December can be a whirlwind of parties, holidays and celebrations, many involving alcohol. However, for lots of us LGBTQ folk it’s also a difficult time: Families can be stressful, money can be tight, we might have to travel long distances and some of us may also feel lonely over the holiday period. If you’re having a tough time over Christmas, consider getting in touch with telephone and web based counselling service Qlife.
If the combo of holiday stress and more alcohol consumption than usual got the better of you last year maybe you’re thinking this year it might be best to take it easy on the booze?
If you’d be keen to see how you go drinking a bit less over the coming weeks we’ve got five tips to help you out. These tips are for those of us that want to drink a little less, not for those of us that don’t want to drink at all.
- Swap beer for a shandy and swap that chardy for a white wine spritzer!
Shandies and spritzers are fab, delicious, and sweet! If you swap out a beer for a shandy or a white wine for a spritzer you’ll still be drinking… but you’ll be drinking a little bit less. Win! There’s also some great non-alcoholic beer and wine options at boutique bottle shops (and not so great ones at supermarkets!)
- Avoid top-ups
If your aunt is notorious for her heavy hand when it comes to filling up your glass, do what you can to avoid the relentless top up! If seated, try and avoid sitting next to your aunt! If standing, don’t stand with your glass in your hand, instead leave it on a table next to you and maybe no one will notice when it’s empty.
- Soda water in a wine glass is the future!
Sometimes you just want something a little bit carbonated and totally refreshing. Pop your bubbly H20 in a wine glass with a slice of lime and you won’t even know that you’re not drinking alcohol. Put it in a highball and not only will you fool yourself but you’ll fool everyone else too! No one can tell the difference between straight up soda water and lime from a vodka & soda, or a gin & tonic. This is only significant if you want to avoid the inevitable insistence that you “have another drink” at a family or work occasion.
- Set some goals
It can be helpful to set some goals. Keep them simple, keep them achievable and give yourself a pat on the back when you succeed because this stuff is hard! Some examples of holiday season drinking goals might be: no drinking after 10pm, or no drinking at lunch time, or only drinking on certain days of the week. Whatever your goal, remember to keep it simple and achievable.
- Every second drink is a drink of water
This is a good one, not only will it slow down your drinking and save you some money, it will also re-hydrate you and help you to fend off that inevitable New Years Day hangover.
Got anything to add or your own tips to share? Let us know! We love to hear from out readers, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
If your drinking is causing problems and you would be interested in cutting back or quitting but want some help to do so, check out our services directory for a list of LGBTQ inclusive drug and alcohol service providers.