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  • Writer's pictureJillian Speck

11 ways to reduce your drinking

Are you feeling you may be drinking too much or too often? Perhaps it’s a habit you’d like to better control? People who have become dependent on alcohol, or have other mental health or medical issues, it is highly recommended that you stop drinking completely, but many may benefit from simply cutting back. Here are some suggestions on ways to cut back:

1. Put it in writing.

Make a list of reasons to cut back your drinking - such as feeling healthier and more energetic, sleeping better and feeling more rested, and improving your relationships.

2. Set a drinking goal.

Set a limit on how much you drink/day/week. Your coach or therapist can help you determine what’s right for you.

3. Keep a diary of your drinking.

For a month keep track of every time you have a drink. Include what and how much you drank and where you were, then compare this to your goal. If you are struggling with sticking to your goal, don’t be too hard on yourself; this is something we can discuss and work on.

4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house.

This can help limit your drinking. You won't have to make that daily decision to drink or not drink if it's not around you all the time.

5. Drink slowly.

Drink water, juice or another non-alcoholic drink after an alcohol drink.

6. Have alcohol-free days.

Decide not to drink at least 2 days/week. You may want to try a dry week or month to see how you feel physically and mentally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break is a good strategy for breaking the cycle.

7. Watch for peer pressure.

It is okay to say NO. If this is too hard for you, practice different ways of saying NO. Just because others are drinking doesn’t mean you have to or you do not have to accept every drink offered. It is best to stay away from people who encourage or enable you to drink.

8. Keep busy.

Take a walk, play sports, catch a movie, go out for a coffee, go to an art gallery. When at home, start a new hobby or re-introduce an old one.

9. Ask for support.

Cutting down is not always easy. Inform your friends and family about your plan/goal and that you need their support. Also, your therapist or coach can offer support as well.

10. Be aware of temptation.

Avoid people and places that make you want to drink. If you associate drinking with certain events, such as parties or holidays, create a plan for managing them well in advance. Monitor your feelings, certain feelings may trigger the need to reach for a drink. Try to develop new healthier ways to manage these feelings.

11. Be persistent.

It usually takes most people several attempts to cut down or stop drinking. You will most likely have setbacks, but don’t beat yourself up or let it keep you from reaching your end goal. There really is no final endpoint, it is an ongoing process which requires continuous effort.

Remember that we’re all on our own journey and path.

Your journey can be completely unique to you and your story. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can work together, you can book a complimentary mini session with me, and we can figure out a plan just for you.

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