Annette Boden MSc

Alcohol – know your limit and enjoy a healthier summer and beyond

Published 30 November 2018 Associated Categories Blog

As we come into the summer months, it is often a lovley time to relax and enjoy the sunshne, holidays, and eating al fresco. Central to much of the summer months are sharing food and drink with friends. It is the ‘drink’ I would like to focus on and offer some helpful guidelines and tips so that you can enjoy the summer months happily, healthily and safely.

To do this, it is worth being aware of a few facts about alcohol excesses and some top tips to avoid the problems they cause.

The facts

There are many harmful effects that excess alcohol has on the body over time. These include: liver cirrhosis, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, fertility problems, impotence, low mood, anxiety, depression, insomnia, dementia and brain damage.

Further information can be found on the ‘alcohol concern’ fact sheet (link at the end).

Some of these effects will not be noticed for many years. However, alcohol also causes lots of short term negative consequences. Alcohol causes a high number of sick days off work due to hangovers caused by dehydration, low blood sugar and poisoning. Binge drinking can cause irregular heartbeat, and, in some cases, sudden death, known as ‘holiday heart syndrome’.

 

So, what can you do to enjoy the summer months and holiday time without drinking to excess?

Safe limits

The most recent guidelines published from the UK Chief Medical Officer suggest that, for both men and women, to keep health risk to a minimum, it is safest not to drink more than 14 units per week.

Some top tips

  • Enjoy the summer mindfully – being more involved in  conversations, activities or whatever plans you make; and self-compassionately -taking care of yourself by drinking less so that you savour the moments and pace your partying!
  • Drink plenty of water to re-hydrate, especially in between alcoholic drinks when out, and before going to bed.
  • Relax- unwind at the end of the working day with a walk or a shower, instead of reaching for that first drink. Unwind first.
  • Eat before you go out to reduce the effects of alcohol.
  • Focus on time management and stress management – avoid using alcohol as a coping strategy…it doesn’t work.
  • Drink slowly, drink less. You will remember all the highlights and think more clearly and positively the following day.
  • Try a few non-alcoholic ‘mocktails’ with plenty of fizz and flavour
  • Eat before you go out to reduce the effects of alcohol.
  • Avoid getting into ‘rounds’ on those long summer nights out, skip rounds, or alternate with soft drinks such as fruit juice or sparkling water.
  • Have more alcohol-free days to allow the body to recover and to keep your mood positive and immune system firing on all cylinders.

 

However, if  you find yourself getting in to old familiar bad drinking habits to alleviate stress and anxiety, then get in touch here. I  can help you to address the causes of your suffering and learn new coping strategies to help you stay healthy throughout the summer and beyond.

Wishing you well and happy throughout the summer and beyond!

 

Visit www.alcoholconcern.org.uk  for further information

For further advice or help with problem drinking please get in touch here

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