Knocking off work early for a few social drinks on a Friday or catching up with some friends on a Sunday afternoon over a few drinks, is a fairly common occurrence in work and social groups. But have you ever actually really paid attention to the drinking itself?
Mindful drinking is when we take notice of not only our consumption levels of alcohol but several other factors such as our mood, the intention of the drinks, etc.
Here's a few of things to think about to start practicing some Mindful Drinking:
Your Plan: Before you sip on that first drink set yourself with a promise of a plan and stick to it. This could be as simple as the location where you are meeting for drinks (somewhere easy for you to get home) or how many drinks you are allowing yourself to have.
Your Mood: Before you accept the invitation to meet up for a few drinks, some a couple of minutes to assess your mood. If you are full of energy and ready to celebrate the end of the week with friends, great! Get your plan sorted and enjoy yourself! However, if you are feeling tired, emotional or having some personal struggles, going out for a drink is potentially not going to benefit your current state-of-mind. Drinking can also be a catching up for a cup of coffee?
Your Health: We all know of those people that can drink alcohol like a fish and still seemingly function without many signs of being intoxicated (that's not to say that aren't intoxicated!). However we need to be mindful of our own capacity and how the alcohol is affecting us personally. Take specific notice on how each drink makes you feel and specific notice on how it's changing your judgement, conversation and balance. Our bodies will always give us indications and warning signs when it's being pushed too far.
Next time you're heading out for drinks give yourself a mental checklist that you have ticked off before you go out:
- Your Plan
- Your Mood
- Your Health
Then when you do have a few drinks send yourself a text after each drink to:
a) keep count on how many drinks you have consumed
b) a short note (it can even be just one word), on how you're feeling after that drink IE happy, loved, tipsy, rambling, etc. Even if they're not good feelings, it's even more important to note these down after each drink as it may reveal that having that amount of drinks is not good for your mental health.
Also, check out the guidelines here for what is considered ‘safe’ drinking in Australia. https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/alcohol/about-alcohol/how-much-alcohol-is-safe-to-drink
Drinking alcohol, or any consumption for that matter, is all about keeping it in moderation!