Giving up drinking can be daunting, especially when you’re not sure if you can do it. The good news is that millions of people have successfully quit drinking and be able to change their lives for the better.
In fact, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and your ability to do this. However, there are also things you can do to make your alcohol-free life easier and more successful.
1. Tell Others About Your Choice To Quit Drinking
If you choose to quit drinking, make sure to tell your friends and family. Tell them that their support is important to you and that they can help by not offering alcohol when they know you’re trying to quit.
You should also tell your doctor about your decision, as he or she may be able to recommend any products or treatments that could help with withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re seeing a therapist for an unrelated reason, let him or her know about the choice to stop drinking so he/she can provide extra support during this time.
You might also consider telling some friends who don’t drink much themselves but would be supportive of your decision (you might even want more than one friend who makes sure they keep each other accountable).
2. Make A List of Reasons You Want To Quit Drinking
Think about what you will gain from quitting, and not just what you will lose.
Make sure your list is specific and actionable. For example, instead of saying “I’ll feel healthier” or “My life will improve”, write down something more tangible like “I can run an extra 5 miles per week by cutting out alcohol” or “I can stop the dry heaves at work meetings because I won’t be hungover anymore!”
3. Clear Your Cupboards And Keep No Alcohol In the House
Get rid of all the alcohol in your house.
Keep your mind occupied with other things. This can be done by taking up exercise like running or going for a swim, meeting up with friends more often, volunteering at a charity, etc.
4. Identify Your Triggers For Drinking
A trigger is anything that causes you to want to drink.
Triggers can be emotional, physical, and mental. For example, if someone is rude to you, this could be an emotional trigger for drinking because it makes you feel sad or angry.
A physical trigger may be feeling tired or hungry which makes you want a drink for energy or comfort.
A mental trigger might be boredom which leads to thinking about the good times when drinking was fun and easy rather than how it affected other parts of your life now.
Keep a diary of your drinking or when you feel the urge to drink to help you find your triggers.
5. Have A Plan For The First Week
Having a plan of action is important. Depending on your typical alcohol consumption, quitting can be dangerous. It’s still better to quit drinking but be prepared.
6. Change Your Social Routine For A While
For a while, make a list of your friends, their numbers, and how often you see them. Think about the activities that you enjoy doing with them and consider changing your social routine so that it’s less focused on drinking. Ask yourself what else you could do instead of going out for drinks every night—could there be something more fun?
7. Use Resources To Help Relieve Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’re battling a drinking problem and finding it hard to quit, you may have withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and anxiety.
To help with these symptoms, consider using resources such as online support groups, local support groups, and Ascendant NYC or other rehab and detox centers. You can also talk to your family and friends about how they can help you in the recovery process.
8. Get Support From Your Loved Ones
It’s important to get support from your loved ones, as well as a professional therapist if you need it.
Your friends and family can be great resources for helping you through this difficult time. They may not know exactly how to help, but their support will make all the difference in encouraging you to stay on track with your plans and remain sober!
If possible, try asking someone who has been there before: “I’m trying my best right now, but I want some extra support because this stuff feels hard.”
9. Fill In The Blanks With New Activities And Hobbies
Several activities can help you be productive, feel good about yourself, and distract you from drinking. You may want to try a new hobby or sport, or even just take up a new exercise habit. Some ideas:
- Join a gym
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Take up meditation and yoga
- Play basketball with friends
10. Give Yourself Permission To Have Setbacks
It’s normal to have setbacks when you’re trying to quit drinking.
You might have a bad day or feel like you had a bad week. Or maybe your family gets in town and decides they want to go out for dinner, or you get invited out by friends and feel pressured into drinking because it seems rude not to accept an invitation—but then you get home with a hangover, feeling like an idiot for breaking your resolution.
You may think that this means that quitting has been pointless: if one little thing can throw you off so much, what difference did any of the other things make? But that is not true at all!
The fact is, there will always be situations that require self-control; even when we are successful in our goals, we will occasionally come up against obstacles that require us to restrain ourselves.
Don’t let the potential for failure discourage you! Quitting drinking is a huge change, but it’s not impossible and it’s worth every bit of effort you put into it.
Remember that quitting drinking doesn’t have to be a linear process—you might go through some ups and downs along the way, but if you keep following your plan and keep trying new things (like these tips!), then eventually success will come.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.