1. Record how much you're drinking
Your first step is to count how many standard drinks you're consuming and compare it to the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines. Keep a drinking diary or mark how much and how often you're drinking on a calendar to keep track over a week or so. You might be surprised to see how quickly it adds up.
"The new (draft) guidelines include drinking no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four on any one day," Morley says. "Even if you do fall within these guidelines and are not happy with your drinking currently then it is a good sign to reduce consumption."
2. List the pros and cons of your consumption
"Lay out the benefits and costs of drinking for you individually," Morley says. "For example, this could be harms associated with chronic and heavy alcohol consumption including exacerbation of depression/anxiety, sleep problems, and also cancers (breast, throat, mouth) plus suppression of the immune system."
Aside from impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing, take note of how it affects your work and relationships.
3. Set some goals
Create a goal to limit your drinking by a tangible amount.
"Try to fit your goals to be aligned within the guidelines," she says. "For example, four nights off per week."
4. Adopt practical strategies
There are a number of ways you can help reduce and replace your drinking with healthier options.
"Put in place some practical strategies such as switching to low-alcohol beer, alternating alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks (water etc), reducing the drink size, eating during the drinking session," Morely advises.
5. Find new ways to unwind
If a glass of red or two (or more) might be your go-to method for de-stressing, but there are far more effective relaxation techniques.
"Try to unwind in different ways, plan for exercise or yoga on a night you have scheduled an abstinent night," Morley says.
6. Identify high risk situations
"Perhaps there is increased drinking after an argument or at the end of a long day," Morley says. "If you can sense that coming, review previous strategies."
7. Seek help
"Or call your GP who can link you in with appropriate treatment including online tele-counselling or pharmacotherapy if required," she says. "If you are drinking very heavily/dependent on alcohol and want to stop quickly, please call your GP."