Cosmopolitan (UK)

“I stopped drinking but want to start again slowly”

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If you went teetotal in lockdown, but are wondering what to do next, it’s time to create your own guidelines. “Moderation needs rules,” says Laura Willoughby MBE, founder of Club Soda (an organisati­on that offers support for those wanting to change their relationsh­ip with alcohol). These might include: “I only drink at weekends because I want to feel fresh at work” or “I no longer drink alcohol alone”.

You could also change what beverages you opt for. If you realised that whisky makes you aggressive, put it on your “no-go list”. As you ease back into drinking, you could also focus on the number of drinks you have. “Alternate between regular and alcohol-free beers at the pub,” says Willoughby. Other “mindful drinkers” have adopted the tactic of making sure their first two drinks at a social event are non-alcoholic ones. “This enables them to test the waters before deciding whether or not to drink alcohol, and stay on.”

Lastly, focus on all the positives from your break. “Remember how brilliant it feels to fit three activities into a weekend, rather than just one because you’re hungover,” says Willoughby. “Think about how much clearer your skin looks. Whatever it is that you’ve noticed and appreciate­d, hang on to that.”

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