April is Alcohol Awareness Month. This is a great time to reflect on just how much you drink and assess whether you need to cut back.
According to the British National Health Services, reducing alcohol consumption offers several benefits, like having more energy, fewer heart problems, better sleep patterns and more enduring relationships.
So, if you’re considering cutting back on the booze, here are 16 tips to help you out:
1. Write down your reasons for cutting back
The most important thing to helping yourself stay motivated is to remember why you even thought of cutting back in the first place.
Whenever temptation crosses your path and you feel your willpower slipping, take a look at the sheet to stay strong.
2. Make a plan
Make a plan and set a limit on how much you will drink in a day.
This will allow you to budget and it keeps you from going overboard.
3. Set a budget
Decide on how much you are willing to spend on drinks. This saves you money while also helping you reduce consumption.
4. Tell family and friends
Let your family and friends know you're taking a break from heavy drinking, and tell them why it matters to you. This will ensure they will support you.
5. One day at a time
Not everyone can cut down his or her intake cold turkey. If you find yourself in this situation, go one day at a time and cut down a little each day. This makes every single day a success for you!
6. Take small drinks
Cutting down isn’t just about drinking fewer drinks; it’s also about drinking less per drink.
Try to cut down on the serving size per glass, or choose a bottled beer instead of a pint.
7. Choose lower-strength drinks
Swap out stronger beers and wines with weaker or lower-strength ones.
Check the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage on the label. You can also dilute your drinks with a bit of water, which gives a similar effect.
8. Thirsty? Drink water
Avoid consuming alcoholic drinks to quench your thirst. Stick to water or enjoy a soft drink instead.
9. Try some yoga
It turns out yoga can be really awesome if you want to cut back on drinking.
A popular yoga practice called Surya Namaskar helps maintain pleasant body chemistry and reduces stress and tension, which are frequent causes for drinking bouts in the first place.
10. Opt out of rounds
Having drinks in rounds can lead to quicker, greater alcohol consumption.
Buy drinks with a small group of buddies, or opt out of the whole rounds frenzy completely.
11. Watch out for cocktails
You might think you are safe drinking cocktails, but cocktails contain a surprising amount of alcohol.
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a great calculator to help you figure this out.
12. Give it a break
Pick a day of the week to be a “dry day,” when you commit to not consuming alcohol. Gradually, up this dry day to two or even three times a week.
13. Keep a drinks diary
People can be surprisingly forgetful about just how much they drink.
Having a drinks diary will help you keep track of your weekly intake, and will also reveal where you tend to slip up.
14. Watch your habits at home
Your best bet is to chuck out all the drinks in your house. If you cannot do that, at least be conscious of how much you consume at home.
Pay special attention to weekends, when most people tend to drink more.
Meditation can help calm the mind and put off that incessant craving for a drink.
What’s more, International Yoga Day is around the corner on June 21, which is a great opportunity to learn to meditate.
16. Stay active
Take the money and time you save by cutting down on drinks and spend it with family and friends.
Stay active, play sports and give the body and mind some exercise.