Drinking is fun, so long as it is done in moderation. But if you overdo your drinking, you will soon find yourself dealing with hangovers, health issues, and socially awkward situations. You might think that in order to avoid those problems, you have to give up on alcohol entirely. However, there’s a middle ground between abstinence and getting plastered.
If you want to learn how to cut back on your drinking so you can still enjoy it without the nasty repercussions, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss seven great tips to help you cut back on your alcohol consumption.
7 Tips to Cut Back on Drinking Alcohol
If you need some guidance on how to drink less the next time you go out, try following these seven tips from Sunnyside:
1. Don’t Drink Alone or for Solace
Having a drink yourself is not so bad; in fact, there are many occasions when it is appropriate to do so. However, you should avoid doing so to help you maintain discipline. Drinking alone makes it too easy to begin drinking excessively.
Instead of reaching for the fridge after a long day at work, make it something you enjoy while out with friends or at a nice dinner. Furthermore, you’ll find that your drinking is more enjoyable when done with friends and family.
You should also avoid drinking when you are feeling down. Again, drink for joy, not for pain. Drinking alcohol to deal with emotional pain can easily backfire and end up making you feel worse, creating a vicious cycle that’s harder to stop.
2. Change Your Habits with Healthier Ones
If you have a habit of drinking after work, consider substituting it for a different type of entertainment. You could take a walk, take a hot bath, exercise, or eat some foods you love.
Find activities that you enjoy and are fulfilling. Try practicing a new activity for two weeks or until it becomes a habit. By doing this, excessive consumption due to boredom may be limited, and you’ll also avoid hangovers.
3. Try low-alcohol beverages, mocktails, or water
Make mixed drinks with lower-proof alcohol, or better yet, an alcohol-free spirit. It is important to alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages. Instead of high-power alcohols like gin, vodka, or whiskey, try other alternatives. For example, a flavored cognac drink with seltzer has half the alcohol content and twice the flavor of a gin drink. You can even opt for a delicious non-alcoholic mocktail for a tasty alternative.
You shouldn’t drink alcohol to quench your thirst. That’s why we have water. Also, do it with a large glass of water whenever you drink.
Enjoy the flavor and pleasure of alcohol, and make sure your drinks are spaced out. If you drink one alcoholic beverage, then drink a glass of water or soda afterward. You’ll still be drinking fluids, but your alcohol intake will be cut by half.
4. Make a Drinking Diary and Set Rules for Yourself
A great way to control your drinking is by setting rules for yourself, for example:
- Limit your drinking to one drink per day.
- Drink only on weekends.
- Drink only wine spritzers.
- Drink only when you’re dressed to impress.
You should have this list in a place where you can see it to remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish.
You can use a Mindful drinking app to keep track of your alcohol consumption. You should also document and count your drinks just like people do with calories. Counting the number of drinks and their sizes creates consciousness.
When you track your drinking habits, you’ll discover some surprising information that will motivate you to cut down or stop.
5. Think About Your Reasons to Drink Less
It’s much easier to cut back on drinking if you have a list of reasons why you are doing so. Some examples could be a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, sleeping better, having fewer headaches, improving your blood pressure, having better sex, performing better at work, or just getting more done. Try to have the list with you when you go out, maybe on your phone. When you start to feel that urge to drink, read the list to yourself.
6. Practice Mindful Drinking
Mindfulness is not about locking yourself in a room to meditate. It is possible to practice mindfulness while enjoying a cocktail. Mindful drinking helps you do away with the overindulging attitude that often comes with alcohol consumption and lets you fully appreciate and enjoy what you’re drinking without the temptation to overindulge.
Mindful drinking is all about thinking about every drink you consume, as opposed to just grabbing the next glass just because your current one is empty. People tend to overconsume because they have these ingrained habits. After finishing a glass of wine, many automatically fill up another one. Check out the app Sunnyside.co to try out mindful drinking for yourself.
Rather than downing a shot and ordering the next round, you should drink your portion slowly and be fully present in the moment.
7. Reach out to Friends and Family
One of the best things you can do is share your decision to cut back on drinking with everyone you know. It will hopefully prevent people from urging you to have “just one” or “just one more.” Feeling supported by those closest to us can make a world of difference to our mood when we are dealing with a challenging task, like managing our drinking. Even trying out practices line online therapy can help you have an outlet to speak to someone.
Developing a healthy relationship with alcohol doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking completely; you just need to find ways to limit your consumption. Keeping track of your drinks and setting limits is a good place to start, as is switching your alcoholic beverages for water or at least drinks with less alcohol. You also should look to your friends and family for support in your decision. Above all, you need to be persistent and disciplined to succeed in this goal.