Making choices about alcohol
Enjoying a glass of wine after work or a beer with friends on a Saturday afternoon can be one of life’s pleasures. Making sure we are not relying on alcohol to help us cope is also important.
Useful questions to ask yourself:
- How much do I drink each week?
- What is the pattern – do I over-indulge when work’s getting on top of me? Do I go to the pub rather than deal with my partner after an argument?
- How do I feel about the thought of going without a drink for a few days or weeks?
- Does a drink help me unwind or make me edgy?
If you think you might be drinking too much, or relying on alcohol to keep yourself going, or consistently using it to unwind, experiment with other strategies.
Tips for moderate drinking:
- When drinking alcohol, eat some food as well.
- Each week, have two or more days when you don’t drink any alcohol at all. This helps your body recover from the effects of the alcohol.
- Some people choose the same two or three days each week for their alcohol-free days. Others choose every second day. Do whatever suits you best.
- Avoid binge drinking – that is, when you drink a lot more than usual on any one occasion.
The Health Promotion Agency has useful information about the volumes of standard drinks, a questionnaire to check if your drinking is OK and other useful resources. Have a look at: https://www.alcohol.org.nz/
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