Christmas is a time to celebrate with family and friends. However, it can also be a time of excess, particularly when it comes to alcohol consumption. Drinkaware wants to support the public and encourage adults to drink mindfully throughout this festive season. Drinking mindfully is an attitude towards alcohol and actively asking yourself questions about why you drink, without judgement. When you drink mindfully, you are aware of how much you drink, and how drinking impacts your mind and body. With 4 in 10 adults* now feeling that they understand the term ‘mindful drinking’. Why not put this practice to the test, and think SANTA to help you and your guest drink mindfully this Christmas.
From mince pies to gingerbread men, don’t forget to keep the Christmas snacks replenished! Eating while drinking alcohol helps to slow down how much you drink, but also slows down how quickly alcohol is absorbed into your body. Your guests won’t feel the impact of the alcohol as quickly as they would if they were drinking and not eating.
Free-pouring drinks can lead to drinking above the HSE low-risk weekly guidelines for alcohol. The guidelines state that men should have no more than 17 and women no more than 11, standard drinks a week and these should be spread out over the week with two alcohol-free days. Use a Drinkaware Standard Drink Measuring Cup or a measuring cup you have at home to measure all drinks.
Why not swap your alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic one? There are so many non-alcoholic alternatives out there to try. This way you can still enjoy the taste and not deal with the unwanted effects of alcohol the next day. If you are having social gatherings at home this Christmas, why not make some mocktails for your guests and don’t forget to leave one out for Santa, as he should never drink alcohol and drive a sleigh of reindeer. Guests can also make a safe journey home with no alcohol in their system.
Track your drinking
Keeping track of what you are drinking is a great way to drink mindfully this Christmas. You can use the Drinkaware Drinks Calculator whether you are having a drink at home or on a night out. Our calculator not only helps you keep track of what you are drinking but also gives you an estimated time of how long it may take your body to process the alcohol. This is particularly important to know, especially if you are planning to drive or operate machinery the day after consuming alcohol.
Christmas events and gatherings don’t have to be surrounded by or even involve alcohol. Christmas is all about being together and the best present you can give someone is your presence. Try baking delicious festive treats with some friends and family, sign up for a festive fun run, host a non-alcoholic party with fun festive games and create new special memories.
By thinking SANTA and following these tips, you can drink mindfully and enjoy a safe and happy Christmas.
*The Drinkaware Barometer 2023 is a national population-based survey of 1,000 adults aged 18+ conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes in July/August 2023 and included a series of internationally recognised modules relating to alcohol consumption and mental health.