This month is Dry January, a one-month alcohol-free challenge set up by Alcohol Change UK. They say there are several benefits to taking a month away from alcohol, such as sleeping better, saving money and even improved health. There can also be additional benefits for your mental health.
How can alcohol can affect our Mental health?
Alcohol is a depressant so when you drink alcohol it can disrupt the balance affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions. It can often make you feel as if you have more confidence and less anxious. However, this will often be a short term effect and as people drink more and more negative emotions can take over causing them to get angry, upset, anxious or depressed. The alcohol will mean they have less control over their actions and might be less able to handle their emotions.
For many people however, alcohol can be used as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety and depression and is often referred to as the ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol. This is due to the short feeling of initial relief you can get from drinking. This can result in both negative side effects for your mental health and psychical.
What Can I do?
You don't have to have started 1 January 2022 - you can take a month off startning now!
There are many different ways of helping your mental health in a safer and more careful way. At Burton and District Mind we are always here to help. We offer a number of services that are far more beneficial such as our Counselling, Mindfulness techniques and many more!
We definitely recommend checking out the ‘What We Do’ section of our website to see what appeals to you!
Whilst we can help with Mental Health, there are lots of places for support with alcohol addiction such as:
- Your local GP
- Alcohol Change UK (https://alcoholchange.org.uk/)
- Drinkaware (https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/alcohol-support-services)
How can family and friends help?
If you know someone who is struggling with alcohol and it is causing a negative effect on their mental health there are several steps you can take to help!
- Encourage them to seek help
- Encourage them to carry on with their treatments
- Spent positive time with them
- Make sure you look after yourself.
At Burton and District Mind we are here for you.