People tend to drink more during the holidays for a number of different reasons. They are often more stressed due to Christmas shopping, planning events, and spending time with family members they may have conflict with. They are also in more settings where alcohol is involved – work parties, Christmas gatherings with friends, family and New Year’s events.
The stress of the holidays, the desire to have fun and celebrate and the abundance of alcohol during this time of year can lead to binge drinking. Unfortunately, excessive drinking can lead to health problems and ultimately can worsen stress, depression and feelings of loneliness that people often experience during the holidays. Family conflict, drama and relationships issues can also be further strained when alcohol is involved.
The holidays can prove to be a better experience if you avoid excessive drinking or drinking at all, manage stress and take time for self-care. Since shopping can be stressful it is important to start early, plan out your holidays errands and manage your time effectively to reduce stress. You should also try to prioritize social obligations and avoid spreading yourself too thin.
At family gatherings or parties it can be helpful to give yourself a limit to the amount of drinks you will consume for the night and implement an exit time. If you are in recovery, having a plan is helpful as well as bringing a sober friend or sober coach. If you feel yourself having a difficult time you can simply leave the party early and get home to avoid a binge.
Excessive drinking can be a serious problem for people during the holidays who end up going past their normal level of alcohol intake or relapsing. Managing stress and moderating drinking behavior can help the holidays go more smoothly overall and prevent any health issues from ruining your celebrations.