Welcome Year 2017!
Happy New Year everyone!
At the Be You Promise we would like to welcome everyone into 2017 with wishes of health and happiness. The coming of a new year always brings the possibilities for new beginnings and here at the Be You Promise, 2017 offers us another opportunity to continue spreading the word on ways to live healthier, happier, drug and alcohol free lives. We would like to invite everyone to try and take the Be You challenge and use 2017 to focus on becoming the best you that you can possibly be. Drugs and alcohol can get in the way of you reaching your full potential and has so many negative side effects on your mind, body, and the people around you. Drugs and alcohol can impair your judgment, which can lead to you doing or saying things you later regret; or, getting you into situations that can be hard to recover from. They are also toxic to your body and mind, which means when you use drugs and alcohol you are putting extra, unneeded strain on you to get these toxins out of your body. This can have the unfortunate effect of leaving you feeling extra tired and weakening your immune system, so you are more likely to get sick. Alcohol and drugs are also known to cause many illnesses, including cancer, cirrhosis, anxiety, and depression. So, instead of weighing your mind and body with toxins it doesn’t need, why not try something different this year? Whether it is for a week, a month, or the rest of the year, make a resolution to yourself that your going to try to be the best you possible and cut back or quit using alcohol and drugs. Maybe some of you have already started! If so, we would love to hear how it is going! To help you with this endeavor we decided to include some tips that might help you cut down or quit drinking. These tips were taken from Rethinking Your Drinking (www.rethinkingyourdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov) so for more tools, info, and helpful links checkout their website.
- Keep track of your drinking. Find a way that works for you. Carry a drinking tracker card in your wallet, make check marks on a kitchen calendar, or enter notes in a mobile phone. Making note of each drink before you drink will make you more aware of how much you are drinking and it may help you slow down when needed.
- Count and measure. Know the standard drink sizes so you can count your drinks accurately. Measure drinks at home. Away from home, it can be hard to keep track, especially with mixed drinks, and at times, you may be getting more alcohol than you think. With wine, you may need to ask the host or server not to “top off” a partially filled glass.
- Set goals. Decide how many days a week you want to drink and how many drinks you’ll have on those days. It’s a good idea to have some days when you don’t drink. People who always stay within the low-risk limits when they drink have the lowest rates of alcohol-related problems.
- Pace and space. If you do drink, pace yourself. Sip slowly. Have no more than one standard drink with alcohol per hour. Have “drink spacers”—make every other drink a non-alcoholic one, such as water, soda, or juice.
- Include food. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat some food so the alcohol will be absorbed into your system more slowly.
- Find alternatives. If drinking has occupied a lot of your time, then fill free time by developing new, healthy activities, hobbies, and relationships, or renewing ones you’ve missed. If you have counted on alcohol to be more comfortable in social situations, manage moods, or cope with problems, then seek other, healthy ways to deal with those areas of your life.
- Avoid “triggers.” What triggers your urge to drink? If certain people or places make you drink even when you don’t want to, try to avoid them. If certain activities, times of day, or feelings trigger the urge, plan something else to do instead of drinking. If drinking at home is a problem, keep little or no alcohol there.
- Plan to handle urges. When you cannot avoid a trigger and an urge hits, consider these options: Remind yourself of your reasons for changing (it can help to carry them in writing or store them in an electronic message you can access easily). Or talk things through with someone you trust. Or get involved with a healthy, distracting activity, such as physical exercise or a hobby that doesn’t involve drinking. Or, instead of fighting the feeling, accept it and ride it out without giving in, knowing that it will soon crest like a wave and pass. Also, see the short module to help you handle urges to drink.
- Know your “no.” You’re likely to be offered a drink at times when you don’t want one. Have a polite, convincing “no, thanks” ready. The faster you can say no to these offers, the less likely you are to give in. If you hesitate, it allows you time to think of excuses to go along. Also, see the short module to help you build drink refusal skills.