Developing a responsible relationship with alcohol is important, and many adults realize that their own alcohol use is beyond their control or follows an unhealthy pattern. It may be hard to know where you should call the line and how to start setting boundaries for yourself.
In the United States, many adults experience social pressure to drink because their friends do. As a result, even those wanting to cut back or abstain may find themselves drinking anyway for fear of losing friends or experiencing social isolation.
You can address your drinking in a productive way and start drinking safely with these tips. Remember that drinking is a personal choice, and you should always be prioritizing your physical and mental well-being. Do not let social pressure or fear stop you from drinking responsibly and following your own limits.
Drink with Friends
This may sound counterintuitive to the previous point, but you shouldn’t drink alone or avoid people because you’re worried about your alcohol consumption. Instead, you should only drink during social events or with individuals who respect your desire to only consume a safe amount of alcohol.
If you have friends that only want to spend time with you when you are heavily drinking, or they pressure you to drink more than you want to, it’s best to cut ties and start seeking out more positive, respectful relationships. Good friends don’t have to share your boundaries to respect them.
Always Plan a Ride Home
When you do go out to drink, make sure you arrange for someone to drive you home. Don’t use this as a fail-safe, though. You should still be setting a healthy alcohol limit and avoid binge drinking.
Rideshare apps can be dangerous for people who have drunk too much, so you should still make sure that you are alert and aware of your surroundings at all times even when you’re catching a ride home. You may even offer to be the designated driver for your group of friends, so you can go out without drinking.
Eat a Meal and Drink Water
Alcohol dehydrates you, and it will make you drunk more quickly if you drink on an empty stomach. Eat a full meal before you drink, and have a glass of water between drinks. Not only does this make you less likely to get a hangover, but you will also consume less alcohol if you’re taking a break between drinks to consume water.
Drinking water also reduces the intensity of hangover symptoms. Some hangover cures contain all-natural ingredients, like coconut water and ginger-lemon tonics. Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid hangovers or minimize their effects.
Get Help if You Need It
If you want to quit drinking or reduce your alcohol intake but find it difficult, you may want to consider alcohol addiction treatment. Medically known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), a drinking problem can range from mild to severe. In many cases, people need to learn more about alcohol and understand why they rely on it before they can make healthier decisions.
Perhaps you’re afraid to stop drinking because of losing friends or facing social pressures. In this case, talking to a therapist could help you develop healthy boundaries and find ways to meet new people and communicate your desire to drink less in a casual way.
By paying attention to how much you consume, setting limits and choosing your company wisely, you can enjoy alcohol responsibly and feel more confident in your ability to have fun without drinking.
Loved this article? Read this one next: 3 Super Simple Habits to Improve Your Health