MY Reset Your Mindset blog this week is very different – it’s got 5 tips to reduce your drinking and it’s been written by a lovely member of my social media team, Kirstin Chaplin. Her advice is all the more special because it comes from personal experience. Here’s her 5 tips to reduce your drinking…
Hi, my name is Kirstin and I haven’t had a drink for almost four years.
When I tell people that I usually get one of two reactions – ‘Wow! I wish I could do that.’ Or, ‘Wow! I could never do that!’
Now, I’m not here to tell anyone to stop drinking. What constitutes ‘problem drinking’ varies from person to person.
I wouldn’t say I had a ‘drinking problem.’ But I would say alcohol was a problem for me.
A couple of glasses of wine in the evening would make me feel jittery and tearful the next day. Any more and my anxiety would be through the roof.
Drinking’s on the rise
Worryingly, last week a report revealed the number of people drinking to dangerous levels had doubled during lockdown.
If you’re questioning your relationship with booze, ask yourself these questions:
Does alcohol disrupt your sleep?
Does it make you feel tired or lethargic the next day?
Do you often regret drinking and scold yourself in the morning?
Do you feel anxious, irritable, or weepy the next day?
Does alcohol make you crave unhealthy foods?
If yes then there’s no better time to take action and cut down.
5 tips to reduce your drinking
Here are my 5 tips to reduce your drinking:
1. Change your social media habits
‘What has social media to do which how much wine I drink?’ you’re thinking. Quite a lot.
You see, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter show you more of what you engage with.
So every time you like or laugh at a ‘Wine O’Clock’ meme you’re telling the algorithm ‘Hey, I want to see more of this.’
What this then creates is a drip-feed of information to your brain which says ‘it’s OK to crack open the vino every night. Why not? Everyone is doing it!’
Simply stop liking, sharing and commenting and you’ll soon stop seeing those posts.
2. Change your triggers
Have you noticed how a familiar TV theme tune can make you crave a certain food or drink?
This was something I struggled with until I recognised what was happening and took action
Now, when a new season of a favourite show starts, I make sure I build new habits. For example, I’ll make a cup of tea as the Bake Off titles roll.
After a few episodes, when I hear the music, my first thought is ‘tea!’
3. Distraction tactics
I remember speaking to Sandra not long after quitting and explaining how flat life felt. Saturday nights were as exciting as Tuesdays with nothing (and by that I mean booze) to look forward to.
Sandra explained that I was missing the ‘buzz’ that alcohol gave me and I needed to replace it with something else.
It’s worth bearing in mind that life might feel a little drab for a while and you’ll need to find a distraction. But once you’re over this particular obstacle, it will be worth it.
4. Try low alcohol alternatives
When I first stopped drinking, I leaned on no-lo (no and low alcohol) drinks. There are so many fantastic alternatives out there you’ll never feel like a sober-saddo at a party.
5. Never say never
As you know, feeling deprived is not a great motivator for success. When I first gave up drinking, I couldn’t contemplate never drinking again.
Instead, I committed to giving up for a year. This had two advantages:
* I had a get out of jail free card at the end of 12 months
* My friends stopped hassling me to ‘just have one’
I believe committing to a longer period of abstinence is easier not least because the longer you go for, the better you’ll feel. And you never know, you might, like me, love it so much you decide to never go back.
How’s the challenge going?
Have you been eating extra spinach, avocado and broccoli for the past week? What differences have you noticed so far in your energy levels and your weight management?
Please let me know by leaving a comment below. And do please let me know if alcohol is an issue for you.
I read all your comments and they help me to create new and valuable content for you.
New to my Mindset Challenge?
If you’re one of the hundreds of people who’ve joined the Slimpod Community in the past few weeks, then a big welcome! There’s still time to join my Reset Your Mindset challenge – you can catch up here: