10 Miniature Habits to Reduce Drinking at Home
Alcohol is often the spark to ignite laughter between friends and relaxation after long days, but it can have a murkier side. As one of the world’s most common psychoactive substances, alcohol is classified as a depressant, slowing the central nervous system, decreasing motor coordination, reaction time, and cognitive performance, and influencing mood. Regular or heavy drinkng can also disrupt your sleep patterns, affect your judgment, alter behavior, cause depression, and impact your heart health and immune system.
Regardless of how much you drink, decreasing your intake may be a sensible option. Whether you want to cut back because one drink every few nights has turned into several every night, or maybe you want to feel better overall, whatever the reasons, the health benefits can be immediate: lower risk of cancer and strokes, more energy, better sleep, clearer skin, and weight loss. I want to share ten miniature habits that can easily fit into your routine.
Each habit consists of a Trigger (an everyday routine that triggers drinking) and an Action (the new thing that will replace frequent drinking or help you stop altogether, if that’s what you want to do). After you’ve actioned each new habit, it can help to give yourself some praise and encouragement for embedding the new thing. This can be as simple as telling yourself, “well done you!” or something else that makes you smile, because praising yourself really can make you feel good, and that make your new habit easier.
Pick one or two miniature habits from the checklist each week and take on the challenge to complete the habit daily for at least five days.
Not all of them will suit your lifestyle, but once you’ve tried some, you’ll be able to adapt others to fit in with your routine. Are your ready for the challenge?
- After I finish one glass of wine, I will immediately put washing up liquid into the glass.
- After I get home from food shopping, I will put one beer (or other drink) in the fridge and the rest in the cupboard.
- After I start making dinner, I will pour myself a non-alcoholic drink.
- After I finish dinner, I will immediately brush my teeth to stop drinking in the evening.
- After I get home from work, I will fill my water glass.
- After I see it is past 8pm, I will boil the kettle rather than reach for another alcoholic drink.
- After I say goodnight to my children, I will make a herbal tea.
- When I think about pouring a glass of wine, I will do three push-ups.
- After a friend asks if I want to catch up for a mid-week drink, I will smile and say, “thank you, but not tonight.”
- When I feel discouraged, I will reread the introduction to this challenge.
Let us know how you get on in the comments!
If you would like some extra support and encouragement on your healthy journey, come and join us over in our Motivationfish Facebook group or take a look at our new style Healthy, Whole and Free programme. You can follow the course at your own pace but you get access to 8 live sessions a month with me (recorded for those who can’t make it live) as well as access for 6 months to all of the exercise classes, recipes, podcasts, reflections and a resource pack to support you on this journey. You can find out more and sign up here.