Published: 22:00, 31 December 2017
It is fair to say many of us over-indulge during the festive period, but have you noticed your drinking extending beyond the Christmas puddings, pub gatherings and office parties?
Do you often find yourself looking forward to a drink at the end of a long day? Or regularly find yourself relaxing with a glass of wine most evenings? And do you frequently find yourself with a fuzzy head the next day?
If you’re not careful, habitual drinking can quickly add up to a level that could be harming you. Just a couple of drinks most evenings can increase your risk of developing health problems such as cancer, high blood pressure and liver disease.
Drinking more than is recommended can also start to affect your daily life and routine in ways you may not realise. As well as influencing your quality of sleep, it can negatively affect your mood and other conditions you may have such as depression or diabetes.
So, what can you do? Well, there are lots of easy changes you can make to your lifestyle this January that can really help.
Find out your score
Finding out your score is the first step in understanding your drinking behaviour and what this means for your health.
Taking the Know Your Score Quiz is a quick and easy way to tell if you’re in the low risk zone or if you need to cut down.
Go dry for one month
Dry January supports people across the country to change their relationship with alcohol by going dry for one month. There is clear evidence that signing up to Dry January has a marked positive impact on long-term drinking behaviour.
If you’re reading this beyond January 1, don’t worry. You can start your dry month any time.
Nominate your Days Off
If you like a drink but want help cutting down on booze, One You Days Off is a simple and easy way to track the days you drink alcohol and the days you don’t.
To break the habit of 'mindless drinking' the app allows you to nominate 'Days Off' with a pledge and a plan to suit you - perfect if you want to break bad habits, feel happier, healthier, and more in control.
Make small changes (which make a BIG difference)
Swapping every other drink for a soft drink when you’re out, ordering smaller measures, or choosing lower-strength options are all great ways to cut down. Drinking a pint of water before you start on the beer or wine can really help to avoid drinking alcohol when you’re thirsty.
Plus, when you go out, make sure you set a budget so that you don’t end up drinking more than you intended. That way you’re taking care of yourself and saving money at the same time.
You’ll probably find that these changes soon have a positive impact. Cutting back can help you to feel more rested and improve your energy levels. You’ll be taking in fewer calories too, making it easier to manage your weight.
So what are you waiting for?
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