Mindful drinking


What is mindful drinking and how do you know if you are drinking too much? LawCare provides some guidance.

The festive season is fast approaching and with it a myriad of opportunities to drink alcohol - everywhere you go there’s a glass of something on offer. While having a drink in itself is not an issue, most of us don’t think in advance of an event about how many we will have, and then it’s easy to lose track.

Mindful drinking is about being more conscious of how much you are drinking. The key to mindful drinking is planning.

  • How many drinks will you have?
  • What will you drink if you don’t drink alcohol?
  • Check out the drinks menu before you go to a venue or bring your soft drink of choice to a party.
  • You don’t have to share your plan with others if you don’t want to - you can order, mix or top up your own drinks.

How do I know if I am drinking too much?

Mindful drinking may be difficult for some of us who have deep-rooted problems with alcohol, or are anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, stressed or dealing with a work or personal issue.

If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more of the following statements, you could have an issue with alcohol:

  • I go out intending to have just one or two drinks, but then don’t seem to be able to stop.
  • I’ve tried to cut down a couple of times - I managed a whole week once.
  • I sometimes feel guilty about my drinking, and about the effect it has on other people.
  • Others sometimes comment on how much I drink.
  • I have a couple of glasses before I go out, in case there’s not enough when I get there.
  • I always feel better if I have a drink early in the day, just to steady me.
  • I know I’m not an alcoholic because I don’t drink spirits / I’m never drunk / I don’t drink as much as other people.

Seeking help

See your GP and explain honestly how much you are drinking.

Talk to your family, friends and/or colleagues and ask for their help. Find a buddy to cut down drinking with you.

You can contact LawCare on the free, confidential helpline on 1800 991 801. You can also access webchat, email support, peer support and read a factsheet about alcohol at the LawCare website.

Additional Irish website resources


This article originally appeared in the November 2019 Member eZine. For more information, and to subscribe, visit eNewsletters.