As winter gives way to spring, a fresh burst of colours and warmth greets us. This is a time of renewal, growth, and connection. Amid the blooming nature, Aware.org, the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education, encourages South Africans to embrace the beautiful season with mindful celebrations.
Spring invites us to gather, to revel in the company of friends and family, and to raise a glass in commemoration. While for most adults who chose to drink there is nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two, it is crucial to remember that responsible alcohol consumption ensures our wellbeing and the safety of those around us.
“Aware.org is dedicated to promoting and supporting the responsible use of alcohol. We are continuously working to accomplish our mandate. We do this through partnerships which help us achieve our goals. Our programmes target specific areas of harmful alcohol use,” says Carmen Mohapi, Managing Director of Aware.org.
Aware.org offers the following tips to keep in mind as we embark on springtime festivities:
- Moderation is key: As the days grow longer and warmer, it is tempting to indulge in the carefree spirit of the season. However, practicing moderation is a cornerstone of responsible drinking. The general advice is no more than two standard drinks for women and three standard drinks for men.
- Hydration matters: Spring weather often encourages outdoor gatherings and activities. It is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, even if you are drinking alcohol.
- Choose quality over quantity: Opt for quality over quantity. Savouring a well-crafted cocktail or a fine glass of wine can be far more satisfying than excessive consumption of lower-grade alcohol.
- Know your limits: Understanding your tolerance levels is essential. Pay attention to how your body responds to alcohol and respect your personal boundaries.
- Designated drivers and alternatives: If you are attending events where alcohol will be served, plan ahead for transportation. Designate a driver or take alternative transportation to ensure everyone's safety.
- Listen to your body: Spring is a time of vitality, and tuning into your body's signals is crucial. If you are feeling unwell or overwhelmed, it is okay to abstain from alcohol altogether.
- Be mindful of mixing: Mixing different types of alcoholic beverages can lead to unpredictable effects. Stick to one type of drink to better gauge your consumption.
"Remember these steps to enjoy spring responsibly," advises Mohapi. "As spring arrives, my spirits lift. Spring means outdoor time with loved ones. Whether it's a flavoured sparkling water or a chosen drink, being cautious with alcohol matters. It's a responsibility we all share.”
South Africa continues to rank as the sixth most impacted nation in terms of alcohol consumption, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) data. Mohapi emphasises that this is a significant concern. “Let's all make a commitment to responsible drinking,” she concludes.
As the curtain rises on spring's stage, let's heed the call to celebration with wisdom and moderation. The symphony of responsible drinking harmonizes our well-being, safety, and the joy we share. Responsible drinking can harmonise our wellbeing, safety and the joy we share.