Tips for Cutting Down on Drinking

  • Published
  • By Lynn MacKinnon, 194th Wing Director of Psychological Health
  1. Write down your reasons for changing your drinking habits. Do you want to cut back for health reasons? Better relationships? Whatever your reasons, write them down.


  2. Set a realistic goal and timeframe. For example, I will have no more than one drink for dinner, three times a week, for three months. If you choose to not drink at all for a while, set a firm quitting date.


  3. Keep a daily log. Track how many drinks you have to monitor how well you stick to your goal. You need to monitor your progress.


  4. Drink slowly. Sip your drinks. Eat before and during drinking. Drink water after an alcoholic



  5. Designate nondrinking days. Choose a day or two or three to not drink. Try not drinking for a week and see how you feel. Be aware of the effects of drinking and nondrinking have on your mind and body.


  6. Practice saying no when someone invites you to have another drink. Tell them you feel better when you drink less or not at all.


  7. Avoid temptations and pressures to drink. Stay away from bars or parties where there is temptation to drink a lot. Bring your own nonalcoholic beverage to a party.


  8. Don’t drink when you are emotionally upset. If you are having a bad day talk to someone, exercise, or find something that makes you feel better. Learn better ways to cope with stress than to numb yourself out.


  9. Get support and stay active. Tell family members and friends you want to cut down on your drinking. Drinking habits are not easy to change. Don’t give up!


From your Director of Psychological Health, Lynn MacKinnon

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