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Navigating the festive season alcohol-free

What with all the work parties, festive celebrations, and social get-togethers, the Christmas period can be a total minefield for anyone who’s trying to limit or avoid alcohol. If you’re someone who typically liked a drink prior to getting pregnant, it can be a challenging time seeing those around you getting merry, whilst having to deny yourself something you previously enjoyed.


Changing your drinking habits during pregnancy can also alter the dynamics of certain relationships, if it was previously a shared activity between you and a friend or loved one. It’s also not particularly fun being the only sober one at a party, let’s face it!


There’s no two ways about it; it can be tough. But try to keep in mind your reasons for making this positive change and focus on the fact that it isn’t forever. Whilst the Christmas period might make it more difficult, there are some things you can do to try and make things a little easier. In this post, I’ll be discussing six ways you can navigate this booze-fuelled time, which will help you to maintain your resolve and remain alcohol-free this year.


Navigating the festive season alcohol-free

Confide in others


Although other people will commonly assume you’ll be cutting down on alcohol during your pregnancy, it can be helpful to clarify this with friends and family prior to social events. Especially if you’re finding it hard to resist a drink, it can be useful to ask your loved ones to support you, by not offering you alcohol or by requesting they provide you with appropriate alternatives if you’re visiting them at home. Similarly, if you’re off out for drinks with friends, it might be worth considering the type of bar or venue you’re visiting. If it’s somewhere that has limited soft drink options, it might be worth raising this with your friends in advance, so you can plan to go somewhere that better caters for non-drinkers. Wine bars, for example, typically provide very few decent non-alcoholic options, whereas some cocktails bars provide a good selection of mocktails and alcohol-free wines.


Stock up


It’s common to stock up on your favourite tipple over the Christmas period and to ensure there’s enough fizz to go around for when people visit. However, if you’re actively trying to avoid alcohol, it’s also essential to ensure you have sufficient supplies of non-alcoholic drinks in the house during this time. It’s less of a temptation to reach for a glass of wine, for example, if you have plenty of other options available to you.


Set a limit


Whilst the safest option is to cut out alcohol completely, it’s a personal choice, and it might be that you decide to join in and enjoy a little bit of alcohol at some point. If you do, it can be helpful to be intentional about how much you plan to drink in advance. Setting a limit beforehand, will mean you’re less likely to get carried away after your first drink. For added accountability, you might also find it helpful to tell someone else how many drinks you’re comfortable having, so they can help you stick to your plan.


Stay hydrated


Whether you’re having a night in at home, or heading out to a party, try to drink a sufficient amount of water throughout the day. It’s recommended that adults drink around two litres of water daily, which is roughly equivalent to eight glasses. It might sound obvious, but if you’re well hydrated, you’ll be less likely to need a drink and therefore less likely to quench your thirst with something alcoholic.


Plan ahead


If you’re heading out to a festive get-together at someone’s house, make sure you take some non-alcoholic alternatives with you. Whilst it’s likely there will be some soft drinks on offer, it’s probably best to assume these will be limited and potentially uninspiring options (you don’t want to be stuck drinking water all night). Choose something you’ll enjoy and that perhaps you don’t always think to have when at home, to make it a bit more appealing and to ensure you don’t go without.


Get creative


Non-alcoholic drinks can sometimes seem a bit boring compared to a festive mulled wine or Christmas cocktail. But try to think outside the box and make it a bit more exciting. You don’t need to just rely on lemonade or fruit juice! Try stocking up on ingredients to make some tasty smoothies or have a look at some online recipes for mocktails. Even adding some fruit garnishes to more basic drinks can make them seem a little fancier. For example, you might like to think about adding berries, slices of fruit, or sprigs of herbs to your drinks. The more effort you put in, the more appealing these alcohol-free options will seem!

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