What we have learned about moderating
In today’s webinar, Club Soda co-founders Laura and Jussi talk about moderating – cutting down your alcohol use, drinking mindfully, whatever you want to call it.
Cut down or quit alcohol?
From the start, the idea of Club Soda was that it was for everyone who wants to change their relationship with alcohol: to “cut down, stop for a bit, quit or stick” is how we used to call it in the early days. Our language has changed a bit since then, we now talk about drinking more mindfully, taking a sober sprint, and going alcohol-free. But the basic ideas are the same.
The challenges of cutting down
In some ways, it is easier to go alcohol-free than to cut down: no need to decide how much is enough, when to drink and when not to drink, and so on. But most of the behaviour change tools and techniques are the same, whatever your goals. Planning is really important; doing a WOOP can really help; tracking your progress and giving yourself rewards will work with any goal.
And wherever you want to go, we strongly believe that a sober sprint is a really good idea to get started. A “hard reset” of not drinking for a few months (or however long it takes) gives you time for reflection about your drinking habits, lets you see how life looks and feels like without alcohol (it won’t kill you!) and helps in deciding what you want to do in the longer term.
Rules and regulations of moderating
Moderate drinking does require a few extra decisions though. Namely, you need to figure out how much, what, where and when you will be drinking. We believe it’s good to make these choices as firm as possible. Not just “I’ll drink a few less than before…” Instead, draw up a detailed schedule: “No more than three pints on Friday and Saturday, then nothing from Sunday to Thursday.” Or: “Only one bottle of wine per week.” Or: “No more than two drinks on any one night.”
It is also a good idea to think carefully about your potential pitfalls – what might make you miss your targets? What people, places, things do you have to watch out for? And beware of any “bargaining” with your limits. It’s real easy to give in to a sly “Oh I’ll just have ONE more tonight, I’ll make it up next weekend…” (Honestly, you probably won’t leave it at that one, and you probably won’t make it up next weekend…)
Drinks for moderating
The good news is that your choice of drinks is a wide one. You will have all the great non-alcoholic drinks to help you along (like all the ones at our recent Mindful Drinking Festival). And you also have a range of lower alcohol options to choose from. And you can buy smaller measures (half pints, single serve wine bottles, single shots of spirits) or make your drinks weaker (always check the ABV and find the lower ones, make your pint of beer a shandy, find lower alcohol cocktails and so on).