Ho Ho Hold My Drink


'Tis the season for getting your drink on. Have you had a few too many drinks lately? Not to encourage your behavior, but that's understandable.

We've been told repeatedly to distance, refrain from travel, forgo normal holiday festivities. On top of that, winter has been cited to literally drive us to drink.

Colder, darker days, on top of the 'vid, is the perfect storm for alcoholism.

If you're planning on resetting for the new year or, even if not and you're going to keep on doing your thing, being aware of your habits is a must. Right now it might just be holiday/fuck-this-year cheer but let's keep tabs on things if they progress much longer than that.

1. Keep track of triggers.

In an interview with Vice Lawrence Weinstein noted "Drinking or using a substance to escape or dull emotions, there is cause for concern. Someone who drinks to avoid loneliness or anxiety will not develop the skills required to deal with those stressors, so every time they are feeling lonely or anxious, they drink.”

This, he said, can quickly become a “slippery slope” that could lead to more serious dependency issues down the road.

Action: Keep tabs on what inches you towards a bottle or smoking. Literally make a note in your phone. If you're drinking as a dependency for your emotions, take an introspective look at your motives.

2. Map Out The Big Days

Regardless if you're with your loved ones or making it through the holidays solo, map it out. Pack your day(s) with plans. Video call marathons with friends, movie marathons on your own, cook the most elaborate things you can think of, go outside. I'm not going to make shit up for you but the point is keep it busy.

“Give yourself permission to feel sad, then plan ahead and think about what you can do to make the day less difficult.” - Natalia Skritskaya, research scientist for the Center for Complicated Grief.

Action! Yes this contrived and easier said than done, but start a hobby. I'm picking up piano again. Don't set some lofty goal of playing for hours on end, start with 5 minutes. Try 20 different things every week. Do something that's 100% not "you" but you've always been interested in.

3. Build A Routine

Every self help article no the planet has routine in it so I won't dwell on eating healthy, sleeping the right amount, etc.,  but I do to address something most other articles do not.

Routines take on average 66 days to form (ranging from 18 - 254 in one study. The only way to start a routine is to start today, not some arbitrary point in the future. Doing that likely means changing something in your existing schedule.

If you live with your significant other or a roommate, be really clear with them what routine you're trying to build and why. You'd don't have to justify your intentions if you don't want to but if you're doing something that may, even if slightly, effect their schedule or life in any capacity, they should know.

Action: Write it down, put it in a place you're going walk past everyday. Make it big and bold. Bake in freebie days. Shit will happen that will throw you off a day. Don't beat yourself up over it.

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