How many people drink to cope with stress? Well according to this BBC News report:

  • Over half of 25-44 year olds in one survey drank due to stress
  • 49% of mothers drink at home at least three of four nights a week
  • Of those that drank more than government guidelines, 81% did so to wind down from a stressful day

I'm a non-drinker – not out of a particularly health-conscious or moral choice, but for the fact that I react with all the negative effects of alcohol (feeling ill, dizzy and disorientated) without being even the slightest bit merry.

But this report got me thinking about the differences between a treat and a crutch.

Whether it's a warm peaceful bath, a nice glass of red, a decadent bar of chocolate – or indeed all of the above – it's important to treat yourself to something nice, even if it is a bit naughty. There's something about a treat that is:

  • Nurturing
  • Uplifting
  • Enjoyable and rewarding
  • Makes you feel good when you have it
  • Improves your self esteem

On the other hand, a crutch is

  • A need, a dependency
  • Something you 'must have' just to get by
  • Makes you feel bad when you don't have it
  • Makes you feel hooked or bound
  • Takes away an element of being in control from you

What are the treats and crutches in your life?

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