Be Daring, Be Original, Be You and Celebrate 30 Days Alcohol Free!

Be-Daring-Be-Original-Be-You-and-Celebrate-30-Days-Alcohol-FreeOne of my best moments of celebration was during a family caravan holiday to the Grampians, a beautiful location marked by mountains and forest. Being a couple with young children, our caravan was typically well equipped with every necessity for a happy, enjoyable and relaxing holiday – or so I thought. Unfortunately I made one important oversight – we forgot the board games which were a standard essential for children easily bored and looking to their parents for entertainment (These were the days before iPads and Facebook).

Not to be defeated and with a very fertile imagination, I came up with a game that involved the four of us hunting for clues around the park for the 4 day period. It was a fantastic holiday, made memorable by our family game and the way I celebrated at its completion. I danced, jigged, sung and hollered like a mad woman as I circled around one of the huge trees in the park. I loved it. It felt good. The feeling of happiness, fun, and joy as I gave myself up to that moment of celebration was delicious and infectious and I remember it to this day!

Celebrations are important to our lives. They mark certain moments as meaningful and memorable; opportunities to take time out to acknowledge the significance of who we are, what we have achieved, where we have come from and where we are going. A celebration is like an oasis – an opportunity to relax, recover and be present to the significance of what we have ascribed value to.

I wonder if it is in celebration that we experience the necessary ‘permission’ to be a child again? To laugh loudly and retell family stories, to dance enthusiastically (even if you have ‘two left feet’); to eat good food and recapture the sheer joy of being alive and present to the people you care about. Times like these are priceless.

What are your best memories? Most of us learn ways to celebrate through our family, community and cultural experiences. The things you celebrate, where you celebrate, who you celebrate with and what you consume as you celebrate, are all to a greater or lesser extent, informed by former experiences.

What was the role of alcohol in your childhood experience of celebration? Was it central to the celebration or something of little consequence? In many cultures, including Australia, alcohol is regarded by many to be necessary to ‘having a good time’ because of its power to release inhibitions that generally bind and restrict us. However it is increasingly alarming to observe the negative impact alcohol is having on our society; domestic violence, family and relationship breakdowns, road trauma and acts of violence are being reported by the media every day. We need to turn the tide and one way to do this is to practice ways of celebrating that are less reliant on alcohol and more reliant on your capacity for fun and creativity.

I have great memories of celebrating Australia Day down at the beach with the church community that my family was a part of; getting buried in sand, building sandcastles, playing in the water, listening in to the conversations of the adults around me, sharing food, joining in the ‘mandatory’ game of beach cricket. These are carefree days where the normal routine of our lives could be put aside for a moment in time so that we could relax and be together.

More recently a family celebration around my outdoor dining table was memorable by its theme which was the death of my beloved father in law 12 months previous. Whilst that might sound morbid and depressing, it was in fact, a delightful opportunity to come together as a family to remember a person whose loving and kind ways made him dear to all of us. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, good company and lots of laughter defined our celebration and will remain long in my memory.

If you took the Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge at the commencement of 2015, you are near completion which is cause for celebration. Well done! Sustaining any commitment takes effort, self-discipline and determination. The argument to ‘have a few drinks because you deserve it’ is very persuasive but also dangerous. Consider how you will celebrate and who you will celebrate with. Put some of the tips you received from Watersedge Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge into practice and have some fun!

This year there will be plenty of celebrations going on in backyards and at the beach. Celebrate days that will be long remembered, days that your children will remember – laugh, dance, eat lots, play games. If alcohol is a part of the day, minimise the amount to ensure the safety of your guests, your family and yourself.

If you would like to take the opportunity to do the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge for the month of February, you can sign up for FREE now or anytime over this month. It is a great opportunity to take a ‘personal lifestyle stocktake’ and at the same time challenge your need for alcohol.

Should you or someone you love have an alcohol-related issue that is impacting your life, you can contact Duncan on 0434331243 or Colleen on 0434337245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can best meet your need. If you are ready, you can make an appointment by going to the BOOK NOW button and following the prompts.

Five Tips for Safe Partying

Five-Tips-for-Safe-PartyingThe holiday season is brimming with social gatherings and parties. It’s important you are able to let your hair down and enjoy this, but things can get out of hand. Here are five tips to embrace the festivities of the season while still taking care of yourself .

  1. Plan your transport

Instead of winging it, plan your transport beforehand. Decide whether you have a dependable designated driver, will receive a lift from a friend or will catch a taxi. If the party is a long distance away, consider booking accommodation there. And if your plans fall through, you are tired or are in an unfit condition to drive, don’t be afraid to call a friend and ask for a lift. Remember it’s better to be safe than sorry!

  1. Eat before and during the party

By eating, you fill yourself up and are able to absorb any alcohol you drink slowly. Eating can also decrease how much you drink and will keep you in a safer and more stable condition during the festivities.

  1. Space out your drinks

Begin the night with a non-alcoholic drink, and between each alcoholic beverage drink a glass of water or soft drink. Distract yourself by taking part in activities like playing pool or dancing and you will also find yourself drinking less.

  1. Watch your drinks

Keeping your hand over the top of your drink or keeping it in sight at all times will protect your drink from being topped up, spiked or drugged. Make sure you finish your drink before you allow it to be topped up so you can monitor how much alcohol you consume, and if someone buys you a drink make sure you know the alcohol content beforehand.

  1. Set your boundaries

Come into the festivities with an idea of how much alcohol you will drink. Be firm in saying, “no” if you feel pressured, and decide whether you will partake in drinking games. If you still want to take part in these games, choose something with a low to no alcohol content.

This blog was put together using the Australian Drug Foundation Fact Sheet on Safe Partying.

Do you struggle to limit your alcohol consumption? Maybe you want to learn how to keep yourself safe at parties? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

The Watersedge “Go 30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign launches on January 1!

Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

The label of ‘alcoholic’ feels like a dirty word. Having a drink is a normal part of life, and it can be threatening to think a loved one could be controlled by alcohol. So where is the line between controlled alcohol consumption and alcoholism?

Perhaps you have a partner who loves to have a drink. The six pack in your fridge is an everyday occurrence, and you rarely see them without a beer or cider. How do you know when this is getting out of hand? This infographic by Recovery Connection highlights some of the key questions to ask yourself about a loved one’s consumption of alcohol.

Ask yourself if they frequently get drunk, have blackouts, or if they have gotten in trouble with the law due to the habit. If you have noticed your partner struggling to stop drinking, observed that they will skip social activities due to it, or they are displaying signs of guilt about their drinking, they may be struggling with alcoholism.

As you look at the questions posed in this graphic, listen to your gut. Do you feel like something is wrong in your relationship? Have you been concerned about your partner for some time, but have struggled to put your finger on what is wrong?

There are varying levels of alcohol dependence, but ultimately anything that is hurting your loved one and your relationship can be helped. If you are concerned about a loved one’s alcohol consumption but feel unsafe approaching them, don’t be afraid to seek outside help. If they are willing to acknowledge the effect alcohol has on your relationship and work on it, walk through the journey together.

Is Your Loved One An Alcoholic?

Do you have a loved one who shows signs of alcoholism? Do you need help to work through this, or have you found them unwilling to seek treatment? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

The Watersedge “Go 30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign launches on January 1!

Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Have you ever paused to consider just how deeply your lifestyle and those around you have been affected by alcohol and other drugs?  In this infographic provided by the Australian Drug Foundation, we are shown the facts about our nation’s love affair with alcohol and other drugs. No matter what your age or socio economic factors, it is evident that these substances have negatively impacted our lives and will continue to do so unless we better educate ourselves and our families in these areas. This fascinating infographic shows us that we can no longer put our head in the sand- we must take responsibility for our own use of alcohol and other substances as the effects are more wide reaching than we ever imagined.

Our Love Affair with Alcohol and Other Drugs

Do you struggle with alcohol and/or other drugs and are concerned about their long-term effects on your life and those around you? If so, contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

Managing Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Workplace

When a person develops a dependence upon alcohol and/or other drugs, to the observer it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Each ‘still' may only be a small degree of difference, but the end result is devastation and destruction. When a person becomes dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs, they are rarely aware of the claim their ‘habit' has already made on their lifestyle: personal health and wellbeing; relationships with partner, family and friends; employment; accommodation; these are all compromised. In an interview with Ken Burgin from Profitable Hospitality and Colleen Morris from Watersedgecounselling, they discuss the issue of how an employer inhospitality manages an employee whose behaviour is compromised by alcohol and/or other drugs. Colleen gives some valuable advise for employers to consider on this podcast.

10 Tips To Slow Down Your Drinking and Enjoy The Seasonal Celebrations

With Christmas and New Year celebrations upon us it is a good time to give thought to your drinking behaviour at party celebrations. Alcohol is a feature of a good majority of social occasions; it causes people to become relaxed and lower their inhibitions so that you can ‘let your hair down’ as it were. At the end of a long year, we are generally feeling a little tired, tense, disgruntled and ready to have a good time.

After the first couple of drinks you feel happy, more relaxed and have less concentration and slower reflexes. However it is early in the evening and parties generally go well into the night. The alcohol is on tap and your friends encourage you to have another drink.

This is the critical moment. You see, a few more drinks and your inhibitions are lowered, confidence heightens, you are less co-ordinated, speech begins to slur and your moods are more intense. You will feel intensely happy or conversely sad or even mad. Your judgement becomes increasingly impaired as you continue to drink throughout the night. People are happy and having funbut there can come a point where someone, maybe you, behaves inappropriately and out of character. That’s the effect alcohol has on us.

Disagreements become fights, sexual harassment is all too common, while physical and sexual assault is also a common feature of alcohol-fuelled parties. At best you can lose your licence as consequence of failing to organise alternate transport. At worst, you can find yourself charged for an action that you can’t even remember happening. If you think it couldn’t happen to you, I urge you to think again.

So at this year’s Christmas party, try some of these strategies to slow down your drinking:

  • Start with a soft drink
  • Use standard drinks
  • Drink slower
  • Eat before and while you are drinking
  • Avoid salty snacks
  • Avoid shouts
  • Don’t let people top up your drink
  • Pace yourself
  • Try the low alcohol alternative
  • Be assertive and say ‘no’

This info graphic from SOBER.com called Blood Alcohol Content outlines the changes that occur in you when you drink over an extended period of time. You will find the information sobering!

If you want to talk to someone about your drinking behaviour and/or would like support to change your behaviour, you can contact Colleen for a free 10 minute consultation on 0434 337245 or go to the online diary at full slate to make an appointment with Colleen in the New Year.

5 Myths About Drug Abuse And Addiction

5 myths about drug abuse and addiction

 

If you have a drug and/or alcohol dependence issue and would like to access support to address your issues and reduce your substance use then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or go to the orange tab to Colleen's online diary to make an appointment.

Alcohol Consumption:13 Tips To Drink Less And Feel Great

It__s_the_Aussie_way____by_captivatedimagesFor a lot of people, the Christmas/New Year period is a time of over-indulgence. Parties, end-of-year-functions, New Years Celebrations, summer BBQ's in the backyard or down by the beach, and not to forget the traditional Australia Day celebrations are all part of the Australian way of life and we love it! Have you noticed though that when you have been in the habit of over-indulging for a couple of months, it is difficult to restrain oneself from continuing to consume food and alcohol in this fashion in spite of the growing waistline, dull skin tone and general fatigue that continued overindulgence has on your body? If you are nodding your head as you read this, why not consider February the month that you aim to reduce your alcohol consumption? The benefits will include weight loss,  healthier, clearer skin and an increase in energy.

Here are 13 tips that  will support your commitment to drink less and feel great:

1. In social settings, start with a soft drink: a non-alcoholic soft drink will quench your thirst before you start drinking alcohol.

2. Use standard drinks: an Australian standard drink contains 10 gms of alcohol. Because glass sizes very, check the label of a drink to know how many gms are in a specific alcoholic drink.

3. Drink slowly: sip your drink and put it down between each sip.

4. Eat before or while you are drinking: eating slows down your drinking pace and fills you up. Alcohol is absorbed much slower on a full stomach.

5. Avoid salty snacks that make you thirsty.

6. Avoid shouts: drink at your own pace, not what is dictated by someone else. If you do get stuck in a shout, buy a non-alcoholic drink.

7. One drink at a time: when people top up your drink it is easy to lose track of how much alcohol you have had.

8. Pace yourself: have a non-alcoholic drink every second drink.

9. Stay busy: play pool or dance but don't just sit an drink.

10. Try a low-alcohol alternative: light beer, low alcohol or non- alcoholic wines are available. Most places that have cocktails have non- alcoholic versions.

11. Have alcohol-free days: have at least 2 days a week when you don't drink at all.

12. Keep a diary: write down how much you drink each day so that you are more aware of how much you consume.

13. Be assertive: don't be pressured into drinking. Learn that it is okay to say ‘no thanks'.
Decide how many drinks a day you would like to reduce your alcohol consumption to (as compared to how much alcohol you presently consume) so that in  the social setting, you can be more aware of how much alcohol you choose to drink. Don't be to hard on yourself if you lapse on an occasion. Remember that it is a process and even if you only reduce by one or two drinks over the month of February, your health and wellbeing will only benefit.
You might like to ask a friend to support you throughout the month so that you have some sort of accountability or journal your progress each day. You might like to email your progress to me at colleen@watersedgecounselling.com  I would be delighted to be your support person.

If you want help to reduce your alcohol consumption, grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.