You know the feeling. It’s been a looooong day. You’re tired and hungry. All you want to do is put up your feet and ignore the world for half an hour to build up the strength to see you through the sessions of: cooking / cleaning / homework / television that you need to do before you can flop into bed. A lovely glass of wine would be just the ticket … but you had a few drinks last night.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should start by saying that I’m not really a big drinker. I’ve had periods where I’ve not drunk for weeks or months for various reasons without too much bother. If I had to choose between giving up coffee or alcohol, I’d choose alcohol. (I would NEVER give up coffee – please don’t make me!)
But that said, I do enjoy a few glasses of cool rosé, or an icy cold beer on a hot summer day. Champagne, nibbles and chats with the girls? I’m there!
Age and my appreciation of alcohol
As I’ve got older I’ve found that I enjoy a drink a bit more than I did when I was in my 20s – I finally get what people were always talking about when they suggested having a glass of wine after a rubbish day. It’s nice.
So what used to be one or two glasses on the weekend had started to creep up over the years to be one or two glasses a couple of times a week and on weekends. It wasn’t a problem, but it didn’t feel quite right to me.
Australian Government guidelines recommend that healthy men and women should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day to reduce the lifetime risk of harm, and no more than four drinks on one occasion.
For me, drinking two glasses of wine every night would be just too much. It’s not that it makes me drunk, but it takes my focus away from other things. I’m less likely to want to put effort into cooking and if I’m already tired it will be enough to make me fall asleep on the couch. I needed to find a balance that worked for me.
Great advice I received and I’m sharing
Enter my fabulous acupuncturist with some great advice. He loves a good glass of red and sometimes we chat about different wines we have enjoyed. One day I mentioned that I didn’t like to drink too often but found it hard to find a ritual that suited me and then he gave me the best drinking advice ever.
“I only drink on days starting with ‘W’,” he said.
I would have raised my head to stare at him except that I had half a dozen strategically placed pins in my neck, back and shoulders, so I resorted to a snigger. But before I could point out the obvious, he explained: “I drink on Wednesdays and weekends.”
Works for me!
And you know what? It was great advice – that now totally works for me. It gives me something to look forward to in the midst of the working week but it also helps me keep things in check. Win, win.
Of course if I’m out at an event or it’s a special occasion, I go for it. But as a general rule, drinking on the ‘W’s helps me see if I’m straying away from my comfort zone, and I know I’m not creating a problem that might be harder to manage down the track.
What rules have you set for yourself around alcohol?
Got any other great advice?