So you’ve finished Dry July. What’s next?

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If you’re one of the 19,000 people who signed up for Dry July, you’ll be eagerly looking forward to the end of the month and a casual drink. But for those of us who partook and realised there could be more to this dry life style than meet-the-eye, we want to invite you to continue the journey.

Perhaps you felt more clear-headed over the month, saved a lot of money or realised you’re a lot more dependant on alcohol than you think—if you want to explore sobriety, then we have the tools to help you along the way. This may simply be trying another month sober through our 30 Day Challenge, or it could be a complete lifestyle overhaul that we establish through ongoing counselling.

In this article printed in Warcry magazine., Colleen takes people through the next steps to take back control of your life from alcohol dependence. Take a look, and if it resonates with you, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge in the side bar and give us a call.

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Discovering Dry July 

Dry July does much more than raise funds for cancer patients and their carers across Australia, it’s also an opportunity for people struggling with alcohol dependence to break free and enter sobriety, writes Colleen Morris.

In its tenth year, Dry July has become a celebrated part of Aussie culture as people abstain from alcohol for a good cause. The phenomenon also shines a light on the less talked about part of our society—the fact that 17% of Aus­sies are classified as ‘lifetime risky drinkers’ by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (meaning they consume at least two standard drinks of alcohol per day).

Alcohol dependence leads to a myriad of problems, from liver poisoning to relationship breakdowns and cancer, so Dry July gives people the kick-start they need to begin the journey to sobriety. But when you struggle with addiction, this path is filled with obstacles.

If you have only recently become sober, then the chance of relapse is very high. Having a structured program to keep you focused and distracted from thoughts of alcohol is essential to recovery. To ensure recovery, it is important that you also get to know yourself better. Here are three steps to help you on your way.

  1. Discover the right counsellor for you
    People frequently put off seeking professional assistance because they have tried counselling before and it was not helpful at the time. This might be due to a variety of reasons:
    • your readiness to change;
    • you did not feel that the counsellor connected with you;
    • the counsellor’s particular style of intervention did not
    work for you.

Don’t be put off. It frequently takes a few different counsellors before you come across the right one for you. Don’t do it alone. You need ongoing professional help to keep you on track, motivated and accountable. 

  1. Discover who you are
    Alcohol robbed you of your identity. You may not have a clue as to why you became so dependent upon alcohol. You may not know what your particular ‘triggers’ are or why you are so vulnerable to those particular triggers. Who are you without a glass of alcohol in your hand?

 Don’t know where to start? Counselling can act as a ‘guide’ to self-discovery. A counsellor is skilled in the art of listening and asking the questions that can help lead you to your true identity.

  1. Discover what you are passionate about
    Do you know what you get excited about when you don’t have a drink in your hand? It is likely that you have not thought about what you are passionate about for a long time. It is passion that will get you out of bed in the morning and motivate you to keep doing the things you need to do to stay sober and focused.

Think about your passions, and discuss them with your loved ones and a counsellor. When you discover them, use these to motivate you on the journey to sobriety and you will live a more fulfilled life.

Have you conquered Dry July and want to continue the journey? Are you concerned about the amount of alcohol you consume? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol

If you’ve tried Dry July, or have chosen to remain sober for a set period of time, you know the health benefits of giving up alcohol are astronomical. While it’s not bad to have a drink in moderation every now and then, if alcohol is negatively impacting your life and your health, you may need to take steps to stop drinking it all together.

A while ago, Watersedge put together the 30 Day Challenge, where we challenge you to go one month without drinking alcohol. Aside from having a clearer head, staying sober is better for your liver, your wallet and often, your relationships.

Take a look at this infographic by Recovery Steps that shares some of the other benefits of going alcohol free.

If alcohol is negatively affecting you or your loved ones, sign up for our 30 Day Challenge here. We’ll send you a FREE tip everyday, empowering you to take care of yourself, nurture your relationships and life a fulfilling life.

15 Reasons to Give up Alcohol Infographic

Are you concerned about your drinking habits? Do you want to make hang overs and intoxicated arguments a thing of the past? 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.

5 Great Reasons to Have a Dry July

DRY-JULYAround this time each year, the words ‘Dry July’ come up. They pop up as a discussion point on morning television, and we see it on our news feed as friends rally up the courage to put down alcohol for July. But why actually have a Dry July? The campaign means that by simply giving up the drink, people can gather donations for adults living with cancer. But beyond this, there are also some great benefits to having a Dry July.

  1. Your body can detox

Whether you drink occasionally, once a week or every day, having a month free of alcohol gives your body a chance to detox from all the toxins that harm your body when you consume alcohol. Short term effects like hangovers and vomiting from alcohol poisoning are avoided for a month, and your body is given a chance to heal from long term effects like liver disease.

  1. You will feel happier

Sure, alcohol helps you to loosen up and have a good time, but do you ever feel happy the next day? For many of us, drinking has become a crutch that helps us to alleviate stress, relax and establish relationships. The fact is though, that any issues or stressors we have before we drink alcohol, are inevitably there afterwards. In fact, we often have more the day after when we can’t remember what we did or who we were with. Use this time to deal with the uncomfortable things you normally hide from, and you will find happiness knowing they no longer hinder your life.

  1. Your wallet will thank you

Alcohol is expensive, and any night you go out a large portion of your budget will be blown on buying drinks for yourself and friends. By choosing not to drink alcohol, you will save a whole lot of money. Non-alcoholic drinks are cheaper and water is free; imagine what you can save with all the money that will stay in your wallet this month!

  1. Your relationships will be healthier

Without the aid of alcohol, you have the ability to truly engage and invest in your relationships. Get to know new people and remember details about them, catch up for coffee with friends you normally only see at the club, and use the time to make memories with close friends and family.

  1. Try something new

Having a Dry July with friends, or even by yourself, gives you the opportunity to try something new. Go and do activities you normally miss, and remember how much fun there is in simple things like going bowling, having a movie night or going hiking. Perhaps you have a bucket list item you want to cross off, now is your chance to do it! Go and have the adventures you always dreamed of. Without the option of drinking alcohol, you’ll find a whole new world of possibilities open up for you.

For more information about Dry July, visit the official website here.

Are you having a Dry July? Sign up here for the Watersedge 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge, and you will receive a free inspirational tip in your inbox everyday this month! If you’re brave enough to go all in, you can also check out our Challenge Guide and Workbook in the store.

Do you want to have a Dry July? Would you like some extra professional support as you begin the Challenge? 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.

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.

Alcohol and the Workplace

Have you ever shown up to work with a hangover? It makes for an ugly and difficult day, but for many of us it has become normal. In fact, this infographic by Recovery Connection tells us that 15% of all workers in the US are under the influence of alcohol at one time or another. It is easy to assume alcohol only effects ‘alcoholics,’ but the truth is that most alcohol related issues within the workplace come from social drinking. Whether we drink before work or arrive with a hangover, it is something which impacts not only our productivity in the workplace, but also our personal health.

This infographic gives us a list of the industries most likely to contain ‘problem drinkers,’ and it shows that people who do evening, night or sporadic shift work are at the top of the list. In fact, construction and mining, retail, and hospitality all made the top five. And you don’t have to drink at work to be effected by alcohol; research shows that sick days, sleeping at work and trouble with tasks and colleagues are all side effects of problem drinking.

Problem drinking can affect anyone. If you are younger, are a male and work in a managerial position, research shows you are more likely to fit into this category. Do you think you struggle with alcohol at work? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you frequently drink before/after work?

Do you often arrive at work with a hangover?

Do you feel the need to drink in order to cope with the stress of your job?

Have you ever made an error at work due to being intoxicated or having a hangover?

Do you regularly struggle with your co-workers due to your alcohol use?

If you show signs of being a ‘problem drinker,’ you don’t have to struggle through life anymore. You have the ability to manage your alcohol consumption and in this, bring your A game to work on a daily basis.

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Do you need help to manage alcohol in the workplace? Do you desire to be bold, be daring and be you? Sign up for our free ‘Go 30 Days Alcohol Free’ Challenge here and step into 2015 with new confidence. For more support, check our estore for a special deal on the 30 Days Guide and Workbook. You can also 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.

Be Daring, Be Original, Be You!

Be_You_LogoWelcome to the New Year, and welcome to a new you. What do you hope 2015 will bring? Perhaps you long for a change in your relationships and the space to talk about things that have been hurting you. Or maybe you have resolved to look after yourself, and have plans to lose weight and become healthier? Whatever hopes you have for 2015, this is January 1 and this is a new start.

Over the past 6 months, the team at Watersedge Counselling have been busy contemplating what the New Year will mean for you, and we came up with the phrase, “Be Daring, Be Original, Be You.” It is our hope that in 2015 you are bold enough to assess your needs, are daring enough to challenge yourself to change your habits, and ultimately, find a heathier and happier version of you.

We want to give you the opportunity to find out who you really are, and to do this we are looking at one of the most common issues that affect people every day: alcohol consumption. Whether you are a casual drinker or find that alcohol is significantly impacting your relationships, the New Year is your chance to start again. We would love to invite you to take part in our new Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge to do just that. By signing up for free on the WatersedgeCounselling website, you will have a new tip sent to your inbox each day for 30 days. Each tip is simple, practical and will help you to understand the role alcohol plays in your life.

The beauty of the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge is that it is designed to fit with your specific lifestyle. We know that some people just want to begin the year with a fresh and fun perspective. Our 30 Days Challenge can act as a motivator to help you get up and go every day, to achieve your goals and take better care of yourself. If you have resolved to take better care of your health, then this Challenge is your chance to cleanse your body and mind of unhealthy habits. And if you have found that alcohol is damaging your life, if your partner has shown concern over your habits or you simply don’t know how to get through the day without a drink- then this challenge is for you as well.

“Be Daring, Be Original, Be You”- what do these words mean for you? We want you to enter 2015 encouraged and inspired, because we believe that you have the capacity to grow and cultivate healthy relationships this year. Join us on this journey and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now.

If you really want to start the year with renewed focus, we have also written a Guide to accompany this Challenge. Available as an ebook in our web store, this Guide will take you through each of the main themes that will come up over the 30 days. Addressing everything from healthy habits to an accountability partner, we have penned this to provide you with strategies to overcome most any challenge in your life. And if you have a friend or family member who needs some support as they minimise or cut out alcohol for the month, then this is a great resource to help you understand and support them.

If our daily tips inspire you, you can even check out the Workbook also available in our eStore. Chock full of beautiful graphics and practical tips to outwork each day’s goal, the Workbook gives you the space to write down your thoughts, plan ahead, and watch your progress. For a limited time, you can purchase the 30 Days Alcohol Free Guide with the accompanying Workbook for only $15.

Will you join us on our mission to start the New Year on the right foot? Be Daring, Be Original and Be You, and sign up for our 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge now. Would you like some extra professional support as you begin the Challenge? 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.

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.

The Truth About Alcohol and Abuse

The Truth About Alcohol and AbuseIt is very Australian to consume large amounts of alcohol, in fact it is a behaviour that envelopes much of our lives. President of the Australian Medical Association Brian Owler says this needs to change. In a speech given to the AMA National Alcohol Summit, he stated some of the raw and honest facts about Australians and alcohol abuse.

When the onus is largely on our personal use of alcohol and taking responsibility for our actions, Owler reminds us that the misuse of alcohol has wider repercussions than just the drunken behaviour of the individual. He shares, The devastating consequences of alcohol misuse extend from our cities into rural and remote areas and the number of alcohol-related assaults tops 70,000 a year.

With the overconsumption of alcohol can often come acts of cowardice and danger; many of us have heard about the fatal impact of the ‘king hit’ or the affect alcohol mixed with drugs can have on our bodies. But what about the ramification this behaviour has on the victims? There have been 24,000 cases of alcohol related domestic violence. And in addition to this, the misuse of alcohol can also contribute to child abuse.

In his speech, Owler highlights that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. And from his own experience he shares, As a paediatric neurosurgeon, I frequently see the results of abuse of a child's brain. The brain swells dramatically. And if we do save the child, the brain often melts away on follow-up scans, and the child is permanently disabled. It's not even a matter of drunken violence.

When we drink alcohol without limits and allow ourselves to become intoxicated, we don’t just put ourselves in danger, we put those around us in danger too. Someone like me has to tell the parents that their son is quadriplegic – all because of a drunken night out. Alcohol-related harm doesn't stop at the front door. It enters people's homes.” Owler says.

And it is not just families and loved ones who are impacted by this; it is the victims of sexual assault, rape and violence. It is our children who grow up in an environment where it is normal to drink alcohol heavily because it is typically Australian. There is a safe way to consume alcohol, and Owler’s speech reminds us how important it is we learn how to do this; not just for ourselves, but for others too.

Brian Owler’s speech to the AMA National Alcohol Summit was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. You can read it here.

 

Do you struggle to limit your alcohol consumption? Maybe you want to learn how to keep yourself and your friends safe while you drink, or need help becoming sober. 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.

WatersedgeCounselling will be releasing our new “30 Days Alcohol Free” campaign soon to help you achieve a greater level of wellness in your life. Keep an eye on watersedgecounselling.com for details.

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