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Sipping Through the Season: A Former Party Girl's Guide to Holiday Moderation

“Anticipate your triggers, and you'll be golden.”

The holiday season is a time for cheer, merriment, and, let's be honest, a whole lot of temptation. From family gatherings to office parties, festive cocktails are often the life of the party. I am also the first to admit there may be some uncomfortable moments to prepare for, people you'd rather not see but have to, and conversations you'd love not to have either.

We all know know that moderation is key to a happy and healthy holiday season, but doing so with the endless temptation and constant stressors can be easier said than done.

So, let's ditch the FOMO and instead embrace the power of mindful drinking. It's not about depriving ourselves of the joys of a good glass of bubbly or a festive cocktail; it's ALL about savoring the experience without letting it derail our vibe. Here are 3 things you've likely not given much thought to that can turn your holiday from a hangover in the making to a happy and memorable one.

1. Anticipate Your Triggers

As a coach, personal cheerleader, and a mindful drinking advocate, I am all about self-awareness. This is the perfect time to start working and strengthening this "muscle." So, take a moment to identify the situation(s) or emotion(s) that typically trigger your desire to overindulge or to mindlessly drink to oblivion. Is it the stress of family gatherings? The excitement of office parties? Having to converse with people you'd prefer not to see? Or maybe it's just the sheer abundance of holiday treats and drinks at every turn?

Once you know your triggers, you can develop strategies to navigate them. If it's stress, practice some mindfulness techniques or take a walk to clear your head. If it's excitement, find other ways to celebrate, like dancing or engaging in fun conversations. And if it's the abundance of treats, bring your own healthy options or indulge in moderation. Personally, I now always come with a b*free (booze*free) option to share. Not only does it help me to drink less (or even avoid drinking altogether) it's also made me some new friends by introducing them to something great and new. Maybe they've been curious about trying but just haven't yet! It's all about having options but knowing you're in full control of making the choices that are best for you.

2. Take Breaks

Remember, even extroverts need to recharge. So, don't be afraid to step away from the festivities and take a break. Go get some fresh air, chat with a non-drinking friend, or just take a moment to breathe.

And when you come back, you'll be refreshed and ready to enjoy the party with renewed energy. Plus, taking breaks will help you stay mindful of your consumption and avoid overindulging.

3. Lower Your Expectations

The holidays can put a lot of pressure on us to have the perfect time. But:

1. Perfection is overrated and

2. Perfection does NOT exist.

Real life is messy, and that's okay.

So, lower your expectations and embrace the imperfections of the season. This doesn't mean you can't have fun or enjoy yourself; it just means that you don't have to put so much pressure on yourself (or others) to make everything perfect.

Dreading seeing someone this holiday? (And I mean this with all the love and grace, so please hear me out...) Rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt, expect them to be exactly how they were last time you saw them (aka probably why you aren't so psyched to see them.) I used to try and go in with a clean slate and an open mind only to be disappointed every single time. I had these high hopes they'd be fun and enjoyable to be around only to wind up super disappointed when in reality they were just being themselves. This sounds silly as I type it out, but I'm sure most of us have been there wishing to enjoy someone only to be let down (or offended) each time they aren't who we wish they would be.

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

So, when you lower your expectations, you'll be less likely to feel disappointed if things don't go as planned. Plus, you'll be more likely to appreciate the little things and have a truly enjoyable holiday season.

Remember, you deserve to feel good about yourself, both during the holidays and all year round. And let's be honest - we never feel awesome about ourselves when we overdrink. So, embrace the power of moderation, and enjoy the season with a healthy dose of self-love and self-awareness.

Cheers to a happy, healthy, and hangover-free holiday season!

Your future self thanks you.

Resources to help with drinking less and moderating like a boss:

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