1. Your family
Christmas is a family time, and especially a time for children.
From the time they settle down to the Toy Show, to the time they spring to their feet on Christmas morning, it’s all about the little people.
Drinking alcohol can affect family life in many ways.
Hangovers and the low mood you can get after drinking can make it harder to cope with the demands of family life, meaning you have less energy and patience.
Children can feel uncomfortable or upset seeing parents under the influence of alcohol or suffering the after-effects.
In homes where there is a parent with an alcohol problem, Christmas can be a time of disappointment, confusion, tension, arguments and even violence.
Read our article, Problem drinking at Christmas – Advice for partners, friends and loved ones if this affects you.
2. Happy Christmas memories
Whether it’s the annual fight over the Monopoly, the special nights out or the kids’ first visit from Santa, Christmas memories are precious.
Alcohol can affect the way the brain stores short-term memories, causing the memory loss and blackouts that can happen when we’re drinking. Read more about alcohol’s effects on the brain.
Drink less this Christmas to keep your memories safe.
3. Avoid the hangover
If you’ve ever faced a huge family Christmas dinner or over-excited kids at the crack of dawn while nursing a hangover from hell, you may understand the benefits of cutting back on the amount you drink.
Drinking less can help you to avoid the headaches, sickness and low mood that can follow a heavy session, and keep your celebrations happy and bright. Read more about how hangovers affect you
4. Your mental health
As well as the low mood that can follow a night’s drinking, alcohol can have a long-term impact on your mental health. It can cause anxiety and depression or make an existing condition worse. The HSE’s Little Things campaign has some advice on how you can Mind Your Mental Health this Christmas
5. Your night’s sleep
At the end of a long and busy year, you deserve some rest and relaxation. But if you drink to excess over the Christmas period, you could end the festive season / holidays feeling more worn out than ever.
Though you might drop off more easily, alcohol can reduce the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep you get, which can leave you feeling drowsy and with poor concentration during the day. Not to mention having a hangover, which can drain your ‘get up and go’.
People who stop drinking or cut down often say they wake up feeling properly refreshed and find it easier to get up, compared to when they were drinking.
6. Your looks
Alcohol can dry out your skin and hair and cause bloating, so cutting back during party season is a good idea if you want to look your best.
7. Your finances
Christmas is an expensive time of the year, whatever your budget. With the average Irish adult spending €35 - €70 per week on alcohol (and let’s face it, more at this time of the year), it all adds up. Save those funds to treat yourself in the sales or save for that big family holiday you have planned in 2018 instead.
8. Your weight
A glass of wine can contain as many calories as a few chocolate biscuits, not to mention the nibbles you’ll have with it. Cutting back a little might just mean you reach your January weight loss goals a little easier. Food is a big part of everyone’s Christmas traditions but did you know that alcohol can also stop you absorbing nutrients from your food such as vitamins B1 and B2, folic acid and zinc?
Did you know? It takes around 2-3 hours' walking to burn the calories from 3 pints of beer or 3 large glasses of wine.
Find out more
If you're thinking about drinking less for a happier and healthier Christmas, we have some tips and information to help.
Get motivated: Read more about the benefits of cutting back
Small steps: Tips for reducing the amount you drink
Not sure how much you're drinking? Try our drinks calculator