5 gifts to give yourself a better relationship with alcohol this silly season

The ending of the old year and the beginning of the new can be a joyous time of celebration and connection, but if you are trying to change your relationship with alcohol it may not always feel like the most wonderful time of the year.

Alcohol is everywhere – even more than usual at this time of year. It’s served at every event – and there are so many more events. It suddenly becomes more acceptable to drink lots, more frequently and earlier in the day. It’s even in food!

It can make it really hard to stick to your goals or make changes.

So, if you are trying to take a break, cut back or quit drinking, here are our top gifts you can give yourself this Christmas:

  1. The gift of awareness

Take a moment to stop and think about how much you drink, how often and the ways it is impacting your life. Understanding this can help you figure out where to start making changes. A great place to start is with our Alcohol and Wellbeing self-assessment. It will give you a quick snapshot of your alcohol use, some insights into your wellbeing and some tips for next steps. If you’ve already reached your drinking goals and trying to maintain them, it‘s a good time to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and what got you here.

  1. The gift of honesty

Taking an honest look at your relationship with alcohol is not easy, but it is an important step if you are trying to change your relationship with alcohol. Think about why you drink and what’s really stopping you from making changes. Is it an important social lubricant in your world and you’re worried about losing friends? Is it just a habit learnt over a long period of time from family or friends that’s hard to break? Are you drinking to control unpleasant feelings like stress, anxiety, depression or even trauma? How does your drinking align with your values? When we align changes with our ‘why’ we are more likely to maintain them. What’s your ‘why’?

  1. The gift of mindfulness

Stop and smell the roses. Mindfulness is about slowing down and bringing automatic activity into awareness. Thinking more deeply about decisions to drink or not to drink. Don’t just pick up that drink someone has offered you, really think about whether you want it or not. If you are drinking, taste every sip, take in the smell, the look, the feel. Think about how that drink is affecting your senses. Think about whether it’s helping you meet your health and drinking goals. Be mindful of your limits. Most of us just drink without keeping track or thinking about it too much at all. We know from research that when you drink mindfully, you are better able to match your drinking behaviour to your values and goals. If you need a bit of help to hone your mindfulness skills, our new drink tracker can help. It helps you measure and better manage your drinking – it can easily be found in our Daybreak app.

  1. The gift of compassion

Be kind to yourself. Change can be hard to initiate and to maintain, and it might take a few goes before you get it right. If you slip up, no need to beat yourself up, just do what you need to get back on your path. Studies have shown that self compassion is associated with less drinking and being self critical the opposite. Don’t fall into the ‘F*ck it effect’, where if you slip up your critical self just says ‘f*ck it, I’ll just keep drinking’. There’s always a chance to get back on the path you’ve set yourself. Simply give yourself that chance.

  1. The gift of help and support

No one is an island. When you are making big changes of any kind the right support can be the difference between reaching or maintaining your goals or not. It can keep you motivated and accountable. The Daybreak community is an instant 24/7 pit crew you can check-in with anytime you need it. There is always someone online to listen and provide non-judgmental support. Other types of support you might find helpful are telling a friend or partner that you are going to make some changes, for others it might be a counsellor, or even joining a support group like Smart Recovery.

We wish you all the best on your journey to change your relationship with alcohol and are delighted we can be part of that journey with you.


The Hello Sunday Morning Team


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  • Great article to keep focus at this time of year. This will my first Christmas since I was probably 16 without alcohol. I’m 56 now. I’m focusing on the why as per the article. I loved that. Thanks.

    By Sionnach
    December 10, 2023
  • Ive been sober for 3 years now with thanks to HSM… great reminder to keep checking in with myself and not take for granted the achievements Ive made.
    Happy xmas
    Happier sober

    By Tijana
    December 11, 2023
  • I am on day 21 alcohol free after 20+ long years of binge drinking. Prior to stopping, I was regularly drinking 4-6x per week after work. It was rare for me to just have a couple. What helped me significantly was learning about the science behind what I was doing to my body. It has also helped tremendously to visit sites and posts such as these and read others’ shared experiences.

    I am honestly somewhat stunned at how I turned a blind eye to the negative effects of alcohol all these years. I think it was just a combination of “everybody does it” and me subconsciously telling myself it was okay and normal.

    I am sleeping much better, feel much better in the mornings, more productive and positive outlook overall, much better digestion, lost a little weight, and starting to feel a little more energy throughout the day. I have yet to go to a doctor, but am crossing my fingers that I did not do any irreversible damage to my liver.

    Thank you Hello Sunday Morning team and all those that share their experiences. If I can do it, you can too.

    By Steve
    December 19, 2023
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