24 Oct 16

Jesse* has a demanding job that at times is stressful.

Ever since Sam’s* adult sons have left home Sam has felt low and stressed. 

Jesse and Sam’s situations are quite different but they have both got into a habit of using alcohol to manage stress and relax. They both contacted Counselling Online because they were worried about their drinking.

As Sam explained:

“I want to break the cycle of coming home and using alcohol to tackle stress”.

Jesse and Sam are not alone. A research project funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Turning Point found that many people who contact Counselling Online do so because they are worried about their reliance on alcohol to relax.

They also found that Counsellors commonly suggest that people find other ways to relax that don’t involve alcohol.

We’ve put together the short video above to get you thinking about some other ways to relax.

We understand that changing the way you relax may not be easy and won’t necessarily happen overnight.

As one counsellor said: “It’s difficult to break a habit but how about we just take small steps?”

You’ve already taken the first small step by reading this post or watching the video.

Maybe you’re taking a moment to think about what other things you have done in the past to relax, or what new things you might like to do – and there’s your next small step.

Perhaps tomorrow you will go to the book store or take a peak at the gym you’ve wanted to check out, but were never quite sure about.

Before you know it you might be reaching for a book or a gym pass rather than that bottle of booze.

Whether your aim is to cut down or completely stop drinking, some days may be harder than others. If you slip up and have more than you mean to that’s ok, take it as a learning opportunity and think about what you might do next time to have a bit less.

If your finding one activity isn’t working anymore, think about other things that might interest you instead.

We would love to hear about the way’s that you relax, just use #WaysToRelax on Facebook or Twitter or send us a message through Contact us – we love adding to the list of way’s to relax!

And remember that if you ever need help, you can explore the many resources available on Counselling Online including chatting with a counsellor, self help modules, SMS motivation and the peer to peer forum.

*Names changed