THE ADVENT-URE STARTS HERE! Your Guide to an Alcohol-Free DecemberNov 25, 2021
There is no better time to be sober than December. It's true! January is good because everyone is doing Dry Jan but December, we know is a MOFO for drinking triggers because of the Cluster F of stress, overwhelm, expectation, socialising, tiredness and cultural messaging around high days and holidays, celebrations. But flip it think of extra energy, clear mornings, waking up hangover free, no regrets, not trying to get away from the kids because you want to start drinking and no office party mishaps. Then take stuff off the list, and fill it with what you actually want and suddenly it's starting to look a lot like ... well a pretty lush sober Christmas.
The thing is - this period needs a REFRAME people. We seriously call BS on this time of year and the cult of busy, the cult of parental perfection, the boozing, hangovers, the extra expense and the Chinese landfill. But before you think bah humbug… Kate actually loves this time of year, lighting fires, carolling, collecting holly in the woods, hot chocolate decorating the xmas tree and hanging the fairy lights . She had to seriously break the booze associations with Xmas though. Mandy tends to avoid it all together. She often goes away to a different European city. What we have both done is reclaim and reframe it in a way that does not trigger us and create routines and rituals which work for us and our families.
We have been thinking about all the xmas triggers and have decided to focus on OVERWHELM as the major trigger for women and mums/ carers. Once we go into overwhelm and kick off the fight flight response we get dysregulated and reach for the old behaviour to cope ( Booze). Instead of living in the vicious cycle of feeling pressured and then numbing this with booze, only to feel more pressure once the booze has worn off, how do we get to grips with living alcohol-free this Xmas and meeting our needs?
ADVENT OVERWHELM TOOLS
SEE IT AS IT IS: The first step is to have a look at your average day to see what you are actually doing with your time. Make a list of all of your tasks: domestic, childcare, work, etc. Then write next to each task how much time it all takes. Add in the Xmas stuff...
Go through your list again and factor in some time for exercising, downtime, and connecting with others. THIS IS ALL REALLY IMPORTANT. Be brutal and see if there is anything you can leave for this week, or for good. Now delegate and ask for help, manage expectations and let people know what you need.
Employ the ‘one-third principal’: can you take one-third of the things off your list?
Be aware and beware of the ‘ I don’t have a free weekend ‘ shit storm. Make one.
Repeat again for your upcoming week on a Sunday evening. Make a list of anything you need to plan or arrange. Liaise with your other half and/or support network so that any logistics or practicalities will be taken care of in advance. Prune away, Monty Don.
THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL Consider using a wall planner or blackboard if your brain responds better to visual cues, and/or set voice reminders on your phone if you like auditory cues.
ODAAT: Set aside just a few minutes every evening to prepare for the following day. This could be to organise school uniform or prepare packed lunches, or anything else that might be on your planner.
GIVE ME A FRICKEN BREAK : Take a look at the division of labour. How does this work in your house? Can you afford a cleaner, or some other paid help? Or can you go through your list with your other half and work out a way to divide things more efficiently and offload some of the stress?
START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON : In the morning , set your alarm at least an hour before you need to leave the house (we set ours 30 minutes before the rest of the household gets up to have some quiet time, meditate, write, have a cuppa). This is easier than it sounds especially when you don’t have a hangover!
GET YOUR 5 A DAY Build in some breaks. We like to add in the call to tea, five times a day. It’s like the call to prayer, but with a cup of tea.
YOU DO YOU
Just remember that you are not responsible for everyone else’s feelings, party, good time, Xmas day. Not your circus, not your monkeys. Ask for help, take space, plan and let go of perfect.
Build a tool kit of things to sustain you ad make you feel snuggly, sparkly and like a sober queen this December - here are some of our ideas.
SENSORY TOOL KIT
Something to calm me down
Somewhere quiet to go
Something to light me up
Xmas music/ or banging choons to release stress.
Connection with Sober Group
Discernment over going out
Wing person - emergency sober contact
Podcast/ quit lit / novel.
Planner - 1 evening social event max, 2 brunches, coffee.
Remember the FIRSTS principle- each first is the hardest - you may have been sober all year but this is your first sober xmas? Ok be KIND to you and prep like your life depends on it.
REMEMBER - it’s just one day - you can do this.
Lush AF Alternatives
Lush advent calendar
Bed, blankets, pyjama armour.
Smelling and looking gorgeous.
You deserve to put yourself in the picture and have yourself days that are merry in the right way and bright.
LOVE K&M X
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