Last updated: 12 January 2024

Next review: 12 January 2025

Looking after your mental health

Many of us when feeling stressed or worried might turn to alcohol as something familiar to help us relax or to cope with anxiety. However, alcohol can have a negative effect on how we feel (as well as our physical health).

Overuse of alcohol can worsen the symptoms of many mental health problems and can lead to low mood and anxiety. Using alcohol in this way can mean that the underlying mental health issues aren’t addressed. Managing your drinking and getting the right support is crucial to good mental health.

If you are feeling anxious, low, or experiencing any other symptoms of mental health problems, it is important to seek support. You can speak to your GP and get advice on the Mind website

Waltham Forest Talking Therapies is available to anyone aged 18 or over registered with a GP in the borough. They can help people with a range of mental health problems including depression, stress, anxiety, phobias, difficulty sleeping, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Phone lines open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0300 300 1554 or by emailing

Top tips for cutting down:

  • Make a conscious effort to only have alcoholic drinks on a couple of days of the week. Decide your ‘Drink-free days’ at the start of each week so you don’t fall into a daily habit. Try the NHS ‘Drink Free Days’ app to help you track your drinking, set goals and see the benefits.
  • Let your friends and family know you're cutting down and it's important to you. Ask them for support. If you live with a partner or family member, you could suggest cutting back together, motivation from others can be very helpful.
  • If you are drinking out of boredom or habit (for example, after work), consider taking up a new hobby or activity to occupy you. This doesn’t have to cost anything. It could be listening to a podcast, reading, trying out free online exercise classes, drawing, or cooking new recipes.
  • Try a delicious mocktail recipe! Non-alcoholic mojitos are easy.
  • If you need additional support or are struggling to cut down on your own, contact CGL, our local drug and alcohol support service. You can use the online referral form or call 0203 826 9600 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday).