The annual ‘dry’ month either side of Christmas could be doing you more harm than good when it comes to your relationship with alcohol.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, psychologist Allison Keating said short-term abstinence from alcohol is the equivalent of a crash diet.
She said the increasing popularity of the practice may be perpetuating Ireland’s negative relationship with booze.
“It is the cycle really isn’t it,” she said. “A lot of people do dry November because they know they are going to massively drink in December and then go back into dry January afterwards.
“I do think it is a little bit like a crash diet. This all or nothing, feast or famine mentality when really, what we have to do is stand back and ask is my drinking healthy?”
She encouraged people to a more mindful approach to their drinking instead of being on or off all the time.
“It is the practice of being aware of how much you drink,” she said. “You are, kind of, really curious about it. There’s no judgement, you’re just saying, hmm … I really woke up with a banging headache today or, during Christmas, what is going on with me that I, kind of, drink excessively?”
She said being mindful about your drinking involves pausing before each one and asking yourself whether you need it and why.
“This is about the practice of just being aware of the impact alcohol is having on you and your body and your mood,” she said.
“You know, your sleep and just looking at it in terms of health benefit where you go, I am really not feeling great, it is really impacting the next day, I am definitely shorter with people the next day and just working on that awareness.
“Like I say, I think it is a good idea to put practices in place that work for you. You could say OK I am just going to have a glass of wine at the table but I’m not going to have a glass on the couch.”
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