The quality of our relationship with others can impact on our own drinking and sometimes can be a trigger for us to drink more. Alcohol can become a central part of our relationship with loved ones. This can stop us from taking action on our drinking habits, even when those habits are not making us happy.
Healthier drinking usually makes for happier relationships with others and can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Here are our 8 top tips:
1.Talk it over
If something is playing on your mind, it’s good advice to talk things through when both of you are sober – don’t wait until one or both of you has started drinking.
2. Pay attention to your feelings and behaviour
Recognise the situations in which you tend to drink more than you would like and how that impacts on your mood and that of those around you. And make a plan for how you would deal with it differently next time for a better outcome.
3. Keep track of your drinking.
Recording what you drink for a few weeks will help you understand your drinking pattern so that you can decide if you want to make a change. Use a free app like Try Dry to keep track of your drinking and set goals to help you cut down.
4. Find ways to support each other to cut down
The UK’s Chief Medical Officers recommend not drinking more than 14 units a week; that’s about six pints of lager or a bottle and a half of wine. Finding ways to support each other to cut down can help you reset your relationship with alcohol and make it less of a feature in your relationships.
Are you drinking more than the recommended limit and want to cut down? Get tips here on how to reduce your consumption of alcohol.
5.Take a break from drinking together
Taking a few days off alcohol every week or taking an extended break like having a Dry January can be a great way to cut down and give your body a rest. Taking time off together means you are more likely to stick to your alcohol-free break, and will create opportunities for you to enjoy each other’s company with a clear head.
6. Find alcohol-free ways to have fun
From walking to rock climbing, mocktail-making to star-baking, watching a movie to having a boogie, there are so many ways to have fun together which don’t have to involve alcohol. Designate a night every week to spend some quality time with someone you love and see how much fun you can have without alcohol.
7. Ask for help
Ask for help if you feel you need it, or if you’re worried about someone else’s drinking. Lots of us struggle with alcohol at some point in our lives and need support to make a change. Talk to your GP or your local alcohol service, or visit the Alcohol Change UK website to find out more about getting support.
8. Get relationship support and help with your drinking
If your drinking is negatively affecting you or your relationships, get support from Relate. You can access counselling on your own or as a couple.
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
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