drinking in moderationFor me, preparation for Thanksgiving –  shopping, planning the meal, inviting guests, etc- marks the beginning of the “Holiday Season.” And with it usually come larger amounts of parties, gatherings ….and STRESS.  It’s an unfortunate fact that a time that is supposed to be all about joy and togetherness can bring so much underlying emotional dysfunction.

To control your drinking and have more enjoyment during the holidays, you have to start by being mindful. Instead of trying to stick your head in a bottle and pretend that the various different issues don’t exist, recognize them for what they are and begin to deal with them effectively and productively, instead of self-destructively.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are you stressed out because of money and not being able to buy the gifts you’d like to buy?
  • Are you dreading spending 3 days with your pessimistic, judgmental Aunt Suzie?
  • Do you feel like you have to impress your boss or your in-laws at parties or gatherings?

Take some time and determine what is going on with you, and then begin to change the way you think or react to certain situations.

Here are some strategies for effectively dealing with negative situations or feelings:

  • Problem solve – Example – find alternate, less expensive forms of gift-giving.
  • Stop thinking emotionally and get logical. Your boss isn’t likely to fire you if you aren’t the perfect social butterfly at a party – And if he does, you didn’t want to work for him anyway!
  • Plan ahead for dealing with certain people or certain situations – Accept that Aunt Suzie’s thoughts are just HER thoughts – they aren’t reality –  and let them just roll off of you like water on a duck.
  • Do some natural stress-relieving activities, such as taking walks or hikes, dancing, working out. And be aware of the foods and dietary supplements that make you feel better – like spicy foods or chocolate – or maybe even MODER8 if you feel yourself starting to get a little anxious.

The most important thing is to be aware and plan ahead. And don’t forget to plan how much you are going to drink, who will be driving, plan to eat and alternate water and non-alcoholic beverages (for more moderate drinking tip, click here to watch this video. Then do your best to really enjoy the lights, music, laughing and gatherings this time of year, and be thankful for your blessings – no matter how big or small.

So relax, plan ahead and enjoy the Holidays!