Thinking About Ditching Alcohol? How to Make a Strategy That Works for You

Drinking is largely accepted as a social activity, a way to cope with tension, even a potential treatment for insomnia or anxiety.

Alcohol generally does not do much to alleviate these concerns long term. It likewise features some substantial downsides.

Even drinking moderately can leave you feeling dazed, foggy, or hungover. The more you drink, the most likely you’ll notice other health impacts, too, like:

  • Interrupted sleep
  • Digestion concerns
  • Memory problems
  • Increased stress and anxiety, depression, and irritability
  • Disagreements and other conflict with liked ones

As these results start to pile up, you may question if it’s time for a break. And you’re not alone. From month long sobriety challenges to the Sober Curious motion, increasingly more people are taking a closer look at the role alcohol plays in their life.

Whether you’re wanting to cut back or take an indefinite break, these tips can assist you produce a strategy that works for you.

Take some time to explore your relationship with alcohol

An essential primary step in giving up anything is determining why you’re doing it.

Find out just how much you actually drink

Possibly you don’t think you depend on alcohol, precisely, however you still wonder whether you might be drinking too much.

State you do not have any yearnings when you go without drinking. All the same, “a fast drink” typically develops into 3 or 4 beverages. When you’re enjoying, you find it difficult to stop, specifically in the company of buddies having the exact same quantity.

Think of why you drink

Maybe your concerns center on your reasons for drinking rather than the amount. Lots of individuals use alcohol to numb psychological pain or face stressful situations more easily. It’s common to drink to lighten tension on a very first date or before a difficult conversation.

However when it’s tough to face challenges without alcohol, it deserves considering whether drinking avoids you from discovering more helpful methods of handling emotions.

Understanding why you drink is vital, states Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, a Virginia therapist who specializes in addiction treatment and alcohol small amounts.

She goes on to describe that understanding the factors behind your alcohol use– relationship stress, trouble at work, insomnia, or anything else– can help you explore alternative methods to attend to those problems more productively.

Consider your technique

You might know you wish to give up alcohol completely. However maybe you’re uncertain about giving up entirely and do not wish to hold yourself to that objective.

That’s definitely OK. What’s essential is taking a look at your drinking routines and finding a method to cut down that works for you.

It’s possible to develop a much better relationship with alcohol and make more conscious, informed options about drinking without total sobriety.

Small amounts management, a technique that Turner practices, is simply one alternative to complete sobriety.

It focuses on lowering alcohol use and the prospective harms that feature it, with an emphasis on finding the very best method for your situation, not anyone else’s.

Complete sobriety isn’t a bad objective, obviously, but it doesn’t have to be the only one.

Do not understand your end goal? That’s great, too. Just know you have alternatives.

Talk about it

Letting others understand about your option to stop drinking might assist encourage you to stick with your decision.

Involve your loved ones

Family and friends can provide support and support when you stop drinking.

By opening about your relationship with alcohol, you might likewise encourage others to explore their own drinking routines.

Maybe your partner, sibling, or roomie is likewise thinking of making a modification. Changing drinking habits together enables you to support each other while also enhancing your inspiration and responsibility.

Turner keeps in mind the significance of bringing along a trusted assistance person when attending occasions that involve alcohol. It’s often simpler to reject a drink when you don’t need to do it alone.

Find a community

Structure new relationships with individuals who also choose to avoid alcohol can have a lot of advantage.

Here are some concepts:

Instead of evaluating your resolve by joining your colleagues for the normal happy hour, why not welcome a various co-worker to check out the brand-new pastry shop down the street?

  • Consider cultivating relationship and love with people who don’t focus on drinking as an important part of their life.
  • Miss the bar environment? Depending upon where you live, you might be able to check out a sober bar and interact socially without alcohol.
  • Check out apps like Meet up to discover other people interested in alcohol-free activities.

Know what to say

When you refuse a drink, individuals might ask why.

You’re not bound to use details, however it can help to have a go-to reaction ready:

  • “I’m cutting down for my health.”
  • “I do not like the method drinking makes me feel.”

That stated, you don’t require to state anything more than “No, thanks.” Practicing your rejection ahead of time can help you feel more comfy and positive when you find yourself in a scenario that includes alcohol.

Try not to fret about others judging you, since many people probably won’t notice or remember what you do.

If you want to provide loved ones a more comprehensive explanation but feel uncertain about what to say, it helps to keep your description simple:

  • “I’ve been drinking a lot without a clear factor, and I want to invest a long time rethinking that habit.”
  • “I capture myself drinking when I do not want to face my feelings, and I wish to improve at working through them without alcohol.”
  • “I do not truly enjoy drinking, and I’m sick of doing it even if everybody else does.”

Modification your environment

When alcohol makes up part of your typical regimen, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

You might not need to totally reinvent your life to stop drinking, however a couple of modifications in your surroundings can make a huge difference.

Eliminate your alcohol

Alcohol in your house can tempt you when you’re attempting to stop. If you seem like a beverage, understanding you’ll have to go out and make a purchase can prevent you enough time to discover a great interruption.

Keep nonal coholic drinks on hand on your own and others. You don’t need to use alcohol to be a great host. Let guests bring their own alcohol– and take it with them when they leave.

If you live with roommates, consider inquiring to keep their alcohol out of sight instead of in shared open spaces.

Discover a brand-new favorite beverage

Selecting the right replacement drink can assist you stand firm in your desire to stop drinking. Plain water may offer a lot of health advantages, however it’s admittedly not the most intriguing option.

With a little imagination, you can discover something pleasurable that does not make you miss your preferred drink.


  • Instilling plain or sparkling water with chopped fruits or herbs
  • Including cinnamon sticks or spices to tea, apple cider, or hot chocolate
  • Mixing juice or lemonade with carbonated water

Vary your routine

When you tend to drink at a particular time of day, doing something else is among the best ways to break that pattern. Activities that get you out of the house and moving often help most.

Consider these concepts:

  • If you typically fulfill buddies for a drink after work, think about going for a walk or meeting them for a hangout in the park or other alcohol-free area.
  • Instead of going to your normal restaurant for supper and beverages, why not attempt a brand-new place that doesn’t serve alcohol? You’ll get to experience something unusual without feeling tempted to drink.
  • Get in the practice of cooking in your home to sidetrack yourself and conserve some money.

When your desire to drink aligns more with your mood than any specific time of day, having a few alternative coping methods prepared can help:

  • Instead of taking a drink to calm anxiety, attempt affirmations, deep breathing, or meditation.
  • Comfort yourself when feeling lonesome by reaching out to a loved one or watching a preferred movie.

Make time for self-care

Giving up drinking can feel pretty difficult. If you turn to alcohol to manage psychological distress, the added overwhelm can prompt the urge to consume, making success seem much more out of reach.

It’s typical to struggle when making huge changes, however excellent self-care practices can assist you handle frustrating feelings and look after your body and mind.

Focus on wellness

Feeling at your best physically can enhance resilience and psychological strength, equipping you to weather difficulties that set off the desire to drink.

By preventing alcohol, you’re taking a huge action towards enhancing physical health. As you start to see those health advantages, you’ll likely feel more stimulated and influenced to maintain your development.

Other pointers to think about:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Consume regular, balanced meals. Try to include foods that increase energy and boost mood.
  • Get routine physical activity, if you’re able. Attempt hiking, biking, dancing, or roller-skating for pleasurable ways to stay active.
  • Make better sleep a top priority. A good objective for the majority of grownups is 7 to 9 hours.

Uncover hobbies

Many individuals use alcohol to cope with monotony. Gratifying pastimes can distract you from wishing to drink, however they also help you relax– something everyone requires to do.

If you’ve just recently found yourself yearning to get back into an old pastime, now’s the time to go for it.

If COVID-19 safety preventative measures have limited your options, why not offer something brand-new a try? Technology makes it easier than ever to learn brand-new abilities and find creative methods of connecting, even when you can’t physically participate in activities with others.

You might try:

  • Do It Yourself home projects
  • Building or painting designs
  • Board or computer game
  • Volunteering
  • Kicking back with a great book
  • Keep a journal

Possibly you’ve never ever had any interest in logging your innermost thoughts, however journaling can be an excellent tool to track your sensations as you work on stopping alcohol.

Checking out, in composing, what you find challenging and when you most want to consume can assist you discover patterns that offer more insight into your alcohol usage.

Comparing the emotions that come up when you have a drink with the feelings you experience when abstaining likewise assists you recognize when drinking does not fix the issues you’re attempting to handle.

A journal likewise uses a beneficial space to list reasons you wish to give up and conceptualize activities to replace drinking.

Check out brand-new tools to cope

When you identify a few of the primary reasons why you consume, you can start finding brand-new techniques of resolving those triggers.

The most valuable coping mechanism often depends on the situations:

  • When you feel unfortunate however need alone time, you might think about a preferred album or comforting book.
  • When you want to drink to prevent relationship dispute or tension, you might vent to an enjoyed one or practice better communication skills to reconnect with your partner.
  • If loneliness triggers the desire to consume, you may look into methods to get in touch with distant good friends or check out ways to develop new relationships.

Connect for support

Quitting alcohol on your own is harder for some than others, but there’s no requirement to go it alone.

If you’re having a tough time adhering to your objective or simply want some extra assistance, consider reaching out for professional assistance.

If you feel comfortable doing so, bring up your obstacles to your primary health,care provider. Finding a therapist can also be a terrific starting point if you aren’t comfortable opening up to your doctor.

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