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A Guide to Alcohol Moderation Over the Holidays

by Paula Berry, Head of Service: Clinical Operations at Claimont Health

Approaching the festive season often feels like tackling a challenging incline, especially when considering our relationship with alcohol. With the holidays symbolising mistletoe and wine, the temptation to deviate from health goals and indulge becomes pronounced. Our specialists at Claimont Health advocate for a shift in perspective. This year, we encourage you to prioritise your physical and mental well-being over the allure of over-indulgence.

Our guide to alcohol moderation involves consciously managing and limiting your alcohol intake, finding a delicate balance that preserves your overall health. It’s not about complete abstention but rather navigating the fine line between celebration and excess.

In this comprehensive guide crafted by professionals, we extend an invitation to explore how you can make positive changes to encourage alcohol moderation during the Christmas celebrations. It’s a season where cheer should seamlessly harmonise with responsibility, and we’re here to guide you through the journey of achieving that balance. Simply keep reading to learn more…


The advantages of moderate drinking over the festive period

Embracing a mindful approach and moderate drinking during the festive season offers a variety of health benefits, from safeguarding the liver to prioritising mental well-being. It’s essential to recognise the unique motivations behind each individual’s decision to cut back, acknowledging that complete withdrawal isn’t always universally recommended or straightforward.

Reducing alcohol intake significantly contributes to heart health by mitigating risks associated with excessive drinking, such as high blood pressure and an increased likelihood of heart disease, as reported by Drinkaware. This adjustment plays a pivotal role in promoting cardiovascular well-being. Furthermore, the positive impact on sleep quality should not be underestimated. Cutting down on alcohol can alleviate its disruptive influence on sleep patterns, fostering a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience. These adjustments, spanning from weight management to reducing the risk of certain cancers, embody a mindful approach to the festive season, ensuring a balance between celebration and well-being without compromising on joy.

Professionally-approved tips on cutting down on alcohol over Christmas 

If you’re considering cutting down on your alcohol consumption, but you’re not too sure where to start, then our experts have you covered. Below, we’ve listed our expert-approved recommended tips to help you drink less this Christmas. 

Alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks

Alternating your alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic drink is a great way to enjoy the festive fun while ensuring that your body remains hydrated. You can opt for water, a flavoursome drink of your choice, or even craft your very own festive-themed mocktail. With a variety of alcohol-free options to choose from, you could replace your drink of choice with a low or non-percentage option. This simple yet proactive change is a great way to ensure that you don’t push your body over the limit. 

Encourage alcohol-free days 

We understand that the holidays are a time for celebrating or meeting with friends and family in a setting where alcohol is commonly consumed. So, to ensure that you don’t over indulge, it’s important to plan ahead and consider which days can be completely alcohol-free. This will ensure that your body has a break and time to recover, a factor which helps to protect your liver, kidneys and heart.  

Avoid stocking up on alcohol during the build-up to Christmas 

The best way to guarantee that you don’t over indulge during the festive period is to avoid stocking up on alcohol. If the amount you have is limited, it’ll deter you from drinking over this amount and help you to fairly distribute what you do have over the days you wish to enjoy it. This will help you to achieve moderate drinking.

Use smaller glasses and top up less 

During the times when you are drinking, using a smaller glass will help you to portion out and control the amounts you’re drinking. Topping up your drink less and drinking slowly will also ensure that you consume less alcohol during the festive period. 

Make realistic goals to cut back 

And finally, make realistic goals. If you are a regular drinker, then deciding to cut out alcohol altogether is not a fair or reliable goal to meet. Instead, aim to drink smaller amounts on less days, which will make achieving your targets easier.


How alcohol moderation can boost your wellbeing this holiday season

Taking control of your alcohol intake over the festive period can have significant positive impacts on both your mental well-being and physical health. It’s not about abstaining entirely but rather adopting a mindful and measured approach, allowing you to enjoy the festivities without compromising your overall wellness.

From a mental well-being perspective, moderating alcohol consumption can contribute to enhanced mood stability. Excessive alcohol intake, especially during celebratory occasions, can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, potentially leading to increased feelings of anxiety or depression. By controlling your alcohol intake, you’re better positioned to maintain a positive and stable mental state, fostering a more enjoyable and stress-free festive experience.

It’s important to approach this with a sense of balance, allowing yourself to enjoy the festive season without feeling deprived. By controlling your alcohol consumption, you’re not only taking care of your mental and physical well-being but also ensuring a more vibrant and joyful festive experience.


Need more guidance? Contact the helpful team at Claimont Health today to talk about cutting back on alcohol

In moments of challenge, reaching out for support is a wise step. If you find yourself grappling with alcohol intake and are seeking expert advice on how to curtail it, the dedicated professionals at Claimont Health are here for you. Feel free to connect with any member of our team today, and we will promptly extend a helping hand to provide the guidance and assistance you need.

If you or a loved one are looking to take the vital step in cutting back your alcohol consumption, consider visiting our  alcohol home detox page or our private alcohol treatment page for clearer guidance in the next steps for you or your loved one’s journey in reducing alcohol dependence.

  • Paula Berry
    Head of Service: Clinical Operations
    RMN, DPS, BSc

    Paula is responsible for the clinical and operational management of services. Prior to joining Claimont she was Regional Operations Manager and Substance Misuse Lead for the veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress. A Registered Mental Health Nurse, Paula’s career has focussed on complex mental health across in-patient, community, prison, NHS and private services. As an experienced senior nurse and healthcare manager, she has a history of successfully managing complex mental healthcare services within operational roles at national and regional level.