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Tips for cutting back on drinking

I made a thread the other day about thinking about the pros and cons of stopping drinking. A couple of us had a go at it and @May_ asked about some steps we could try if we wanted to cut back! So here's a thread about that.

 

There's a lot of different things you can do, so I'll list a few and perhaps anyone who's interested can have a go at the steps and report back. I can add more things to try too, especially if the ones you're having a go at don't seem to work for you.

 

So, here's some steps. I think it'd be cool if each of you shared yours - if you're okay with that. I'll do mine shortly Smiley Happy

 

1. Figure out your triggers-

What makes you want to drink? Next time you go to have a drink, think about who you're with, why, how you're feeling , what time it is and anything else. A lot of people get a drink tracking app, or just put a card in their wallet to log the time, drink and situation. Do that for a couple of weeks and I bet you'll find a few patterns that you can mess around with changing.

 

2. Plan alternatives- and trigger countermeasures.

For a lot of us drinking is done with our friends, or even family. You can do all sorts of things to cut back while still hanging out with your mates. For example just grab a different drink, like a lemonade with some lime in it, this is kind of a camouflage because sometimes people can accidentally put pressure on people who are choosing not to drink, not ideal for helping our drinking culture change! But if you just want to avoid the conversation, a mock-alcoholic drink is a pretty excellent strategy. Or you can space your drinks, just have a water between alcoholic drinks. 

 

Some people drink to deal with feelings, this is pretty risky because it's easy to get dependent on things like alcohol from doing this and that can eventually lead to addiction, which aint fun. So if you're feeling like that might happen for you, its important to try some coping and distraction techniques, have a go at anything else that takes your mind of things, and perhaps start by grabbing a water.

 

3. The instant nope.

Sometimes we get a bit roped into the idea of drinking by our friends or even our own brains. Instant Nopes or "no's" are a way of shutting things down before we get a chance to talk ourselves out of our decision to cut back on drinking. Think of something that helps you shut down the conversation about drinking before it starts, whether with another person or in your own head. For example if someone says "Want a beer?" your reply could just be "I can't tonight, i've got a sore stomach" or if you're spacing drinks "Not feeling like another drink yet, give me half an hour" - the half an hour bit is a good trick because it's enough time for people- particularly drunk people- to forget about trying to get you to have a drink!

 

Okay, what are your instant nopes, triggers, and alternatives?

 

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