Sober curiosity is undoubtedly on the rise, but for some people, giving up drinking alcohol completely isn’t their goal – ‘mindful drinking’ is.
In case you’re unfamiliar, mindful drinking is the notion of being more aware of your alcohol consumption, and mindfully engaging with it rather than just drinking out of habit – or because of certain social pressures.
It’s said that nearly a quarter of British drinkers are keen to cut back on booze, and most statistics show that alcohol habits have been steadily declining in the UK in recent years.
Most of us find that it’s the big events that see us drink more alcohol than we usually would – celebrations such as weddings or birthdays, or nights out at clubs, festivals or concerts. One drink leads to another, and another… if you add up the amount of units consumed in a matter of hours at the average wedding, you might be pretty horrified.
With plenty of low and no-alcohol options on the market these days, it should be easier to cut back on drinking, but that isn’t always the case.
However, a new mindful drinking method is celebrating moderation by literally doing things by halves – aka, halving your alcohol consumption by swapping out every other drink with a non-alcoholic option. Remember, mocktails are delicious!
In a recent survey, Harrogate Spring Water found that 57% of people are now trying this method. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen Z-ers are leading the charge, with 69% choosing to drink mindfully by interspersing alcoholic drinks with alcohol-free alternatives at social occasions.
Your ‘buffer’ drink could be anything from water to a non-alcoholic spritz or mocktail – but ideally, sticking to something hydrating will help you keep a clear head and hopefully mean you’re hangover-free the next day.
And if you’re keen to give mindful drinking a real go this year, try out these other tips…
How to cut down your alcohol intake and practice mindful drinking
- Make sure you have alcohol-free alternatives available to you. Sometimes, the alternative is just as satisfying. Try stocking up on the alcohol-free version of whatever it is you usually fancy at home – be it beers, gin or wine – and reach for that when you have a craving.
- Don’t ‘pre-drink’. Opting out of those few glasses of wine while you’re getting ready to go out can make a significant difference to the decisions you make for the rest of the night.
- Try taking a break from alcohol. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, but it can help you revaluate your relationship with drinking and ‘hit refresh’, so to speak. Aim for 30 days booze-free and see how you feel.
- Try to make your drinks last longer. For example, if you have a glass of wine, try to make sure it lasts you for an hour. Pace yourself.
- Be honest and build a support system. If you’re genuinely trying to cut back on drinking, share that with the people you care about so they can be aware of your goals and respect those boundaries when you’re together at social occasions. You may find that someone else is feeling the same way.
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