Cut back on your evening drinking by replacing it with these healthy habits.

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While there's nothing wrong with having the occasional glass of wine (in fact, there are some pretty impressive health benefits), drinking more than the recommended amount (one, 5-ounce glass for women, two for men) isn't great for your health. Lisa Valente, EatingWell's nutrition editor and registered dietitian says, "Drinking too much isn't great for you. Alcohol is technically a toxin and it can mess with your sleep, immune system, mood, skin and more."

Like many people, when the pandemic began and working from home became my reality, an evening cocktail or glass of wine became an important part of my routine. Without much else to differentiate between work and downtime, my evening drink was an important demarcation point. Then came another glass with dinner, and suddenly I was half a bottle of wine deep before 9 p.m. In an effort to cut back on the alcohol, I tried giving up my 5 p.m. drink, but it was harder than I thought. The key, I realized, was to replace that ritual with something else that helped me transition into a more relaxed state of mind.

wine cozy night at home
Credit: Getty /Alexander Spatari

5 Healthy Habits to Try Instead of Drinking Wine

Have a cup of tea.

During the colder months, a steaming mug of herbal tea is more appealing in the evening than it was during the summer. Bonus points if you buy a special, slightly fancier tea and make a ritual out of brewing it and drinking it while reading a book or catching up on a fun podcast. My favorite is this Harney & Sons peppermint tea (buy it: $13 for 50 bags on Amazon)

Take a Shower (Or a Bath)

There's something about washing away the day in a super-hot shower that helps me transition into a more relaxed state for the evening. It helps that I can't be on my phone in the shower, which helps me actually step away from checking email and remember that the evening is mine. If you're lucky enough to have a bathtub, I assume that would be even more relaxing.

Go for a Walk

In the early days of the pandemic, we were all going for a lot of walks. What happened to that? Taking even just a 5 or 10 minute jaunt around my block helps me clear my mind and set to rest any stressful or anxiety-inducing moments of my day. (Read more about why walking is so good for your health.)

Change Clothes

This one might feel a little silly, especially if you're transitioning from one set of sweatpants to another, but I find that actually getting dressed for my day really helps me get going in the morning, which then leaves space for an evening transition into my coziest sweatpants.

Light a Candle

Creating a transition between work and home life is all about taking a quiet moment to reflect. Lighting a candle is a great way to do this, especially as the days get shorter and it seems to be midnight by 5 p.m. Taking a few minutes to walk around my house and light a few candles helps create a cozy vibe that helps me relax. Bonus points if you light one in with stress-reducing scents like this lavender one (buy it: $17 on Amazon).