AAlmost half of the British drank more during the confinement than they normally would. If you are looking to change your relationship with alcohol, a good start is to identify (and challenge) the lies we tell ourselves about drinking.
Lie: a craft beer subscription is better than finishing a four-pack of Foster’s
It’s great to support small businesses, especially after the year they’ve had, but this halo effect can negate ABV in our minds. “A double IPA from a craft brewery could have twice the alcohol of a conventional lager,” says Andrew Misell, Director for Wales at UK alcohol change. “All that matters in terms of alcohol and health is how strong you are and how much you are drinking.”
Lthat is: I need a drink to calm the social anxiety
Social confidence is a muscle that you must exercise; however, there have been very few opportunities to do so in the past year. If you are re-entering social situations, it is tempting to relax with a pencil sharpener or three. But like Chloe Brotheridge, author of The trusted solutionHe says, “If we lull ourselves into social discomfort, we don’t have a chance to develop real confidence.” The answer is to overcome discomfort. “When you find yourself in a situation where you feel nervous but survive, your nervous system learns that this scenario is safe. And next time you will feel braver. “
Lthat is to say: me deserve that glass of wine later the day I had
Since working from home turned to living at work, a drink has become a welcome switch, especially after a rough day. “Alcohol consumption increased along with the stress levels in the confinement,” says Dr. Antonis Kousoulis, director of the Mental Health Foundation. “Drinking to mask depressed mood or malaise has the opposite effect once the drink wears off. That’s why a hangover is often accompanied by anxiety. “But that’s easy to forget in the moment, so find other ways to relax that feel like a pleasure. And don’t keep wine in the fridge.
Lthat is: the only non-alcoholic drinks are sugary sodas
One hurdle for social drinkers wanting to cut down has always been that no one wants to be the type to grab a lukewarm J20. But sugar-packed juices are gone thanks to sleekly designed beverage brands, distilled with the bite you’d expect from a negroni. “All drinkers deserve something sophisticated and complex, not just those who drink alcohol,” says Claire Warner, co-founder of Non-Alcoholic Appetizer. Æcorn.
lie: a hangover means i have it has failed drinking moderately
The path to drinking less often involves a few nights of binge. If you wake up with a dry mouth and a throbbing headache, the worst thing you can do is tell yourself that the alcohol has “won” so you might as well have a Bloody Mary. Instead, accept that there will be obstacles along the way and use them as an opportunity to learn about yourself. What was the series of events that led you to binge drink, and what could you do in the future to prepare for the same situation? Once you are able to shake off defeatism, you can accept mistakes as part of the process.
• Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Can Change Your Life, by Rosamund Dean, is published by Orion Publishing Co. To order a copy, go to guardianbookshop.com. Shipping charges may apply.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism