Many of us use alcohol as a short term strategy to improve our mood. However the prolonged effects of ongoing alcohol consumption has been linked to a range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression.
As part of our latest campaign, ‘find a new happy hour’ we’re encouraging people to rethink their drinking habits and providing alternative ideas to take care of their mental health.
Here are four ways you can boost your mental health without drinking.
1. Find New Ways to Relax After Work
If you use alcohol to relax and unwind, you’re not alone. For many people, the act of drinking is a ritual that signifies the end of the working week. With that in mind, one way to look after your mental health and cut back is to find other activities that help you relax. Here are some ideas:
Read a book that you love
Run yourself a bubble bath
Listen to music or a podcast
Play a game with your family
Try meditation or yoga
Everyone is different. Figure out what helps you feel relaxed and refreshed. Embracing alcohol-free activities is a smart and simple way to support your mental health.
2. Try Exercising for Stress-Relief
When you’re feeling stressed out, reaching for a glass of wine or a beer might seem second-nature. 29% of Brits say that they start drinking or drink more alcohol when they are stressed. While having a tipple may lead to short-term stress relief, it can have the opposite effect in the long-run. Finding healthier management techniques is essential.
Believe it or not, physical activity leads to stress relief. Including more exercise in your day-to-day routine could help you manage your stress levels. Why not take up running, start dancing or simply follow a YouTube fitness tutorial in the comfort of your home?
3. Start a New Hobby or Project
Drinking may offer short-term glee, but it’s not a long-term solution. Why not take up a project or hobby that will bring you pride and happiness? For example, you could:
Learn a new skill, such as a language
Take up a craft, such as sewing
Start a writing project
Start a DIY project
Take an online course
Setting yourself goals (and reaching them) can provide a sense of achievement. Consider the type of project or hobby that you are interested in and give it a go.
4. Talk Openly to Someone You Trust
Are you bottling things up? 38% of people say that they have drunk alcohol to forget their problems. Using alcohol to avoid dealing with a tricky situation is a short-term fix. Instead of keeping everything inside, speak to someone you trust. Sharing the issue with a friend or family member could be the first step towards overcoming it.
Want to show your support for our campaign? You can find downloadable resources here.