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8 ways to manage your drinking this Christmas

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We all want to have a merry Christmas, but sometimes it can feel hard to detach Christmas cheer from the drunken buzz of beer as the festive season is so heavily associated with alcohol.

For many of us, Christmas celebrations start early. Whether at uni parties, end-of-term drinks, or catch-up nights out with friends back home, there seem to be all too many reasons to have a drink or two (or three) throughout December.

Image credit: Pixabay

If you drink within your limits and don’t over-do it, the odd drink shouldn’t be a cause for concern - but it is important to always know what those limits are.

Co-op has been working in partnership with The Drinkaware Trust since 2007, so we’ve enlisted their help to put together five tips for managing your drinking this Christmas.

1. Drink to enjoy the drink – not to get drunk

When shopping for pre-drinks try to buy fewer bottles, but spend a bit more on each one if you want a get-together that feels like a chance to celebrate and catch up, rather than just a get-drunk-quick session. We promise you, wine that costs £2 more per bottle is going to taste 90% less like paint-stripper. Ditto vodka, cider, and pretty much every type of booze you can pick up off the shelf. 

2. Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks and stay hydrated 

It’s so important during Christmas celebrations to make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water and other soft drinks. If you have a glass of something alcoholic, choose a soft drink for your next one.

Particularly if you’re hosting a party, get in loads of lovely soft drinks that feel like you can have alongside, or instead of, alcohol.

Co-op has a great recipe for a raspberry and rosé mocktail which is fun to make, and even better to drink.

Image credit: Co-op Food

3. Use hangovers as an incentive to not over-drink

When a fun night out leads to a day of headaches, queasiness and mind-fogging tiredness, is it really worth it? The option to go out and have a good time and wake up without a hangover is a no-brainer.

If you go out with your friends and keep your drinks limited to one or two, you’ll thank yourself in the morning when you wake up feeling fresh. 

4. Go lighter 

On the same note, why not add in the odd softer alcoholic drink to your evening? We're thinking lager shandy, white wine spritzers or alcoholic ginger beer. That way, you'll be able to enjoy the night for even longer. 

5. Pace yourself

It goes without saying that if you drink a lot for an extended period of time, it's only going to end badly. But, particularly on Christmas day, the drinks can start flowing early and continue well into the night.

Save yourself the embarrassment of drunken slip-ups in front of the family and be mindful of how much and how often you are drinking on 25th December.

6. Be aware of the amount you're drinking 

This one can make a world of difference. Watch how much is being put in your glass, measure your spirits like a barperson would, don't fill your wine to the brim (if you do, it's probably sloshing out of the glass and all over your hand anyway.) 

7. Choose coffee over alcohol for catch-ups with friends

When planning get-togethers with friends you haven’t seen in a while this December, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to catch up over a glass of something alcoholic.

With coffees and hot chocolates in every festive flavour that you could think of, a chat in a cosy café can be so much more tempting. Or, better yet, get your friends round for some delicious homemade chai latte hot chocolate. Here’s a great recipe from Co-op’s website.

Image credit: Co-op Food

8. Stop worrying about what people think

Honestly, why is it anyone else's business if you're drinking Diet Coke or if you're drinking Diet Coke with a splash of vodka in it? It really isn't, and we'll be recreating the eye-roll emoji at anyone who tells us otherwise this party season. 

Read more about drinking awareness on and on Co-op's website.

Students get 10% off at Co-op with a Totum or NUS extra card. Find your local Co-op here.

For more inspiration from Co-op throughout the year follow @coopukfood.

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