Great! You've made the decision to enjoy more Drink Free Days each week. The key to making changes that stick is to have a plan in place for when life throws things at us that might make it tempting to skip a Drink Free Day.
Plan for stress
Let a friend you trust or a loved one know about your goal to cut down and tell them you’d like them to be a friendly ear when you need to get something off your chest. Or decide on a go-to activity that’s easy to do when you need to clear your head, like listening to your favourite music, or taking a walk.
Make things easier by not putting yourself in situations you know will make it difficult to stick to your Drink Free Days. If you’re catching up with someone, take the initiative and suggest you go for a walk or to a café instead of the pub – or offer to be the designated driver.
Make swaps easy
If you regularly drink at a certain time of day, like when you come home in the evening, make sure you have something, chilled, refreshing and non-alcoholic on hand to replace that alcoholic drink. Why not give a 0% beer or some alcohol-free fizz a try, there’s never been a wider or better variety. You might find something new you love that helps keep the weight off, save money and make your Drink Free Days a doddle!
Make mine a…
If you 're going to a pub, bar or restaurant on a Drink Free Day, make sure you’re prepared for being asked what you’ll have to drink. Run through your choice in your head a few times before you arrive, so you’re ready for the question. If you’re heading to someone’s home, bring some of your new-found 0% favourites.
Each week revisit your goal and list your progress, whether you’ve managed an extra Drink Free Day or none at all. And remember, slip ups happen so don’t beat yourself up – if you haven’t hit your goal one week, set yourself a reminder to look at your plan and make a fresh start on Monday.
Master your environment
Make Drink Free Days easier by keeping things that might tempt you to drink out of sight: ensure the fridge or counter is clear of alcohol or move wine glasses away from the rest of your glasses.
Confidential support is available
Drinkchat is a confidential online webchat service, for people who want to talk to someone about their own or someone else's drinking. It's available weekdays 9am-2pm.