Don’t worry, we’re not going to drone on about the virtues of Dry January – we’re sure you’ve heard quite enough about it, whether you took part of not. Interestingly, not a single member of the Muddy HQ team plumped for hardcore abstinence this month – instead we all cut down, with most of us indulging in a few cheeky glasses on weekends only.
Moderation seems to be key for you Muddy readers too. We ran a poll online which asked how you’re currently feeling about booze. Thirty percent of you did Dry January, 30 per cent of you knocked back the Merlot like it was still New Year’s Eve, but the majority – 40 per cent – cut down.
Which is music to the ears of Rosamund Dean, author of Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life, a new book that recognizes most of us don’t want to either drink like fish or be totally sober but rather somewhere in between. Of course, that’s not easy when one drink so often leads to another so we tapped up Rosamund for some realistic, achievable advice on how to drink moderately and mindfully.
Over to you Ros…
Embrace the Rule of Three
Aiming to simply ‘drink less’ is too broad a goal. Be more specific in your ambition. For me that’s the Rule Of Three – I only allow myself to drink on three days per week and never more than three drinks each time (your specific numbers might be different but you get the idea). It’s easy to remember and simpler than counting units.
Try the loo selfie test
This trick helps monitor the impact of your drinking on a night out. After every drink, go to the loo and take a selfie. It’s a failsafe way of proving that while two drinks = sexy dishevelled, five drinks = smudged mascara, droopy eyelids and red-wine teeth. It’s quite the wake-up call!
Don’t get involved in rounds in the pub
Ever knocked back the second half of your drink in one gulp because you realised someone else has finished and it’s your round? Setting up a tab, to be split at the end of the night, is a better option.
At a party or in the pub, hold your glass in your non-dominant hand. It sounds ridiculous but just the act of doing something a little bit unfamiliar will make you dirnk more slowly and more mindfully.
Don’t feel bad about throwing alcohol away. It’s that first fizz or champagne or first sip an ice-cold G&T that tastes so good. Once you’re over the initial buzz, it is no more wasteful to pour the rest of it down the sink as it is to drink it.