12 benefits of not drinking booze in December...

For many the run up to Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, the rush for Xmas gifts, all the preparations, and, trying to ensure everyone's expectations and needs are met.

For others the onset of December means finally, the beginning of party time and the fun, after the long dark and often dismal November slips away.

This is the month where the biggest excuse for 'letting go' is wheeled out most often. "Go on... it is Christmas". There is no doubt it is the month where most of us throw caution to the wind, with a firm resolve to make amends in our new years resolution!

There are however some good benefits to us if we don't just 'go along' with the Christmas roller coaster relating to booze... here are some of my thoughts... although let me make it clear, I have done my fair share of drinking at Christmas in the past... now though I see things a bit differently... Age probably!

Below my top reasons for abstaining in the party season of Xmas...

  1. it's not easy to abstain in December... I have always liked a challenge and the more insistent people become, the stronger my resolve. If you can make it through December you can do anything!
  2. Be extra popular at parties as the driver (get more invites too) as others eagerly take up your offer to drive so they can 'really enjoy themselves'... it's not just parties though (although people will be queuing up to befriend you), on a more serious note, if there are elderly folk around, there might be a need to drive at short notice.
  3. Save money. There are lots of booze bargains about at this time of the year (no harm in stocking up for later), but it is still an expensive part of the Xmas fun. I know I could easily bury £200 on a range of beers, wines and spirits... and that was without trying!
  4. Enjoy your food much more. A few beers, a sherry and some wine, your taste buds won't be what they were. Eating food with a clean palate you can really taste all those wonderful Christmas flavours... the dinner, the pudding... the cheese & biscuits... etc. 
  5. Helps to not over eat. Alcohol has the tendency to make it easier to overeat. It does something to our ability to detect being full and we can suddenly 'eat for England' hungry or not!
  6. Start the new year having lost weight. No need for the new years resolution! ... you can enter January lighter than when December arrived. No more January misery and perhaps a head start for the Winter sun holiday on the beach.
  7. Avoid family conflicts... we say and do things in a different way when we are under the influence. Staying in full control of our faculties at a time when our families are thrust together can be a good call, I think we've all been there at some time or other... families...
  8. Feel energetic and healthy. I don't know about you but all the food, the drink, lack of exercise and the longevity of the whole commercial Christmas 'experience' can be very wearing these days. Removing the extra drain of alcohol can make a huge difference to your vibrancy... give it a go! 
  9. Enjoy the whole event (conscious). Alcohol does dim all our senses. When we are operating in a fully alert state we will be able to see things with a much greater level of clarity which will be better for everyone we come into contact with at this busy time
  10. Remember it all. Alcohol impairs our ability to experience details of the actual events that we experienced and of course to be able to recall them too. 
  11. Reflection... alcohol can make us sluggish and tired so that when there is a period of quiet we sleep to recover. These golden spaces of time can be turned into periods of reflection, introspection and learning
  12. Extra clarity to plan the new year. The new year quickly follows on from Christmas and creates a week long opportunity to party hard, but also to take stock and look at the coming year. In the past I know I have entered the holiday season with great intentions... and yet somehow I never got around to focusing my thoughts. Last year was different though; through abstinence and intent real clarity came about, and although a challenging year... the work done and plans developed over Christmas 2016/17 were life changing. This years experience will be no different of that I am sure too. 

We don't need alcohol to enjoy ourselves at Christmas. The mood of the holiday season is already great, people more likely to smile, chat, and make a special extra effort to be kind, generous and considerate to others. We could also put some time aside to be considerate, compassionate and kind to ourselves as well? Making use of this 'general downtime' at Christmas is a huge annual opportunity to do this... try it without booze... see how it works... rather than seeing yourself as a 'party pooper' or 'missing out', this time can reveal tremendous inspiration.

Alcohol free beer is pretty good these days. If you are like me and don't like sweet beverages, alcohol free beer has come on a long way since the old days! Now it has become a fairly pleasant, beer flavoured soft drink, and the best part is you can drink pints of the stuff, retain all your faculties, and still get behind the wheel no problem!

Conclusion


Sometimes it is easy to get swept along into doing what we've always done, or, ride the tide of the whole commercialism that has taken over the Christmas and New Year festive season. There is perhaps a place for that too, but in my mind, I see this as a huge opportunity to step back and review what is really important to me, and set the signposts and intent for the coming year...

To do this you'll need some space, clarity of thinking, and a real intent to make it happen... could be the best Christmas present you ever received...


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