Been wanting to cut back on drinking alcohol? Try mindful drinking
Finally thinking about joining Sober October but not quite ready to give up alcohol completely? Here's how you can cut back.
First came Dry January. Now, it’s Sober October. If you want to participate without going alcohol-free, you might try “mindful drinking”, which means thinking deliberately about the alcohol you consume. Here’s how to get started.
1. STOP AND REFLECT BEFORE YOU CUT BACK
Ask yourself about the role alcohol plays in your life and moments throughout your daily routine. Try to find other ways to fill those gaps.
You might also identify how much alcohol you consume, and what you get out of it. Do you turn to alcohol for social occasions? To relax?
Articulating these aspects of your drinking life can then help you form realistic guidelines for cutting back.
2. MAKE A PLAN
Establish a plan for mindful drinking ahead of time, said Kenneth Stoller, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Yours might include:
- Drinking alongside a friend who’s also practising mindful drinking.
- Making sure to eat while you drink.
- Asking a bartender to use half the amount of alcohol in a cocktail.
3. ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS IN THE MOMENT
Think about whether alcohol will add value to your experience: What difference will drinking make to your time at a party or your night at the bar?
You can tally how many cocktails you consume in a given night and pay attention to why you were drawn to booze.
And if you find you’re drinking to try to enjoy an event where you’re not having a good time, consider just going home.
By Dani Blum © 2022 The New York Times
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.