Drink Less, Gain More
A lot of people find their mood improves when they cut down or stop drinking, like a cloud has been lifted. This may come as a surprise, as it’s common to feel that alcohol gives us a boost or a relief from difficult times.
Clearer thinking / get things done. Hangovers, poor sleep and time spent drinking can eat away at your energy and productivity and affect your concentration and your ability to learn and remember things. Whether it be organising things at home, keeping up with study or performing better at work, a break from alcohol can get you motivated to get things done. "If you want to get stuff done, take a break from alcohol. It's that simple".
“I need a drink after the day I’ve had". Although alcohol can numb difficult feelings or make us forget problems for a while, alcohol is actually a depressant drug. You might be aware of this in the ‘low’ that can happen the day after drinking. But alcohol can have a negative effect on our mental health in the longer term, too, causing problems like depression and anxiety, or making existing problems worse.
Finding new ways to cope. Taking a break from relying on alcohol may mean you need to find different ways to try to cope with negative feelings, but this can be good for your mental health. Negative feelings – falling out with people, having a day when everything goes wrong, feeling down or alone – are normal. Without alcohol in the way, you’re more likely to find real solutions and build up your coping skills so that you can get over life’s ups and downs more easily.
Check out your drinking
To ensure that alcohol is not affecting your mental health, why not first check out your drinking pattern? Using this easy Self Assessment Tool, you will find out whether your relationship with alcohol is about right, or whether you're over doing it and need to take action.
Whether it’s taking a break or rethinking the way you drink longer term - everyone can feel the benefits of cutting back on drinking. Read more here...
Set your goal
Healthier lifestyle or a personal challenge? Think what you want to get from cutting down / taking a break and take some time to rethink your drinking. Read more here...
Stay on track
Be prepared for danger times / places when it will be hardest to stay on track and prepare for peer-pressure. Read more here...
Feel the benefits
A lot of people find their mood improves when they cut down or stop drinking, like a cloud has been lifted. This may come as a surprise, as it’s common to feel that alcohol gives us a boost or a relief from difficult times. Read more here...
If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol there is help available.
If you are not sure what help you need you can call the HSE Alcohol Helpline 1800 459 459
Visit the Service Finder here on askaboutalcohol.ie
Search for other mental health services in your area here
If you need urgent help please contact your GP or nearest Emergency Department.
The content on this page has been adapted from the HSE 2017 website www.askaboutalcohol.ie