Jen Johnson is a stay at home mum from Buckinghamshire who loves a good party, even though she is a very mindful drinker! She explains why and how.
How much alcohol do you drink?
I usually partake in a couple of real ales with my husband Al if we are home at the weekend. It helps enormously that he doesn’t really drink either and is a very keen cyclist so particularly mindful of his health.
If I am partying I usually have one at the beginning of the evening to relax and then by the time that has worn off I am generally quite happily chatting away so don’t need anymore. Occasionally I might have two drinks, three at the absolute most but that is really quite rare.
Why are you a mindful drinker?
I limit my alcohol intake for the simple reason that I feel dreadful if I drink more. In the 90s I was very involved in the rave scene so have partied to excess and missed plenty of work Mondays but I just can’t do that anymore.
The massive benefit of sobriety for me is not feeling rubbish the next day while some of my poor friends are feeling like something that’s been dug up. I love running and frequently race on a Sunday with very early starts and long drives so the thought of trying to run with a hangover is just hideous. That will definitely stop me overdoing it on a Friday or Saturday night.
Is it difficult to say no?
I do feel pressure to drink when I am out with certain groups and yes I do feel a bit ‘boring’. If I can dance I don’t care at all though, in fact the alcohol saps my energy so not a good thing if the tunes are top notch!
If I feel particularly pressurised to drink when out in the evening (or lunchtime actually as has happened) then I would normally use the excuse that I was driving or that I was out early the next morning.
Do women drink too much these days?
I think a lot of women possibly drink too much but I’m definitely in the ‘life is too short’ camp to care. I have no judgemental thoughts on it at all.
I have very diverse groups of friends, some drink almost to the point of no return and I have sometimes ended up driving them home or putting them to bed. Then I have others who would much prefer a cup of tea in the afternoon to going out until 4am. I love them all equally.
I think socially you are seen as fun if you drink and boring if you don’t.
What does our alcohol future look like?
Younger people are far less interested in drink than we were at that age and I see a continued trend in that direction. I have twin boys of 16 and then are so anti smoking and drinking it’s almost funny. I am a bit like Edina in Absolutely Fabulous in wanting them to act a bit more outrageously but secretly quite relieved that they aren’t like I was at their age!
If you don’t drink, what do you do?!
The alternative to drinking for me is mostly to dance all night if possible, I love my music and don’t need anything to enhance that which is a great bonus. Alternatives drink wise, well nothing quite beats the real thing as I love Pina Coladas, Mojitos, Baileys and Mulled Wine but I also love a Virgin Bloody Mary or a Virgin Mojito.