How to: adhere to personal drinking boundaries

The amount of alcohol and beverages consumed during special occasions, holiday periods or birthdays can add up. Contributing to one’s waistline, costing money, sleep, and potentially some undesirable food choices and impulsive decisions.

Why setting boundaries?

The mental chatter of what to drink, when, what time, how much and with whom can be quite mentally consuming. Potentially agonizing at times in the moment, when influenced by peers, holidays, events and weekends. Which can all add to the confusion of… When to start… And, when to stop.

Abs and Alcohol don’t mix.

Alcohol contains liquid and “empty” calories, which potentially hoards fat around our midsection. A simple weight loss strategy for a regular drinker can be to simply and only swap alcohol for herbal tea, soda water or water.

Create personally authentic drinking boundaries.

Deciding what IS or is NOT acceptable is very liberating at eliminating the mental chatter involved with making decisions in the moment, under temptation and surrounded by peers. Knowing when to just enjoy something else can be very powerful. The discipline of sticking to personal goals and morals can also provoke a sense of achievement which should be celebrated.

Setting specific boundaries can be done by addressing:

-          Time: What hour is acceptable?

-          Frequency: How many days per week, month and year?

-          Occasion: Will this change at events, parties, holidays or special occasions?

-          Quantity: What is the limit per occasion?

-          Freedom: If there was a free open bar, would this change?

For example:

-          I will enjoy 1-2 glasses of red wine on the weekend past 5 pm, and outside the house.

-          This will not change on special occasions or functions, even when there is an open bar.

-          I will enjoy a cocktail on holidays, every second night.

Hold yourself accountable.

Writing this out and placing it on the fridge, on the pantry or anywhere you will see it before deciding to get a drink. Perhaps write in the notes page of your phone, set a reminder to alarm during tempting times. Even handwriting it on a note and placing it your wallet to visualize daily.

Next, ring in the support team!

Telling trusting relatives and friends can potentially help. Also participating in campaigns like; Dry July, Feb Fast or Octsober is a great way to gain confidence in saying no and adapting new habits.  

Reward yourself.

If $35 a week was spent on alcohol, there may be creative and purchase outfits, massages, a weekly manicure or pedicures or movie tickets.

By Amy Benn

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