WE'VE all got that one friend that gets a bit too mouthy when they've had one too many wines.
One expert has now revealed what you're booze personality is, from the weekend boozer to the gin'o'clock sipper.
Before the pandemic around 42 per cent of Brits said they saw drinking as a social event with one in five claiming that alcohol helped them to cope with emotional issues.
Fast forward a year and our drinking habits have changed and evolved due to a variety of factors such as pubs and bars not being open and the general stress of the pandemic.
Data from CleanCo states that since Covid-19 became a part of our lives last year, just 20 per cent of British drinkers now consume to have fun or celebrate.
Analysis of over 1,000 Brits also found that 30 per cent agreed that they reach for a glass of something alcoholic to help them forget about their worries or alleviate boredom.
British life coach, Michael Cloonan has now revealed some of the most common drinking personalities – but which one are you?
Michael explained that usually, people with this drinking personality don't usually booze in the week.
He said: "But their abstinence from Monday to Thursday warrants a free pass and blow out at the weekend.
Their mantra, Michael says is that "units and calories don’t count on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday right?”.
How to moderate it
Michael said while you work hard all week it's understandable that you want a treat at the weekend – but he also said this could be dangerous.
He added: "For every alcoholic drink you consume, have a glass of water in between to pace yourself.
"If you really want to change your habits, keep a tab of what you’re drinking. Drink Less is a great moderation app created by a team of psychologists at University College London. "
GIN' O'CLOCK SIPPER
The clock hits 5pm so that means it's time to make a G&T right?
Michael said for those using the the “it’s five o’clock somewhere!” phrase, drinking habits have inched earlier and earlier throughout the pandemic.
He said that for the gin' o'clock sipper, boredom combined with the sheer monotony of lockdown life and a lack of daily structure are reasons to drink.
How to moderate it
We are now three lockdowns in and Michael said many of us have hit a wall when it comes to finding new activities and for many people booze has filled this void.
Michael advised: "When moments of boredom seep in, come away from the kitchen so you don’t instinctively fire off to the fridge.
"Instead go and sit in a different room which you don’t associate with alcohol and where it’s harder to reach for a glass."
THE REVERSE WEEKENDER
Michael said for the reverse weekender, the pressures of work and for many parents home-schooling, mean you seek solace in a midweek drink.
He said: "You’re all about ‘getting through’ or ‘coping with’ what the week has to throw at you.
"You tend to be so burnt out by Friday, that you see the weekend as a ‘recovery’ period."
How to moderate it
While booze can sometimes be a coping mechanism, Michael says drinking in the week can lead you to feel burnt out.
He said getting organised can stave off anxiety and recommend creating to-do lists to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Michael said: "If you have any reason to think that you might be physically addicted to alcohol and at risk of suffering withdrawal symptoms such as agitation, extreme anxiety, insomnia, seizures, it is essential that you consult a healthcare professional before you significantly reduce your alcohol intake or stop drinking abruptly. "
How much is too much and what is a unit of alcohol?
One key when it comes to booze is knowing your limits
The NHS says that units are a simple way of expressing the amount of pure alcohol in a drink.
One unit is either 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol, which is meant to be the amount the average adult can process in an hour.
The number of units in a drink also depends upon its size as well as its strength.
A quick way of working out how many units in a drink is multiplying the strength of the alcohol by the volume in millilitres.
Then divide by 1,000 and it will give you the number of units.
For example wine at 12 per cent in a 750ml bottle would have ten units in it.
Other rough measurements include:
- Standard glass of wine – 2.1 units
- Pint of low strength beer – 2 units
- Pint of high strength beer – 3 units
- Bottle of lager – 1.7 units
- Can of lager – 2 units
- Alcopop – 1.5 units
- Single spirit and mixer – 1 unit
How much can I have?
Both men and women should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
This equates to six small glasses of wine, six pints of lager or five pints of cider.
The guidelines also suggest that you shouldn't binge on all your weekly units in one go and that they should be spread across the week.
SOBER AS A JUDGE
The pandemic has spurred some people on to change their relationship with booze.
People who have the sober as a judge personality have made a move towards sobriety.
For some, sobriety means they simply no longer get drunk. Others have gone a step further becoming teetotal.
Many celebrities have embraced the no or low alcohol life style including former Made in Chelsea star turned entrepreneur Spencer Matthews.
How to get there
Spencer, who launched low ABV company CleanCo said once he had kids he realised that you have to be ready and available all the time – something you can't really be if you are drunk or have a hangover.
He said: "I’m the kind of person where if I have one or two beers, I’ll become a bit inherently lazy. I’ll put stuff off until the next day and I’ll stay out for another hour. It really gets in the way for me".
He said that drinking clean is one of the best ways to get on your way to sobriety and that choosing flavoursome alternatives helps.
Spencer said: "My goals in life were completely unachievable when I was drinking alcohol and now they seem within reach.
“I still cook using alcohol, I’m around alcohol regularly and certainly wouldn’t rule out having a drink in the future – but I still consider myself sober. After all, sobriety for me is simply, not being drunk.”
THE ROLLER COASTER
Whether it's work successes to career chaos, the challenges of life in lockdown and the ever-evolving and unrelenting news agenda – a drink helps to increase the positive feelings or dampen the negative ones.
Michael said people with the Roller Coaster personality pour out a measure to ride out the highs and lows.
How to moderate it
Michael said that associating drinking with different feelings and events is a rocky road.
He said: "Without realising it, you’re teaching your brain that drinking is a solution that will help to make a bad situation more bearable."
If you want to stop using alcohol as an emotional crutch then Michael said the best thing you can do is learn to sit comfortably with your emotions – without reaching for a drink.
He said: "The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with negative feelings. And you’ll be less likely to turn to something that will cover them up.
"Start a journal observing how an emotion makes you feel. The more you observe, the more you realise you can handle. Writing also means you’re not drinking."
For most people drinking used to be visiting the pub with some friends and now it’s over the virtual threshold.
People with the zoom socialite personality don't think twice about having a drink while on zoom calls with their friends.
Michael said: "Zoom socialites drink to increase the amount of fun they’re having with friends.
"You don’t drink alone, but at parties and hangout sessions with friends, believing that alcohol will make things more fun."
How to moderate it
Michael said there's no harm in having a drink on a zoom call, but explained that you should try and "pace and space" when occasions crop up.
He said: "Afterall, it's a marathon not a sprint. Rather than mindlessly downing a drink, leisurely sip it, taking the time to really enjoy it.
"As the liver takes an hour (on average) to break down a unit of alcohol, aim to have no more than a glass in this time period."
THE MERRY GO ROUND
People with the Merry Go Round personality start the week armed with healthier intentions, but by 5pm on a Monday, cave and decide “to start again next week”.
Michael said that people with this personality trait have an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to drink.
How to moderate it
Michael said that setting boundaries with booze is key.
"If you’re the kind of person that wanders around the house armed with a glass of wine then think about banning alcohol from certain rooms.
"Keeping a diary can also be a great way to identify patterns of behaviour. You might even identify regular spots in the day or week that trip you up most. The more you recognise this, the harder it comes to make excuses."
Top tips to cut down on the booze
Spencer Matthews, CEO of low abv spirits brand CleanCo, gives his top tips on how to cut back on booze without compromising on taste.
Chose a replacement instead of abstinence: Spencer said that people often feel the need to go ‘dry’ and avoid alcohol entirely but that this can often be too much.
He said: "Opting for a low abv alcohol replacement – as opposed to abstinence – is a healthful and flavourful option which will feel a lot more accessible and easier to achieve."
Don't compromise on taste: For Spencer when he first made the move to sobriety, the last thing he wanted, he said was sugar-laden, sickly-sweet ‘mocktails’ which are often worse from a health perspective than alcohol.
Spencer said: "Many people appreciate the taste of alcohol, but obviously don’t enjoy the hangover." He said that was one of the reasons he launched CleanCo – for a healthy alternative.
‘Nolo’ is an excellent way to avoid ‘fomo’: Spencer highlighted that the key is getting used to being in social situations without the stimulation of alcohol and not relying on it for confidence.
Find balance and feel better: After three months of sobriety, Spencer said he found focus, energy and drive increase dramatically.
He added: "With two small children, an amazing wife and the energy and agility needed to launch and grow a business from scratch, I’ve never been happier to say no to an alcoholic drink.
"I do firmly believe in balance in life – and we certainly aren’t preaching that people should cut out booze permanently – but finding low abv alternatives that hit the spot and give the same great taste that you would expect from a full-strength gin & tonic certainly helps moderate excess.
"Not to mention meaning you no longer have to endure hangovers."
Boozers with the camel personality can go long periods of time without touching a drop for months.
But when they have a drink, Michael says more often than not, a blowout ensues.
The camel can also swing between different personalities with long stints of sobriety, but Michael said that hitting the booze after a long time off it isn't good for your body.
How to moderate it
While giving up alcohol for any amount of time isn’t something that should be discouraged, Michael said that if it leads to excessive over consumption when you do, then try to work on breaking this cycle to achieve more equilibrium.
He said: "Whether it’s at work, the gym or your approach to drinking – if you tend to give everything 100 per cent dedication, aim to dismantle this pattern of perfectionism. Give yourself a stopping point and stick to it.
"If you’ve had a period without alcohol, your tolerances are going to be much lower.
"Try a traffic light formation when you next have a drink – start with full strength, then opt for a no or low option, followed by a glass of water for hydration. And repeat."
NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL
Michael added that when it comes to the booze, what works for one person might not work for another.
“Alcohol affects everyone differently, so to have the same parameters for all people of varying ages, shapes, sizes, or fitness levels misses a highly nuanced scenario.
"There is no one size fits all approach.
“For those with an alcohol dependency, abstinence is always the best policy.
"But if you are looking to develop a healthier relationship with drink, while there is not a ‘guaranteed or perfect’ approach, by trying different techniques to help moderate could help you land on a technique that works for you."
Michael said by using the personality guide above you should be able to recognise your individual drinking habits and triggers.
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