Rum and Sun: Holidays and Alcohol.

The sun is out, the BBQ is on and you crack open the beer or the fizzy wine.

It’s like the perfect trio.

When I worked in alcohol services I used to hear it all the time, “it was a lovely hot sunny day so I went to the pub and had a cold beer. It’s a massive trigger for me”.

The suns out, so you get the Beers in, or wine or whatever your tipple is.

I will be honest here the sun isn’t one of my triggers at all, if anything when the sun is out, I want to eat and drink healthy things and increase my fitness so I am beach body ready (well maybe that’s a bit far, minus a beach belly - ok that will do 😊).

Those all-inclusive holidays sound like a nightmare to me. Where you can eat and drink whatever you want.   I have never done one, it doesn’t appeal to me at all, because basically I don’t trust myself. I come from a working-class background, if its free you have it, get your money’s worth.  Even though I know you have paid for it, the thing is you can have as much as you want.  If you are someone that struggles with an off button with booze or food or both this may not be the best option for you.

How do you feel about the sun, holidays and booze?

We Brits have a bit of a reputation for being badly behaved when abroad: drunk, binge sessions, violence and throwing up in the streets.  Now I know that’s only a few of us and mostly when we are younger.  But it’s still there whatever age.  I here and see people all the time talking about their holidays and that they are looking forward to drinking their way through it.

That’s ok if that’s what you want to do.

But if you are someone that has just started to make changes, or maybe you are a good way in, holidays can be a challenge. Particularly if you are someone that has previously drunk on them and you associate them with booze.

What you can do to help yourself:

·       The first thing is being aware. Are you someone that associates holidays with booze?  If so change your mindset around this. What is this holiday about? What’s it for? What do you want to gain from it?  Is it to relax? In which case not drinking is perfect. Learn how to relax without booze. It will also really give your body and brain a break.  Is it to spend time with your family? Again what better way than to be alcohol free? You will be present, have energy and ready to join in the fun.  You get the idea anyway.  Turn it around in your head, what’s the benefit of being alcohol free on this holiday?

·       Who are you going with? If you are going with a group of people that like to drink how are you going to manage this.  Can you tell them before you go? Let them know you won’t be drinking, get all the not drinking conversations out the way before you go.  Is there one person there that is supportive of you, maybe they don’t drink themselves. 

·       What’s your favourite alcohol-free tipple? Can you take some with you? Are there any recipes you can take for lovely refreshing alcohol free cocktails?

·       Remember that it is only 7, 10 or 14 days. Depending on how long your holiday is.  It’s such a short period of time.  Remember what you want your holiday to be for. Remind yourself that’s what you are doing: being healthy, relaxing or being with your family.  Whatever your reason.

·       Sometimes holidays can be stressful for so many reasons.  Things go wrong: family arguments, friends fall out, children being difficult etc.  Remember it’s just life, there is always going to be something.  How do you cope with difficult situations at home? Take some time out to read, run, exercise, go for a walk on your own, download a mindfulness app, listen to music or dance.  The list goes on. Think about what you do that helps you in your normal day to day life.  Make sure you have access to this if needed on holiday and remember; breathe.

Ultimately remember why you are making this choice, to reduce, stop or take a break.  A holiday is just part of life and something else to learn how to do alcohol free.

Any questions please ask on Facebook and Twitter.

Ladies if you need more support, one of the best things I do is run a closed Facebook group for women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. It’s non-judgemental, supportive and you can use it for accountability. Join the Ladies only Facebook group

Stephanie Chivers is a habit, addiction specialist.  She has worked with 1000’s of people and been on her own journey and wants to share with you what works so you can live a happy healthy life.








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