Distract yourself

Do you feel you need to drink to enjoy yourself? If so, why? Is it because you are tense, anxious, depressed, shy, bored, lonely or lacking in confidence? If so, then alcohol is not the answer.

Many people believe that they cannot easily talk to strangers or mix at social gatherings unless they have a drink. Because they believe this, they always take a drink when meeting others. But they never find out that they can mix without alcohol because they never try it out.

Occupy yourself

Don't just drink! Do something else enjoyable while drinking, which will help distract you from the glass and drink more slowly. Here are a few things you can do:

  • reading
  • chatting
  • playing games such as darts, pool, cards, Trivial Pursuits, etc
  • eating (but beware of crisps and peanuts as they make you thirsty).

Try something new. Some people never give themselves a chance to develop new skills, sports or hobbies because their time is taken up with drinking. Experiment! What about going to that car maintenance class you were always talking about? You always wanted to play a musical instrument? Go out and buy a teach-yourself booklet. What about the marathon you enjoyed watching on TV? Why not start with a little exercise or taking up a sport? Nothing makes you want to cut down more than trying to get fit.

Drink for taste

Savour the taste of your drink. Let it rest on your tongue and enjoy the flavour. Don't just swill it down.

Change your drink

Old familiar drinks of your heavy drinking days will increase the desire to drink like that again. Be adventurous. Try lager instead of draught. What about wine? If you drink spirits, change to a different one and make it a long drink with orange, tonic or other mixes. The only thing to beware of is choosing new drinks that are stronger than you think. Find out the strength of everything you try. Look on the label on the alcohol container for the number of standard drinks it contains.

Remember - give up the old 'heavy-drinking' drinks. Try low-alcohol beer.