If you’re worried about the amount of alcohol you drink, consider taking a break from it for the month of July. Being halfway through the year, there are no Christmas parties to deal with, and you’ll find plenty of support available to help you stop drinking — or cut back, at least.
Abstaining from alcohol can be beneficial both for your mind and your body. Drinking can contribute to your risk of cancer, mental health issues, liver damage, stroke, dementia, heart disease, infertility — and, of course, accidents.
Cutting back or quitting the grog can only be a good thing for your health. People who have stopped say they lost weight, could think more clearly and had more energy than before.
And one thing is certain: if you give up drinking, you definitely won’t get hangovers.
Who can help me quit drinking?
There are many sources you can go to for help to monitor, cut back or stop drinking booze completely.
Since it began in 2008, Dry July has convinced almost 130,000 people to have one month without alcohol. If you sign up for the challenge, you commit to stop drinking alcohol for, well, July.
Ask your friends to sponsor you: the money they pledge will fund cancer patients' needs, such as accommodation, transport, facilities, entertainment, information and comforts.
Hello Sunday Morning
Using a mobile app, Hello Sunday Morning connects to the world’s largest online community of people who support each other in changing their behaviour around alcohol. Sign up and you’ll take part in habit-changing experiments and be able to have one-on-one chats with health coaches.
If you live in NSW, the Get Healthy program offers free telephone coaching and support services to help you cut your alcohol intake. Check how many standard drinks are in your favourite glass, and try the alcohol risk assessment to see if you need to reduce your intake.
The Right Mix
The Right Mix provides tips, tools and strategies to show the impact drinking has on your finances, relationships, body, career and fitness. Use the ‘On Track’ app to help you track your spending and consumption.
According to recent evidence, alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the bowel, breast, mouth, throat, voice box, oesophagus (food pipe) and liver. Read more about the links between alcohol and cancer on the Cancer Council website.
Tips to help you cut your alcohol intake
If you’re not ready to give up the grog in July, there are still a couple of things you can do (at any time of the year) to cut down:
- Set yourself a drinks limit and stick to it.
- Count your drinks and remember that a drink in a bar or restaurant might contain more than one standard drink.
- Drink water before you start drinking alcohol to quench your thirst.
- Drink slowly.
- Eat before and while you're drinking.
- Finish your drink before you start another – try not to ‘top up’ drinks since you might lose track of how many you’ve had.
- Opt for a non-alcoholic drink in between alcoholic drinks.
- Be active while you are drinking – play pool or dance rather than sit.
Whatever your goal is — giving up completely, cutting back or just monitoring your intake — have a safe July.
Want more like this?
For health and wellbeing news you can use, go to the healthdirect blog.