We often have the best intentions not to overdo the booze on holidays, but time and time again find ourselves wasting the days hungover, instead of up and out exploring what the day has to offer. We are robbing ourselves of precious time with family and friends, along with the opportunity to create lifelong memories, opting for the “fun” we feel alcohol is bring us in the moment. Let’s explore some common reasons behind why we continuously find ourselves in this place, and how to tackle these challenges while still enjoying your time away.
One of the primary reasons why maintaining alcohol reduction goals becomes challenging during a holiday is the disruption of your daily routine. Our routines often act as a safeguard, helping us make healthier choices and avoid temptation. When you’re on holiday, the structure you rely on is gone, making it easier to revert to old habits.
Holidays are typically a time for socialising and celebrating, often accompanied by alcohol. The pressure to partake in the festivities can be overwhelming, especially when you’re surrounded by friends or family who may not be aware of your alcohol reduction goals. Getting swept up in your surroundings can make it challenging to stick to your plan.
Holidays can evoke a range of emotions, from joy and relaxation to stress and loneliness. These emotional triggers can lead to a desire to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. Without your usual support system and coping strategies, it can be easy to slip back into old patterns.
Availability and Temptation
Holiday destinations often offer a variety of alcoholic beverages, from happy hours to local specialties. The novelty and abundance of these options can be hard to resist, especially when you’re in a relaxed “I’m on a break” mindset. The availability of alcohol can make it tempting to indulge.
Now that we’ve identified some common reasons for the wheels falling off during holidays, let’s explore strategies to help you maintain your goals:
Plan Ahead: Before your holiday begins, set clear and realistic goals for your alcohol consumption. Create a strategy that includes ways to handle social pressure and temptation.
Communicate: Share your alcohol reduction goals with your travel companions or loved ones. Open communication can help them understand and support your journey, making it easier to resist being caught up in the moment.
Seek Alternatives: Explore non-alcoholic beverages, alcohol-free beers, or refreshing alcohol-free cocktails. These alternatives allow you to enjoy socialising without compromising your goals.
Mindful Drinking: If you decide to have an alcoholic beverage, do so mindfully. Set a limit for yourself, you can plan your drinks ahead of time with the Mind The Sip app, or log drinks in the moment. Savour the taste, and pace your consumption to remain in control.
Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Identify alternative ways to cope with holiday-related stress or emotions. Engage in activities like meditation, exercise, or journaling to help manage your feelings.
Stay Active: Incorporate physical activities and local exploration into your holiday plans. Staying active not only distracts you from alcohol but also promotes a healthier mindset.
Reflect and Learn: After your holiday, take time to reflect on your alcohol consumption during the trip. Analyse what worked and what didn’t and use this knowledge to adjust your strategies for future holidays.
Maintaining your alcohol reduction goals during a holiday may seem challenging, but it’s entirely possible with careful planning, open communication, and a commitment to your well-being. Remember that setbacks can happen, and they’re an opportunity to learn and grow. By addressing the common obstacles that arise during holidays and implementing strategies to overcome them, you can enjoy your holiday while staying firmly on your alcohol reduction journey.