Living through a pandemic has been difficult for all of us, and in a time of extraordinary change and uncertainty many people drunk alcohol to help manage stress, anxiety and depression.
It has been said that drinking is the UK’s favourite coping mechanism. However, alcohol is an unhealthy coping strategy in a time when adopting a healthy lifestyle has never been more important.
Drinking too much and too often can cause or exacerbate problems with your physical and mental health, including damaging relationships with your loved ones.
Many people have found themselves slipping into habits we know we should change. Here are some tips on how you can cut your alcohol consumption.
- Use a smaller glass – evidence shows that by using a smaller glass people tend to drink less.
- Drink water alongside alcohol, stay hydrated – for every alcoholic beverage you have drink a glass of water. Not only does this slow down your alcohol intake but reduces dehydration and is kinder on your liver.
- Take the low or no alcohol option – there are many tasty, good quality alcohol free alternatives on the market these days.
- Take a couple of days off – it is recommended that you abstain from alcohol for at least a couple of days a week to reduce the risk of damaging your liver.
- Don’t join rounds – when you are out with friends let them know your cutting back and don’t get involved with the round system. Going it alone allows you control over how much you are drinking. Alternatively have a soft drink when it’s your round.
- Don’t get competitive – if you have to compete make it a competition on who can be the most responsible drinker not the biggest.
- Don’t start at home – if you are off out at night don’t be tempted to start drinking before you leave the house.
- Make a plan, set a limit – learn how much alcohol you can drink and still feel stable, set that as your limit and stick to it. Make sure you know how you are going to get home.
- Don’t keep alcohol in the house – if there is no alcohol in your home you will be less likely to dink at times that you wouldn’t normally have one.
- Get help – If you drink very heavily regularly, or think you have a problem with drinking, check with your GP or local alcohol service before you start – help is available locally at: www.turning-point.co.uk/services/sdas or by calling 0300 303 8788 or download the Your Health newsletter – providing you with the latest information about support available in your community and other projects helping to reduce the harm that alcohol and other drugs can cause.