Are you a ‘winesday woman’?
Enjoying a glass of wine after a tough day at work, a hard day with the kids or when you’ve got your feet up in front of the TV can be enjoyable. Many of us would say that alcohol can help us wind down but more often than not - especially when drinking at home – ’just one glass to relax’ can turn into more than you think, sometimes even the whole bottle! What many women don’t realise though is that every time you have a drink, it adds up to more than you think. Many of us are exceeding the sensible drinking guidelines of not regularly drinking more than 2-3 units of alcohol a day – that’s the same as just one large glass of wine – on a frequent basis. With latest figures showing that around 40% of women exceed recommended limits in a typical week* does this mean that we are turning into a generation of ‘winesday women’, where it has become the norm to have a drink regularly?
Sarah, 35, a mother of two looks forward to her ‘me’ time when the kids are finally tucked up in bed; “As a stay at home mum, I know how lucky I am to be able to spend so much time with my two kids. They’re both under four so it can be really tiring and some days, especially when they’re playing up, I’m just drained. Knowing I have a glass of wine to look forward to really keeps me going. “The kids go down around 7.30pm and so I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and curl up in front of the sofa to watch my soaps. It’s one of my favourite times of the day as I can just relax and don’t need to think about anything. “I also spend a lot of time with other mums so that our kids can play together. When we’re not talking about what we’ve been up to recently with the kids and work, we plan our next kids free night, which inevitably will involve having a drink or two”.
Like Sarah, many of us are enjoying a drink now and then at home and when we get together with friends. But it’s important to keep track of how much we’re actually drinking. If you are regularly drinking more than the sensible drinking guidelines – men shouldn’t regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women 2-3 – then you could be overdoing it. By drinking too much, not only do you risk disrupted sleep, gaining a few extra pounds and your looks being affected, you could also be seriously harming your health. Regularly exceeding the sensible drinking guidelines means you could be putting yourself at increased risk of high blood pressure, liver problems, heart disease and even breast cancer.
So, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about how drinking all adds up. To find out more go to www.drinksmarter.org.