Follow counsellor and psychotherapist Andrew Howie’s tips to help you stay in control and cut back on drinking alcohol.
If your drinking is becoming a habit that you want to break, or you are worried it is developing into an addiction, it is best to speak with your GP who can advise you of the help that might support you best.
For many people, simply cutting back on the amount of alcohol drunk can be helpful.
This can bring benefits for your physical health but also help you manage your emotional wellbeing.
1. Write it down
Write down all the reasons and benefits you want to realise by not drinking so much.
You may also have a goal related to your alcohol consumption i.e. sticking to having only two drinks a day.
Writing these down helps you set and stick to your goals.
2. Keep a diary of when you drink
Sometimes it is not until we write down our consumption of alcohol that we can see just how much we drink.
Keep a diary of when and how much you drink, so you know the amount you are drinking.
3. Choose alcohol free days
A simple way to cut down on drinking is to avoid drinking on certain days.
Choose a day or multiple days and stick to it.
This gives you a certain amount of control over your drinking that is easy to regulate and control.
4. Avoid peer pressure
You don’t have to drink just because others are drinking. Remember you can always say no.
You may choose to stay away from friends or friendship groups who encourage you to drink and don’t support your choices.
5. Be persistent
Good habits are hard to form. Keep persisting with your goal to drink less.
If you don’t achieve your goal initially, remember you can always start again.
If you are worried about your drinking, help is available.
Speak to your GP about your concerns and they can direct you to the most appropriate help.
St John of God Burwood and Richmond hospitals provide dedicated alcohol and other drug programs to help people manage their drinking and its effects on their mental health.
You can also reach out for help by calling national helplines:
- DrugInfo : 1300 858 584
- Counselling Online : 1800 888 236
- Lifeline : 13 11 14