Christmas is a wonderful time of year for work colleagues, family and friends to come together, to have fun, give, and celebrate together. Although it is also a time for getting drunk, binge drinking and saying or doing things many deeply regret.
Alcohol is a social lubricant which binds many together and is the cultural lynchpin for many Christmas parties, social and family gatherings. It's a shortcut to confidence, overcoming social anxiety, relaxing and dealing with stress.
During my twenties and early thirties, I use to binge drink, particularly at the work christmas party. With promises to myself that wouldn't get drunk - I would be the last to leave the party. The next day I felt the walk of shame as I entered the office. What did I do? What did I say? Did I embarrass myself? The shame penetrated every part of my body.
Through my working history, many of many colleagues also binged on alcohol - some didn't show up for work and wasn't contactable by phone and the company called the police to ensure they were okay. Some got incredibly drunk in front of high profile clients and guests and were given warnings. Married colleagues cheated on their partners. Risky sexual interactions. Others got into fights.
Christmas is a time for a lot of fun but for many who binge drink it's a time for shame, embarrassment and many lost memories.
Here are five simple ways to stop binge drinking over the Christmas period (and beyond)
1- Recognise you have a problem with binge drinking
Take responsibility and acknowledge you have a problem with controlling how much you drink and binge drinking. This first step helps you get control back over your drinking habits. This isn't about blame it's about being honest with yourself so you can make the necessary changes.
2 - Understand your triggers for binge drinking
Work Christmas parties and family gatherings can be a stressful time for some. Start to figure out why you drink, what triggers it and what it gives you.
Is it a way to cope with stressful situations or emotional issues, an avenue to let your hair down or does it offer you a false sense of confidence?
3 - Do not drink on an empty stomach
Drinking on an empty stomach will get you drunk faster and increases the risks of binge drinking. Ensure you eat a full heavy meal before you consume your first drink.
This is often overlooked and when I speak to clients about their triggers for binge drinking as it often starts with "I was drinking on an empty stomach and then I lost control".
4 - Drink water between drinks
Drinking is not a race or a competition to see how much you can drink. Set a slower pace by drinking water between each drink and this helps do slow down your pace and allow you to make conscious decisions.
5 - Do not go into rounds
Do not go into rounds - even if it is a free bar. This enables you to drink at your own pace and not be pressured by yourself or others into drinking faster or consuming more.
Enjoy this special time of the year
With the right outlook and intentions you can begin to enjoy this magical time of the year. Set intentions and have fun responsibly without damaging your emotional well-being and reputation.
Ten years ago I stopped binge drinking and my life changed in ways I never imagined - I have more energy, control, focus and motivation. You can also create this change.
Do you have any tips to stop binge drinking? Please share and add them in the comment section below.
About Linda Connors
Linda Connors is Europe's Leading Sex Hypnotherapist who also works with habitual and addictive behaviours. Her private clinic is Harley Street London, Bath and online Skype.
Are you ready to stop binge drinking? If so you can start to make change by contacting Linda on 075 3421 3557.