Wondering how to cut down drinking this January?
Many people see the start of the year as a way to challenge unhealthy habits, give their body a much needed post-Christmas break, and kick start their fitness regime for the months ahead. One part of this change often focuses on how to cut down drinking, with many going teetotal for so-called ‘Dry January’.
If you have decided that you would like to cut down on your alcohol consumption, try these top tips to help you reduce your intake. You will soon feel healthier, more energetic, and you will have saved a stack of cash!
Replace alcoholic beverages with ‘mocktails’ or low alcohol alternatives
Are you addicted to cocktails? Always need a glass of wine with dinner, or a night out? The good news is that many of your favourite wines, beers and cocktails are available as low-alcohol, or even zero alcohol, alternatives.
By replacing your usual Sex On The Beach with a Virgin On The Beach, you can cut down dramatically on your alcohol intake, whilst still enjoying a delicious drink with your friends.
Rally support (and accountability) from your friends and families
Let your loved ones know about your new goal and allow them to support you in your healthy change (and hold you accountable when you need it!). Having someone know about your commitment will help you to stay motivated, because if you do end up having a drink you know you will have them there to give you a telling off.
Although our friends and family CAN be the worst offenders for trying to peer pressure us in to drinking more, be clear in all of the positive reasons why you are cutting down. You never know, maybe they will join you?
Find new ways to deal with stress
Often, we use alcohol as a way to wind-down after a busy day at work or with the family. Cut down on your overall alcohol intake by finding new ways to relax. Have a hot bath, go for a walk, or find books to read before bed.
Once you cut down drinking your stress levels will naturally decline with it, as your quality of sleep, and your general physical health improves.
Avoid too much time with friends who drink heavily
Everyone has that one friend, or group of friends, who like to ‘go hard or go home’. Avoid spending too much time with these particular mates in high-risk venues such as pubs or clubs. If they are the type to competitively drink, or pressure you into ‘Shots! Shots! Shots!’, then it is best to avoid these situations, unless you are sure that you have the iron will to resist them.
Instead, arrange to see them for non-alcohol related activities, such as meeting for a coffee (not the Irish kind!), or going to the cinema together. There are plenty of interesting ways to socialise whilst you cut down drinking at the same time.
Set yourself a strict budget
If you have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and still want to spend time with even your booziest friends and family members, then set yourself a strict budget. If you are going to a bar or restaurant, take enough money to cover a set number of drinks, a taxi home, and a meal if appropriate. Always keep a card in case of emergencies, but make sure you promise to only spend the cash in your wallet whilst you are out. This is a great way to cut down drinking without avoiding social gatherings completely.
Have you decided to partake in Dry January? What are some of your top tips on how to cut down drinking? Let us know in the comments below.