This October Healthy You are supporting Macmillan’s Sober October campaign and we thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about behaviours around alcohol consumption and reduction. Please keep reading to hear from one of Healthy You’s Alcohol Health Trainer Philippa!
Welcome to a four-part series on how to successfully change your behaviour related to alcohol. Changing any habitual behaviour can sound easy in theory, but many of us find it hard to successfully put into practice. If you are thinking of reducing how much alcohol you drink, or giving it up completely, keep reading to learn more about the stages of how a health behaviour changes, and what we can do to aid with this process. The first part of this series will be about your mindset, the second part will be about preparation, the third part will be about action and how to deal with relapses, and the fourth will be about maintenance.
The first stage of behaviour change is precontemplation. This means that you will be completely unaware of your respective issue. Perhaps you drink over the weekly recommended unit guidance of 14 units but don’t know the unit guidance to begin with or what a unit even means! Helping to educate yourself on a variety of health topics is the best way of overcoming this stage. Increasing your awareness about your health and current health issues is an easy step to take and will be infinitely beneficial to you.
Take a look at other articles on our website once you’ve finished reading this one to get a good overview on health and wellbeing.
The second stage is contemplation. This means that you have become aware of an issue in terms of how you behave surrounding alcohol. However, you need to decide on whether this is a behaviour you want to change.
If you’re in this stage, try listing your reasons for why you drink how you drink, and whether you can justify them, then try listing your reasons for why you would like to change your behaviour. Another option is write a pros and cons list of your behaviour staying as it is for the rest of your life versus changing it. For example, if you reduce how much you drink, you will save more money!
If you need more information to help you decide, check out our alcohol leaflet available on our website and learn about the importance of drinking less if you currently drink more than you should.
(image supplied by Verywell)