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How to give up alcohol and still have a social life with Rachael Layton

It’s a sad, sad fact of life that as we get older, our ability to tolerate alcohol goes down, particularly for women.

Our changing hormones mean that our body temperature is difficult to regulate, hence the menopause sweats. When you add alcohol in the mix, things get out of control.

Yet, in most western societies, drinking socially is beyond being the norm, it’s a requirement. A decision to not drink is questioned and challenged, leaving the person feeling the need to justify their choice and only if they have an ‘acceptable’ reason, such as being the designated driver, is their choice to not drink accepted.

Drinking [alcohol] is an integral part of our culture. Switch on any adult TV program or movie and chances are, when the characters settle down for the evening or meet up somewhere, there will be alcohol involved; a bottle of wine will be opened, they’ll have a beer round the BBQ or they’ll meet at the pub for a round of drinks.

We’ve just come out of a long, painful series of lockdowns where, according to memes, jokes, articles, the standard way of surviving is to open a bottle of wine and pour yourself a large glass of vino because then everything will be okay.

The problem is, this only shows the positive side of drinking: the high, happy, fun vibes at the start of the evening. It doesn’t show the sleepless nights, the vomiting, the bloating, the drunken texts, the things we do that seem like such a good idea at the time but we’d never, in a million years even consider doing if we were sober.

If you’ve thought you need to cut down the alcohol or even give up altogether for a while, you need to listen to this. Alcohol coach, Rachael Layton, explains why it’s a good idea to cut down and how to do it.

“I realized there were two key things that kept me drinking. For me, just sitting down and having that glass of wine was a stress relief. The other thing was the social side of it. If I don’t drink, I can’t socialize. All my friends drink, my partner drinks, my family, everybody around me, drinks. And it’s just weird if you don’t.”

About Today’s Guest: Rachael Layton

Certified Alcohol Coach and Change Communications Specialist

Family (two adult sons, partner and extended family); travel; experiences; finding humour even in the tough times

Rachael Layton is a certified alcohol coach who uses her own experience, as well as the knowledge gained through her training, to help women take back control of their drinking.

After years of questioning how much she was drinking and worrying about the impact it was having on her health, perimenopause proved to be the final straw.

As someone who had their life together in every other way (as much as any of us really have our lives together!), she couldn’t understand why she would regularly drink more than she wanted to. When she realised her drinking was making her perimenopause symptoms worse, she knew she had to make a change.

With a background in corporate communications, specialising in change communication, she understood the importance of mindset when it comes to long-lasting change. That led to finding a science-based, compassion-led approach to reassessing alcohol in her life and now she is a trained coach in that methodology.

Rachael works with women, particularly those in midlife, who are worried that their drinking is doing them more harm than good.

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