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How easy it can be to slip into a routine. In many instances this is no bad thing and keeps life ticking along nicely, but where drinking is concerned it is very important that you do not let your consumption get the better of you.
Increased alcohol consumption can very easily sneak up on you:
Socialising can take up a fair bit of time. Depending upon your nature, circle of friends, interests, job and home life things can get pretty hectic in all departments and for many this involves having a drink.
Whether this is after work with colleagues, meeting up with friends in a local bar or relaxing at home with your partner it is extremely easy to have one or two more drinks than initially intended.
For the vast majority who enjoy a drink this is bound to happen now and then, but what you need to be aware of is that it does not turn into an accepted practice.
If you allow that extra beer to become your ‘norm’, or find the wine bottle is empty far more quickly than it used to be it will do you the power of good to change your drinking habits.
Determination and willpower required!
For those who drink every day, or on more days than not it may sound easy to cut down, but a certain amount of willpower needs to come into the equation. Let’s have a look at some of the changes that can be made and the benefits you will reap.
Find someone to cut down drinking with you:
It will be challenging enough to cut down on your drinking as it is, and while going it alone is certainly achievable, many find having someone with the same intention makes things that much more bearable.
If you are in a relationship where your partner also likes a drink, see if they are willing to join you, alternatively seek out a good friend who you know could be persuaded to reduce their intake.
This partnership can really spur reduction in alcohol consumption on as you can help each other through those times of temptation. You should also be able to speak openly and honestly about how you are feeling.
As long as the two of you stick at it you will be pleasantly surprised just how quickly you find other things to fill your time rather than spending it in those preferred watering-holes.
Alcohol free days:
Guidelines will generally suggest setting aside days where alcohol is not on the menu. Many see at least 2 consecutive days without alcohol as being a big plus.
Choose your days carefully and then do your best to do something differently during the hours of that day you would normally be drinking. Perhaps take in a movie, go swimming or consider taking up hobbies you used to enjoy but have fallen by the wayside, or try a new pastime that takes your fancy.
Laying off the drink completely for a day or two will help immensely in terms of reducing the amount you drink, and just as importantly you are giving your body a chance to recover. Your liver will be particularly thankful for such a break.
Bow out of drinking in rounds:
Dependent upon your circle of drinking friends and past habits this may be a tough call. You may need to be ready for jibes and ribbing from those you socialise with while having a night out, but stand your ground (rather than standing your round!) and explain to whoever wishes to listen that you are determined to reduce your alcohol intake.
By drinking on your own it allows you to set your own drinking pace rather than following the one set by those who are taking it in turn to get their round in.
Reasonable drinking buddies should understand your reasons, although good natured banter is sure to come your way, but by sticking to your guns you will find this can be a very effective way of reducing the amount you drink in a session.
An added bonus that should help any jibes fade quickly is the fact that those hangovers the morning after a night out of drinking in rounds will be unlikely to come knocking.
This is because you managed to drink at a reduced, steady and sensible pace rather than being involved in rounds where drinks are called more frequently as the clock ticks towards closing time, you will also have avoided the last few quick-fire rounds that can often end up with having a snifter from the top shelf, or perhaps a double spirit of choice due to last orders looming.
The day you begin to reduce your alcohol intake make a conscious decision to reward yourself as consumption decreases. If you are reducing alcohol intake with your partner all the better.
Take the amount of money saved from your reduced weekly drinks bill and keep it separate from other accounts or savings. During those alcohol-free days and evenings you can work out what you will put this money towards. It may be a holiday, a special day out or a particular item that you have wanted for a long time but always thought of being an extravagance too far.
One thing is for sure; many will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly this amount builds up! There is also the added bonus of rightly feeling proud of yourself for cutting back on drinking and avoiding the many issues that can come with over imbibing.