27 January 2021 — DrinkCoach
DrinkCoach asked Will, Alcohol Advisor from the West Sussex Wellbeing Team to document his new year’s resolution to cut back on alcohol. Read his series of blogs throughout Dry January
Temptation (free cheese is always available in mouse traps)
Some days it just seems too hard, why bother, why not take the path of least resistance, to accept I like a drink and so I should just drink, it’s easy. So let’s go to the fridge and open a beer, except past Me, me when I was fully engaged with reducing my alcohol intake, has not restocked the fridge.
In fact there’s no alcohol in the house other than the weird spirits shelf that no one touches (what even is vermouth?) Interesting point is that I never crave this form of alcohol, it just doesn’t register with me as a viable option, perhaps this shows that for me alcohol is deeply tied in with memories and social occasions.
I don’t really want a drink I just want to replicate the memories of times when I felt better. So thanks to past me, I now can’t instantly respond to my cravings. Thanks past Me, good job.
I can now have that breathing space to reflect that I don’t need a drink, what I need is to change my mood. I’m after a release from feeling claustrophobic and trapped and over stretched. So what I really need to do is put on my trainers and go out for a walk (maybe even, dare I say it, a run…) to clear my head and refresh myself.
And this is where it helps to have planned in advance for these dips in mood. It’s only natural for us to have ebbs and flows in our emotional state. Sometimes we will be really vulnerable to poor decision making, but don’t make it too easy to instantly respond to your cravings. Keeping alcohol out of sight and avoiding that trigger.
There’s a reason supermarkets push certain products by having them displayed at eye level. Do the same in your own home, the old adage of out of sight, out of mind. If you only like drinking cold white wine, keep it out of the fridge, that way it’s not always available to you, you have to plan to drink it. There are numerous ways to delay that instant gratification we can all fall victim to.
Basically, we need to anticipate and plan ahead. Make it easier for your future self, so that when it comes down to those tough decisions you have that breathing space, time to weigh your options and ask yourself what is it that you’re really seeking?