A New Year – A New Relationship with Alcohol

December 31, 2018 13:55

Not many people think of their drinking as a relationship. However, in the same way that we have our favourite food and particular habits around eating, we also have a preferred way to drink alcohol – based on when, with how and where. 

We might prefer to drink wine with a meal, or to mainly drink alcohol with friends socially, or to unwind with a drink at home – these are habits that we have developed over time and that unconsciously we see as our normal selves. Our relationship with alcohol is the one we choose to create, although it’s easy to forget we also have a choice to change it if we’re not happy with it.

If you were to think about when you usually have a drink during the week, you may be perfectly happy about how often you’re drinking and how much. However, if you’re regularly drinking more than 14 units a week, or more than 6 units per occasion, you should think about cutting back. This will give your body the best chance of staying fighting fit for all the other tasks in your life. Sticking to less than 14 units a week provides the least health risk possible if you are drinking.

If you’d like to reset your relationship with alcohol, have a think about times you could do without alcohol – maybe add some drink free days by having a day or two fewer without drinking, or maybe swapping your usual alcoholic drinks for non-alcoholic. If you enjoy drinking when you’re out with friends, but you also drink at home, maybe cut down on the days drinking at home.

If you’d like to practice drinking a bit less with friends, maybe practice saying no to alcoholic drinks – think ahead of what other drinks you’d like and practice asking for them and why. Don’t be bullied into drinking if you don't want to – it’s your choice. “I’m cutting back” is all you need to say.

If you enjoy drinking at home but would like to cut back, then have a look at all the excellent alcohol-free beers, wines and ciders that are available in the larger supermarkets. Experiment until you find the brand you prefer and switch your usual alcoholic drink to an alcohol-free alternative. You’ll be surprised that you won’t notice the difference.

Many people decide to change their drinking in the New Year – the important thing to remember is you’re in control and do it your way.