Is Drinking Less Your New Year’s Resolution?
Nice one, mate. If you’re thinking January 1 is a good time to cut back on drinking, let us say it’s a very smart move. Reducing your alcohol intake or cutting out booze altogether has heaps of benefits for your health and across other areas of your life.
Whether you’re thinking this could be your New Year’s resolution or you’re still on the fence, here are our top tips to tackle how to drink less.
Find your ‘why’
There are plenty of reasons to want to drink less alcohol or stop drinking entirely. Cutting back on booze is growing in popularity as the day passes.
If you’ve thought about how to drink less alcohol, chances are one of these reasons is more important to you than the others. Deciding what your main reason is for this lifestyle change will be really important for helping you stay on track, even when temptations arise or you feel yourself falling back into old habits. And we get it, we’ve been there!
Some reasons we’ve shared around the room include wanting to spend more time with the kids, nailing that PB on the bike, joining the footy team or feeling more content with your mental health. Whatever your reason may be, write it down and keep it somewhere you can readily see to use as your motivation. The other benefits of drinking less will come with the territory, but this is your sticking point.
What are the benefits of drinking less?
Where do we start? There are heaps of benefits to cutting back or abstaining from alcohol. Some of these are:
- Sleeping better
- Losing that beer gut (and weight loss in general)
- Feeling more alert and present
- Getting an energy boost
- Becoming more mindful about your alcohol consumption
- Saving money
- Redefining your lifestyle habits more broadly
- Learning to socialise without a crutch
The best thing about drinking less alcohol is there are so many knock-on effects — once you start, you’d be surprised how many things can improve.
There’s the fitness angle — losing weight and feeling less lethargic can make for a powerful combo that boosts your efforts and results in the gym. When it comes to encouraging healthier habits — skipping weeknight drinks makes it easier to cut out smoking or having a punt on the pokies.
In fact your whole outlook on life can change with better sleep and skipping hangovers means more sunrises and early morning activities you’ve been snoozing through. The wins just keep racking up really!
What is mindful drinking?
We mentioned mindfulness in the list above, but what does it actually mean to drink mindfully? Well, basically, it’s a fancy way of saying ‘slow down and enjoy the moment’. So much of our drinking habits are learned really young and are reinforced by culture. When we take a step back and think about why we’re drinking, we create a healthier relationship with it.
Drinking in moderation or for a good reason rather than for the sake of it isn’t quite the same as quitting cold turkey, but it can have great benefits for your body and your mind.
5 ways to practice mindful drinking
Mindful drinking isn’t about going all or nothing but redefining your relationship with alcohol. With these tips, you can start the new year off with a healthier, more considered approach.
1. Discover non-alcoholic drinks
Having non-alcoholic drinks on hand is a great way to reduce your alcohol intake; you can still get all the familiar flavours and partake in the rituals of ‘having a drink’, without actually ‘having a drink’.
Gone are the days of having to rely on sugary soft drinks or water to refresh yourself at a function. In recent years, the quality of non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine and even non-alcoholic spirit alternatives is exceptional, rivalling the flavours of the real thing. Drinks that give you everything but the booze? How good!
2. Participate in alcohol-free events
Start your New Year’s resolution off strong by taking part in Dry January. Originally founded as an event in the UK, this month of sobriety will set you up with some great habits to see you through the year. A study from Sussex University recently found all respondents who started Dry January were drinking less alcohol six months later. They were also more likely to refuse or resist a drink. That was regardless of whether they had completed the whole month sober challenge.
Febfast the month after, or Dry July also provide a shorter term goal, which will give you a sense of achievement that’s a lot more achievable than trying to tackle 12 months in one go.
3. Take advantage of the benefits of drinking less alcohol
Whether you’re not drinking at all or just drinking less, there’s no reason the journey should feel like a slog. While some benefits of drinking less alcohol may take a little longer to appear, some are going to present themselves right away. With hangovers banished to the year before, why not start a new habit of going for an ocean swim or golf session early in the morning? Reclaiming your sober times will make the choice of cutting back on drinking all the more rewarding.
4. Take mindfulness to the next level
There’s a clear connection between drinking less and having improved mental health. Drinking less alcohol can do wonders for anxiety and insecurities, and you can take these good vibes to a whole other level.
Exercising with your newfound energy is a great way to improve your mood as physical activities release endorphins AKA those “feel-good” chemicals that help you stay energised and upbeat. Plus, regularly practicing gratitude also helps you be more self aware and stay positive. With all those good feelings flowing through you, you might feel less inclined in needing a drink to perk you up.
5. Reward yourself for achieving milestones
Whether it’s one month on the wagon or making it through a night when you’d previously hammer the booze, ensure you give yourself time to not just be mindful of your achievements, but celebrate them too.
This could mean treating yourself to something with the money you’ve saved by not drinking alcohol or spending quality time with your mates or family on a new adventure. Take a moment to step back and see how far you’ve come — you’ve done a cracking job!
New year, new healthier you
There you have it. Not only do you now know the benefits of drinking less alcohol, but you’ve got our killer tips to nail this New Year’s resolution for the long haul.If you’re feeling a little thirsty after reading this, the best non-alcoholic drinks can be found at Craftzero. Whether you like to mix your own mocktails or prefer grabbing a non-alcoholic ready-to-drink bevvy, you’ll find the right drink to kick off your 2023 mindful drinking with us.