‘I deserve a drink’ – and four more lies you should stop telling yourself about drinking | health and wellbeing

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AAlmost half of Britons drank more during the lockdown than they normally would. If you’re looking to change your relationship with alcohol, a good start is to identify (and challenge) the lies we tell each other about drinking.

Lie: A Craft Beer Membership Is Better Than Completing A Foster’s Four Pack
It’s great to support small businesses, especially after the year they’ve had, but that halo effect can cancel the ABV in our minds. “A double IPA from a craft brewery could have double the alcohol of a traditional lager,” says Andrew Misell, Wales director at Alcohol Change UK. “All that matters in terms of alcohol and health is the strength of the drink and how much you drink of it.”

Lex: I need a drink to calm social anxiety
Social confidence is a muscle you need to exercise; however, there have been very few opportunities to do so over the past year. If you do get into social situations, it’s tempting to take advantage with one or three sharpeners. But as Chloe Brotheridge, author of The Confidence Solution, says: “If we numb ourselves with social awkwardness, we don’t have the chance to develop true confidence. The answer is to overcome the discomfort. “When you find yourself in a situation where you feel nervous, but you survive, your nervous system learns that the scenario is safe. And next time you will feel more courageous.

Lthat is to say: is merit that glass of wine after the day I had
Since working from home became work life, a drink has become a welcome switch, especially after a rough day. “Alcohol consumption has increased alongside stress levels during confinement,” says Dr Antonis Kousoulis, director of the Foundation for Mental Health. “Drinking to mask a depressed mood or general discomfort has the opposite effect once the drink wears off. This is why a hangover is often accompanied by anxiety. But it’s easy to forget in the moment, so find other ways to relax that feel like a treat. And don’t keep wine in the fridge.

Lie: the only non-alcoholic drinks are sugary soft drinks
One obstacle for social drinkers who want to cut back has always been that no one wants to be the guy hugging a lukewarm J20. But the sugary juices are over, thanks to sleekly designed drink brands distilled with the bite you’d expect from a negroni. “All drinkers deserve something sophisticated and complex, not just those who drink alcohol,” says Claire Warner, co-founder of the alcohol-free aperitif Æcorn.

Lie: a hangover means I have failed to drink moderately
The way of drinking less often involves a few nights of excess. If you wake up with a dry mouth and a throbbing headache, the worst thing you can do is tell yourself that the alcohol has “won” then you might as well have a Bloody Mary. Instead, accept that there will be bumps in the road and use them as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. What was the series of events that led you to binge drinking, and what could you do in the future to prepare for the same? Once you are able to let go of defeatism, you can accept slippage as part of the process.

• Mindful Drinking: How Shrinking Your Life Can Change Your Life, by Rosamund Dean, is published by Orion Publishing Co. To order a copy, go to guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.

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