Whether you want to quit drinking alcohol forever or take a temporary break, here are 10 tips to help you out.
1- Have a support system
High on top of the list of tips to quit drinking alcohol is having a support system.
Whether it’s AA, sponsorship, counseling, a group of friends, or an online support group if you want to stop drinking you must know you’ll be more successful if you don’t try to do it alone.
Find a support system, then use it regularly for the best results.
2- Expect The Pink Cloud
If you’ve never heard of the pink cloud, it’s the time in early sobriety when some people feel like everything in life is going a little too well.
You may feel like you’re on top of the world, you’ve got a new lease on life, and you can’t be stopped. If it sounds too good to be true, especially so soon after sobriety, that’s because it is.
The flip side of this is what goes up, must come down.
Once you settle a little deeper into sobriety, the pink cloud fades and you can be left feeling a little raw, sensitive and susceptible to relapse.
Get in front of this as early as you can. Expect it to happen to you. It may not, but if it does, you’ll want to be ready.
3- Be Willing To Change Up Your Routine
One of the most important things you need to do when you first make the choice to quit drinking alcohol is to switch up your routine. This is crucial for everyone just starting out to some degree – at least in the early days.
It’s just too easy to swear off alcohol, saying “never again”, then winding up right back around the same people or places that always trigger you to pick up a drink.
If you do this, you’re destined to fall back into old patterns.
It’s not easy to make such huge alterations in your life. But, if you’re really ready to change your relationship with alcohol, it’s worth it.
Promise yourself you’ll abstain from trigger people and places for at least a month or two while you sort yourself out. Find new ways to spend your alcohol-free time instead.
4- Expect Boredom – Have a Plan
Sobriety can get very boring, especially in that in-between time before you’ve found new hobbies and interests to fill up your drinking time.
But you know what? That’s life. Work is boring but you have to pay the bills. Classes in school were boring, but if you wanted to graduate, you had to go. Right?
What’s even more boring than sobriety is being stuck in bed with a grueling hangover after a weekend of binge drinking. Remember that.
At first sobriety is really new and interesting and you find so much joy repairing your broken life. After a few months the novelty wears off and you may be taken off guard by the empty feeling that comes with it.
Expect it and be okay with it.
You’re not going to die of boredom, but you might actually die from drinking.
That’s why it’s really important to find new interesting hobbies to fill up your fime.
5- Have A New Hobby To Obsess Over
Find a new hobby to obsess over. It really works!
If you’re creative at all, early sobriety is the time to dive into your craft. Some ideas you might try include photography, painting, art, dance, sports/fitness or even volunteering to help others.
Even if you’re not particularly creative, surely there’s some way you can think of to better yourself.
Learn a new language, improve on skills to advance your career, travel some if you can, get a new pet, start a new rock collection…
You get the point.
Having a new hobby that fulfills you, keeps you on your toes and takes up time is critical to your success. You’ll have more free time on your hands than you know what to do with. Use it wisely.
RELATED: 5 Tips To Cope With Alcohol Cravings
6- Be Aware of Resources To Use
The typical support systems mentioned earlier in this article are great, but you should make yourself aware of as many resources you can find.
There are tons of Facebook groups sobriety apps, podcasts, books, courses… you name it!
Not everything will work for everyone, but it’s smart to consider your personality, what you enjoy, and make a list of go-to resources you can use if you need more help at any given moment.
7- Write Out Your Feelings In A Sobriety Journal
This one is huge. Writing is so important!
Starting a gratitude journal is a great way to get you through sobriety, but it’s also just as important to take note of all your other thoughts, feelings and experiences too.
Sobriety blogs are becoming more and more popular as time goes on and having a sobriety blog is a great way to get your thoughts out there while giving back to the community too.
The best thing about writing feelings out is going back and reading them. It’s one thing to release how you’re feeling, but a whole different ball game to go back some weeks and months and see where you were – and how far you’ve come.
8- Have a Self-Care Routine
Another tip to stop drinking alcohol is to take really good care of yourself. Establish a self-care routine.
Just because you remove the alcohol you can’t expect everything in your life to automatically correct itself.
You’ll still have outside problems – many of which you used alcohol to cope with.
This might actually make things seem worse when life throws you additional lemons.
You have to take care of yourself, treat yourself gently and kindly.
9- Don’t Make Any Major Decisions For A While
Another tip to stop drinking alcohol is to avoid making any major decisions for a while.
Sobriety can make things very strange for a while. Your body and brain are restoring themselves to levels they likely haven’t seen in years, and your emotions are all over the place.
You’re changing and growing, realizing so many new things about yourself. It’s a good time, but also complex. You don’t want to do anything to complicate things further.
You really want to keep your life as simple as you can until you get your sober legs beneath you.
Waiting to make any big changes until after sobriety gets boring is perfect. THEN you can tolerate any additional stimulation.
Take it easy in the beginning. No sweeping life changes or decisions.
10- Reward Yourself For Sobriety Milestones
Finally, treat yourself!
Whether you’re making days, weeks, months, or your first year sober, you deserve to celebrate!
So many people never even make it to where you are, so show yourself a little love, be proud of your accomplishment, and enjoy a little treat!
In conclusion, whether you choose to use support groups or go it alone, quitting drinking will have ups and downs that you probably won’t be ready for all the way.
Staying on top of things and remaining aware of what to expect can help you manage and enjoy your new lifestyle.
With time, you’ll learn and grow, and may even have a few tips of your own to pay it forward and share with others.
Good luck, and IWNDWYT.
More Sobriety Ideas:
- 8 Reasons Why I Got Sober WITHOUT AA
- Does St John’s Wort Really Work? (Honest Review)
- I Quit Drinking For 100 Days… Here’s What Happened!