In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, based on studies showing the amount of wine consumed each year, world wide, wine is one of life’s great pleasures. I just love sitting down with my husband, or friends at dinner or after dinner and pouring a glass of wine. I love sipping it, talking, and tasting it. My husband and I were married in a winery, Grand Pre Winery in our beautiful, home province of Nova Scotia. I pretty much love every thing about it.
Read “Are You Drinking Too Much?” by Kathy Merrell.
Except, the toll it can take on your life, health, well being and pocket book. Quite frankly, I don’t think it is very fair that women can have only one glass of wine a night and men can have two, do you? Like a lot of things in life, change dawns on me slowly. For my husband and I, having a glass of wine every evening before bed, has been a great joy, so much so that one glass slowly became two (remember he is allowed two and me only one). This, I think was still OK for me. The problem came about when, we had a near fatal car accident, followed closely by our son’s death to cancer. Under the strain of a broken neck and the declining health of our son, our two glasses changed from being joyful moments at the end of the day to something else. Something more like “Give me the wine, I need to relax, I want the pain to go away” and two glasses morphed into three glasses many evenings.
As I said, change dawns on me slowly, I began to notice having less energy and enthusiasm, less focus, more midnight cookie jar raids and a grumpy husband. It took me a while to understand what was going on. Under the circumstances of what we were going through, grumpiness, lack of enthusiasm and energy would seem to be expected. My intution, started telling me it was something else, it was horrors of horrors too much wine!
So, we decided to take some action! My Life Coaching was put to use to coach us. We realized that during the trauma of the past couple of years, the joy of drinking our wine had left and a dependence had crept in. Within certain limits, I don’t think it is the amount of wine we drink that is the key, but what role it has in our lives and I believe that when it crosses to dependence, action needs to be taken. Basically, we reestablished the habits and routines we had before the traumas struck. So we started eating dinner earlier, without wine, daily yoga, recognizing stress and dealing with it, and drinking more tea and water. We resumed having our glass, (I still don’t think it is fair about the 1 glass for me and two for him) right before bed in a relaxing, happy way. I am so happy to say, we feel better, have more energy, enthusiasm, sleep better, have glowing complexions, have lost weight, look more youthful, and are just plain happier than we have been in a long time. And oh yes, my grumpy husband became once again loving and cheerful. Phew!
Here are 7 Tips to Help Stop or Reduce Drinking:
- By far the most important thing, is to really want, believe and be committed to stopping or reducing drinking. I mean really, in your heart. Not just pay lip service to it. You know that saying “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink it”? The same applies to you, if you really want to make the change you can do it.
- Figure out what triggers you to drink more than you want to drink. For us and for many others it is stress, once we became overwhelmed with trauma, we forgot our stress management habits and turned to wine to help manage stress instead of our familar healthy habits such as yoga, meditating, warm baths,and talking it out.
- Once you know your triggers, figure out alternate strategies. If, for example coming home from work after a hard day, triggers you to reach for a beer and than another and another. What can you do instead? It needs to be something you can do and will do. Not something you think you should do, that will only set you up for failure. I suggest something that takes the stress out of your body, mind and heart, like yoga, a walk, or meditating. However, what is most important, is that it is something you will do and enjoy.
- I strongly suggest not having more than you want to drink around or available at least in the beginning. It is like anything, if you don’t want to eat junk food don’t have it in your home. If you don’t want to have more to drink that you choose, don’t keep in around.
- Almost, immediately your efforts will reward you by feeling better, looking better having more energy. Enjoy, the rewards, savor the rewards.
- Watch your money grow. The reality is that over drinking, costs money and you will save money by reducing your consumption. We have a travel account into which our wine money goes, saving up to go on a wine tour in Italy, just kidding!
- Consider, having an accountability person to help. My husband and I had each other, so we were mutually accountable. Being accountable to someone other than yourself is a great way to help you stay on your path to change.
I wish you all the best in your journey to less drinking.
As always all the best,