Tips to reduce how much you drink

Maybe you’ve woken up too many times regretting the things you did when you were drunk the previous night. Or, maybe you’re just tired of waking up late with a hangover. Whatever the reason, if you’re interested in making changes to how you drink, here are some pro tips.

Evaluate

  • Think about reasons you might want to make a change and reasons why you might not want to change.
  • Think about what alcohol is doing for you. How is it helping you?
  • Take a look at how drinking affects your mood, relationships, health, work, school, finances, and sex life.

Plan Ahead

  • Plan your party—decide when, where, how much, and with whom.
  • Bring a set amount of money.
  • Seek out a location and the company of lighter drinkers when you want to moderate your drinking.
  • Add abstinence days—i.e. “I take a break Tuesdays and Sundays.”
  • Don’t keep booze in the house.

Be Mindful

  • Keep track of how often and how much you’re drinking.
  • Delay the first drink. Start later in the day.
  • Include food. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat some food so the alcohol will be absorbed into your system more slowly.
  • If you can afford it, drink only in bars or restaurants—not at home.
  • Pace and space. Pace yourself. Sip slowly. Add ice to your drink. Alternate booze with water, juice or soda. Brush your teeth between drinks. It makes them taste gross and may slow you down.
  • Ask your bartender to give you a measured pour (not a heavy pour).
  • Stop sooner and go home at a set time.

Get Support

  • For help with insomnia or anxiety, try adding deep relaxation and wind-down rituals to your bedtime routine. Consider talking with your doctor about these challenges to a good rest. Check out yoga classes, deep breathing tutorials on YouTube, or group or guided meditation. Add movement, exercise, and stretching into your day.
  • If drinking has occupied a lot of your time, develop new interests. Participate in new activities, hobbies, and relationships—or, renew and reinvest in those that you’ve missed. If you’ve relied on alcohol to be more comfortable in social situations, to manage your moods, or cope with problems, then seek support and strategies to deal with those areas of your life.
  • Check out a harm reduction or abstinence group, including services offered at Strut.