Winter drinking

Erynn Blansjaar | November 2021 | 8 minutes

Now that the nights are getting longer and darker, how can you stay on top of your drinking?

When it gets dark earlier it can be tempting to start drinking a bit earlier in the day, which can lead to us drinking more than we’d like. There might also be a few social events we’re hoping to attend (local coronavirus restrictions permitting, of course), and festive holidays we want to celebrate with loved ones – many of which will probably involve alcohol. So, how can you stay on top of your drinking? Here are our top tips.

Think about what you enjoy, and what you don’t

Many of us have found ourselves drinking more or more often out of habit this year. Taking the time to think about what drinks you really enjoy, and cutting out the ones you don’t, can help you make better decisions about your drinking. Are you having a beer because you enjoy it, or because you always have it? Similarly, if you love a glass of mulled wine, treat yourself to one and enjoy it. Don’t join in with a glass of prosecco if it doesn’t spark the same festive joy.

Make a plan

Whether you’re having a drink with family or flatmates, meeting friends out and about, or having a video call with loved ones, decide beforehand what you’d like to do in terms of drinking. Don’t let other people throw you off – you know how much feels like enough for you. For example, you can decide in advance to only have three glasses of wine, and drink water in between. You won’t always know how much you’re going to drink, but giving it some thought before the event can really help you stick to what you think is enough.

Stick to your own alcohol

Many of us are still choosing to meet up with people outside in gardens or public spaces, which usually means that if you want to drink, you have to bring your own booze. This makes it easier to only drink the drinks you actually want to have – stick to what you’ve brought, and no more.

Remember: there’s nothing rude about saying no

Take it from us, there’s nothing wrong with saying no if you’ve had enough, or don't fancy drinking at all. You’re always allowed to change your mind later. Being clear about your limits is perfectly acceptable. Putting pressure on others to drink more than they want to, is not. Find out more about our campaign to stop 'sober shaming' here.

Download the Try Dry app to keep track

Our Try Dry app is the perfect way to keep track of how much you’re drinking, how many units you’ve had and how much you’ve spent. And if you’re planning on doing Dry January in the new year you can use it to track your dry days and savings! We’ve recently added a few more exciting features, such as the ability to set custom goals and claimable 'mission' badges. You can download it for free from the App Store and Google Play Store.

Try an alcohol-free alternative, or make your own!

There are lots of brilliant alcohol-free drinks on the market, and the range keeps on growing! Try some of them and find your favourite – you don’t need to drink it all night if you don’t want to, but replacing an alcoholic drink with an alcohol-free one can do wonders. Plus, you might even like it so much you don’t want an alcoholic drink after all!

Alternatively, if you’re feeling a bit more crafty, why not make your own alcohol-free drinks? We have some great festive recipes which you can find here. Personally we think these are better than their alcoholic counterparts!

Keep the guidelines in mind

Drinking over 14 units a week – which is equivalent to five or six pints of standard ABV beer or one and a half bottles of wine – can put us at greater risk of developing alcohol-related harm. To keep your risk low, it’s wise to keep tabs on your drinking to make sure you stay under the recommended guidelines. Why not use our Try Dry app for this? You can mark exactly what drink you had each day, what %ABV it was and how much it cost – it’s an easy way to get a clear overview of what you’re drinking, and when.

After the year we’ve had, looking after yourself has never been more important. Join the millions shaking off 2021 and taking on Dry January – it’s the perfect opportunity for a reset.

Sign up now