How To Have A Healthy Relationship With Alcohol

March 2, 2018  |  
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First of all, if you feel that you have a problem with drinking, that’s a serious issue that requires professional help. This article isn’t for those individuals. That being said, if you know you aren’t addicted to alcohol, but you simply lead a lifestyle that is conducive to accidentally overdoing it, read on. Some professionals just have networking happy hours to attend several times a week, or work retreats centered around pina coladas and beer brewing every month. Some individuals, like bartenders, cocktail servers, and food servers, simply work a lot around alcohol, and even have it offered to them for free every day. Under those circumstances, it’s easy to wake up one day and realize, “Woah. I had alcohol every day this month.” And that doesn’t feel great. Here are tips for having a healthy relationship with alcohol.

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If it’s late at night, skip it

If you’re only going to be awake for another hour, a cocktail would be wasted. You’ll barely still be awake before its effects kick in, but you will suffer the negative consequences of waking up to pee all night.

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Keep it social

An occasional glass of wine solo with a book is fine, but for the most part, keep alcohol for social occasions. It’s too easy to accidentally down a bottle of wine alone if you have nobody to talk to. And keeping it social trains your brain to associate alcohol with special occasions.

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Actually, think about what you crave

Don’t just drink whatever is free and in front of you. Ask yourself what type of drink you crave, and order that. If they don’t have it, skip alcohol that night. If they do have it, you’ll actually focus on the flavors rather than guzzle it down.

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Stay busy in the evenings

If you find yourself a bit bored in the evening, you might turn to alcohol to get a sense of excitement. So find something to do at night, like go for power walks with your dog, or get into an engaging board game.

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Give it a rest

Mark a couple days on your calendar as no-alcohol days. Even just giving your liver one or two days off each week can make a world of a difference.

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Drink a lot of water

If you do enjoy a regular cocktail, then you need to drink more alcohol than those who don’t. Think of each alcohol drink as depleting your body of a glass of water, and down a glass of water.

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Sleep a lot

Alcohol does, unfortunately, zap your youth. So if you like to imbibe in the occasional drink, treat yourself to an extra hour or two of sleep that night so you don’t wake up to dark circles under your eyes and pronounced lines on your skin.

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Don’t make alcohol the activity

Get more creative about how you have fun. Catching up with a friend doesn’t always have to mean sharing a pitcher of sangria. Catch a comedy show. Go for a beach walk. Take your dogs to the park. Have a clothing swap.

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Buy preparedness alcohol rather than emergency alcohol

What I mean is, make your favorite drink a part of your regular grocer list to destigmatize it in your own mind. But if you find yourself at the counter of a liquor store feeling stressed that you don’t have that alcohol in your home, back up. It’s not time to buy the stuff.

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Don’t spend more than you’re proud to

If you’re at a bar where the cocktails are $14 and you want to save money more than you want to have a drink, don’t buy the drink. It should never eat up more of your budget than you intend for it to.

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Know how much you drink

Count your drinks. You’re an adult! The days of, “I have no idea how much I drank last night” should be behind you. It’s good to have some awareness of how much alcohol you have. The number may surprise you.

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Have a liver detox day

Once or twice a month, have a liver detox day. Make a few cleansing juices full of things that are good for your liver like green tea, apple juice, beet juice, and avocado puree.

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If you feel you need a drink, skip it

If you feel that you need a drink, then don’t have a drink. Don’t train your brain to think alcohol is the only way to unwind, have fun, or distress. Find a few other options. Only have a drink when you want one—but not when you need one.

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Skip the pitchers and bottomless

You always end up having two or three (or four or five) glasses more than you would have if you’d just ordered your drinks one at a time.

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Offer to DD sometimes

When you’re going out with a group of friends, offer to be the designated driver from time to time. It feels good to restrain yourself, so that your friends can get loose.

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