol involved. If you find yourself in a tense situation, you’ll be happy you didn’t drink so you can hop in your car and leave.
Stay sober and have the freedom to do as you please this holiday season. Hit up multiple parties, come and go as you wish and enjoy the Christmas lights around town. Better yet, be the designated driver and take care of yourself and the people you love. There are enough crazies on the road this time of year without your relatives joining them.
7. Jumpstart Your New Year’s Resolutions
Forming a new habit can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days, but most people need 66 for a behavior to become automatic. That means if you stop drinking this month, you will likely stay sober long after everyone else has given up on their New Year’s resolutions.
Instead of waiting until January to cut back on drinking, why not start now? Get a head start on your resolutions and make January a much more enjoyable month. Anyone who joins you on this journey will thank you later!
Make Lasting Memories
With all the chaos that Christmas brings, it’s easy to forget what matters most this season. For those struggling with addiction, losing sight of what the holidays are all about is even more common. Hangovers and lost memories become the norm and you forget everything else but the high.
Choose to remember the holiday season this year and create lasting memories with loved ones by staying sober. You might be surprised by how much less stressful Christmas is when you kick addiction to the curb and simply enjoy all of life’s special moments.