Anxiety can be triggers by alcohol for a lot of people and this is something I want to touch on.
In this insight I want to share some of my top tips to enjoying myself and still not putting myself at risk of anxiety and an anxiety attack.
1. Only have alcohol if you want to have alcohol
This may sound silly, but so many of us - especially the people pleasers, will go along with the crowd to fit in and not stand out or cause a fuss.
BUT - if you are not feeling your best, or in the right mindset or mood for drinking alcohol, simply say that you aren't feeling great but are happy to come and enjoy the atmosphere or party etc.
Don't drink unless you really want to have a drink.
I do love a prosecco! I also love waking up feeling fresh and without anxiety or worry about the night before. So now I will have 1 or 2 glasses with dinner and then drink water or cranberry juice.
I will rarely drink more than this amount now and I also love the control I have of my own feelings and being able to manage others expectations of me and drinking.
1 or 2 glasses to celebrate or enjoy a meal can be a nice treat and one you enjoy, when it suits you.
Holidays always make me feel great!
However, if I am somewhere new and don't know my surroundings, I will not drink alcohol as I know this will trigger my anxiety. So always spend time becoming comfortable with your surroundings, on holiday or our somewhere new, so that you don't feel overwhelmed or out of control at any point.
Your safety is the most important.
4. Trusted ones
I will only drink alcohol with people I love and trust and know I am safe with. This prevents me from feeling self-conscious or worry about what I say or do. (not that I would ever do anything outrageous, but its the principle for someone who experiences anxiety!)
So only drink alcohol when you feel safe and happy with your company.
It can be so easy to get swept up in occasions and go with the flow.
Set yourself limits.
You don't have to drink at every Christmas meal or Christmas event. Drive so that you have an automatic reason not to, or make sure you have plans for afterwards or the next day, to give yourself that reminder of things to come.
Set yourself times that you will have a drink and times where you will just enjoy the atmosphere.
Alcohol is not the be all and end all of an occasion and actually sometimes inhibits your time having fun and enjoying the moment.
Don't take risks when you don't want to.
I don't drink spirits anymore. They aren't for me and not something I enjoy.
So I will only drink prosecco mainly, or rose (a really sweet one!)
If I don't want to drink strong drinks or have shots or go wild, I won't. Don't take risks if you don't want to.
Your happiness matters more than trying a new shot, just for the moment or to be part of the gang.
I am a huge advocate for being authentic and myself and I will always be honest with you.
Anxiety is triggered in so many different ways for us all, but I know alcohol can be a huge driver and I hope these tips are a simple way to start seeing drinking in a different light, but also still allow you to enjoy your life and experiences, in a way that works for you.