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Here are six tips to help you stay sober over Christmas and New Year, no matter what invitations, social events or festivities are thrown at you:

1. Get happy saying no

If any social events, meals and parties are going to be too challenging for you, simply say no to them. It doesn’t help to put yourself under pressure. If you go into situations that are too challenging or too triggering, you could end up feeling overwhelmed and caving in.

It’s okay to put yourself and your needs first and to avoid those situations. I hereby give you full permission to say no to the…


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I’m just in the middle of cleaning the fridge-freezer with the radio on, singing loudly and badly to some great music 😆 This is a job I’ve been putting off for months! The reason I’m getting on top of it now is I’m off on holiday tomorrow and booked the day off work today so I could get everything sorted without any rush or pressure…

My bag is packed, my shopping list is done, my fridge-freezer will be clean, my bathroom is sparkling and I have fresh bedding on the bed. When I was young and rebellious, I would have…


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How many times did I use to tell myself that I was going to stop drinking completely or not drink this weekend or not drink at the party or go a month alcohol-free, only to end up reaching for alcohol and feeling like a failure?

How many years did I spend thinking about stopping drinking and not actually doing it?

And then, on the many occasions I did stop drinking, how many times did I go back to alcohol again and beat myself up about it?

If you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and have stopped drinking only to…


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It’s understandable that some people are finding it more challenging to stay sober during the Corona Virus crisis.

Not only has the pandemic created disruption to our normal routines but it has disconnected us from support networks like face-to-face groups, friends and family. It’s when people are disconnected and isolated like this, when people have so much time alone, that the overthinking can start, the anxiety can creep in and the need to escape can take over.

On top of that, for a lot of people, emotions are running high. People are naturally experiencing fear, stress and even panic. Some…


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It’s early Sunday morning, I’ve just returned home from a frosty run and the sun is streaming through the window onto the table in front of me. The daffodils I bought yesterday are starting to open next to my lap-top, I’m surrounded by yellow and gold and I’m content and energised. I feel good because I just raised my self-respect and fulfilment a couple of notches.

Last night, I went to bed thinking it would be good to go for a run in the morning but I hadn’t really decided to do it. It wasn’t a committed thought, it was…


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Well here I am again, about to put on my running gear and get out into the cold and dark at 6.30 in the morning. I can’t quite believe I’m doing this, that I’m putting myself through all this discomfort and that I’m mad enough to do it. That I’ve actually set my alarm earlier than I had to on a work day!

And I find myself drawing comparisons between this running experience and the stopping drinking experience.

I’m new to running and I’ve been hating it. I’m doing it for all sorts of reasons but enjoyment isn’t one of…


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Here are six tips to help you stay sober over Christmas and New Year, no matter what invitations, social events or festivities are thrown at you:

1. Get happy saying no

If any social events, meals and parties are going to be too challenging for you, simply say no to them. It doesn’t help to put yourself under pressure. If you go into situations that are too challenging or too triggering, you could end up feeling overwhelmed and caving in.

It’s okay to put yourself and your needs first and to avoid those situations. I hereby give you full permission…


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One of my worst Christmases was a few years ago when I woke up on Christmas Day morning feeling awful. I had got drunk the night before — I can’t remember now where I’d been or what I’d been doing but I can remember waking up with stale alcohol emanating from every pore, a disgusting taste in my mouth and a sense of dread that I had to go to my mum and dad’s and face all the family.

I felt so bad I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could survive the drive to mum…


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(The italics in this article are quotes from the UK’s New Economics Foundation).

If you’ve had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it’s likely you’ve not been looking after your health and well-being brilliantly. A simple definition of well-being is “feeling good and functioning well” (as described by the Centre for Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation). Here’s a more detailed definition:

Feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, curiosity and engagement are characteristic of someone who has a positive experience of their life. Equally important for our wellbeing is our functioning in the world. …


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Here are some practical tips and advice to help you stop drinking alcohol completely. What you need to do:

  1. Boost your motivation to get sober
  2. Plan, prepare and practise
  3. Retrain your brain
  4. Disable your old drinking “triggers”
  5. Develop a healthy relationship with yourself

Here’s some more detail on each of these, an explanation of what to do and how it helps, followed by a sample action plan to get you started.

1. Boost your motivation to get sober

Changing any habit can be challenging as habits become programmed into us at an unconscious level and can be tricky to shift…

Jo Burnett

Jo Burnett is a life coach, writer and public speaker based in the UK who specialises in habit change and helping people to stop drinking: gogetsober.com

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