Happy hour cocktails and nights out with the girls are all well and good, but if you’re starting to question whether or not you may be drinking too much, it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship with alcohol. Ask yourself these questions and see how you measure up.
Are you worried about your drinking?
Having doubts about your drinking habits is usually the first sign that you may have a problem. If you’re concerned, keep a ‘drinking diary’ for a week and track your intake – bearing in mind that in SA, the recommended daily amount is no more than one drink for women and two for men. If you’re consistently exceeding this, it might be time to look at moderating your habits.
Are your friends worried about your drinking?
Perhaps they might not have staged an intervention quite yet, but if your friends have expressed concern over your drinking, you might want to listen. Ask them exactly what they’re worried about and have an open conversation with them about the subject. They may have a different perspective and can help you regain control before the situation potentially worsens.
Are you setting limits you can’t stick to?
If you’re telling yourself “just one” and always having two, three, four or five, it might be time to put the brakes on. You may not necessarily have a problem with alcoholism, but binge drinking isn’t a road you want to travel either. Consider telling the friends you’re with what your self-imposed limit is and use them as an accountability tool to help you stick to your carefully laid plans.
Are you using alcohol as a coping mechanism?
It’s completely normal to reach for a glass of wine after a bad day at the office, but if you find yourself reaching for the bottle every time a negative situation occurs, it’s time to look at healthier ways of coping. Analyse what it is you’re looking for when you have a drink to relieve your stress and find another way of achieving the same effect, whether it’s a session at the gym, a walk round the block or even a call to a friend. You’ll resolve your issues more effectively and you won’t have a hangover to deal with the next day!
For more health advice here are 5 habits to make and break this year!