It’s time to throw your bottles away! If you wanna change your lifestyle and cut down your alcohol intake, then you are on your way to a healthier life!
A party without alcohol is unimaginable. Getting your booze down and chilling out with friends is the kind of carefree time that no one wanna skip. But did you ever have a moment that you regretted drinking? Well, most of you might have experienced waking up in the morning at a nasty place. To add to the misery, a hangover follows you after a few hours.
If you have been drinking for a long time or haven’t had a sober day in a while, your blood alcohol level may rise to a dangerous point. It will become harder for you to get rid of this addiction with the passage of time.
When you are unable to control your urge for a drink, there is a high possibility that you are suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “ 28.6 million adults ages 18 and older had Alcohol Use Disorder in the past year”.
If you are reading this article, then it means you have taken the first step to getting yourself out of this addiction. Most people might scare you off that it is a difficult process, but in reality, it is something achievable. With your strong will and patience, you’ll soon be living a sober and healthier life.
Check out the article to know the steps and tips on how to quit drinking.
Steps To Quit Drinking
Keeping yourself away from a cold brew can be irresistible. It’s a tough choice to make, especially in a world where consuming alcohol has become a natural way of socializing. But if you really wanna live a longer and healthier life, then opt for sobriety. Follow these steps that will guide you on how to quit drinking.
Consult Your Doctor
The first and most important thing you should go for is to get advice from your doctor, therapist, or addiction specialist. The healthcare professional will then diagnose your condition, review your medical history and develop a treatment plan to overcome this addiction in the long run. He will inform you about the symptoms you will have after cutting down on alcohol. In the case of AUD, it is highly recommended to seek medical help.
Figure out what alcohol is doing to your body
The choice to quit drinking gets easy when you know what your booze has done to your body. While drinking, you feel stress-free and full of life. But the after-effects are scarier. To begin with, hangovers can be painful. Instead of starting the day in a fresh and lively mood, you end up having a headache and an irritated feeling.
Hangovers are short-term and fade away after a few hours. The worst-case scenario for a binge or habitual drinker, in the long run, maybe liver damage, high blood pressure, weakened immune system, dehydration, poor cognitive health, increased risk of cancer and diabetes, and lastly, death.
So, if you begin to experience any of these side effects, start cutting down your alcohol intake.
Why Do You Drink?
You need to identify your drinking patterns. Ask yourself, What makes you drink? Do you drink because you want to feel socially connected? Or it’s just another way of coping with stress. Once you figure out what triggers your drinking habit, it becomes relatively easy to reach a solution.
Keep yourself away from situations that put stress on your mind. Avoid gathering where you know you won’t be coming out sober, stay close to your loved ones, and remain persistent on your decision to quit drinking.
Things You Should Know Before Stopping
Before you suddenly stop drinking, you should know that the whole process must be done at a slower pace with a proper treatment plan. After cutting down on alcohol, your body will experience a detox stage. It is when your body is working hard to get alcohol completely out of your system.
You may experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, tremors, insomnia, headache, sweating, nausea, and in the worst cases hallucination and fever.
Set A goal
Creating personalized goals that are realistic and sustainable is essential when developing a self-treatment plan for alcohol addiction. If you think you’ll wake up one morning and decide you won’t drink for the rest of your life…Well.. things are not so simple. Your body will crave alcohol, and you’ll end up being drunk sooner than you think.
Set a realistic goal for yourself. Let’s say you drink 6-7 beers a day; try taking it down to 2-3 drinks a day. Then restrict yourself to one drink per day. Plan alcohol-free days and strictly stop yourself from drinking that time. Gradually cut down your alcohol consumption to one drink per week and later a month. Soon you’ll be living a healthy, sober life.
Avoid Friends That Live and Die for Alcohol
Firstly, if you have friends that enjoy drinking all the time, then you should avoid getting together as much as possible. People often drink out of peer pressure even if they really don’t want to. Keep a few ideas at the back of your mind to avoid alcohol.
Suggest other activities that might interest your friends, like going to a movie together, attending a concert, or trying out a new restaurant. Volunteer to drive back home or tell them you have to wake up early. If you still find yourself trapped, be brave enough to say “NO” to alcohol.
Seek Support From Family
Inform your loved ones about your decision. Their emotional support and encouragement will help you throughout the process. They will help you in controlling your addiction, help you in your daily routine and keep you on track.
This rule may not apply to all families as, for some families consuming alcohol is a common thing. In this situation, you may seek help from friends, colleagues, or healthcare professionals.
Practice Self Care
The only person that cares for you most in the world is yourself. If you really want to quit drinking then you must learn how to properly care for yourself.
- Start with tracking your alcohol intake and strictly follow your treatment plan.
- Write down things that motivate you. It could be traveling to a tropical beach with your spouse or buying a luxurious car. Think about the stuff you can enjoy after being healthier and sober.
- Eat healthy food and try to keep yourself away from alcohol as much as possible.
- Remain patient and kind towards yourself and others.
Celebrating small victories along the way will help you stay motivated and encouraged throughout the process. Don’t stress yourself by focusing on the end goal. Try to acknowledge yourself for achieving each small milestone. This will keep you strengthened and motivated.
Tips to a Sober Life
If you wanna know some easy tips to cut down your alcohol consumption, try out the cheat sheet below.
Switch to a Different Beverage
Numerous non-alcoholic options can be a healthier substitute for alcohol. Whenever you crave alcoholic beverages, try drinking green/herbal tea, mocktails, kombucha, or of course, the best drink, water. Water will keep your body hydrated and your skin moisturized naturally.
Don’t Keep Alcohol in the House
Keep all alcoholic beverages out of your reach. Remove all beer cans and spirits from your fridge. The lesser you get to see a drink, the lower the chances of downing one.
Remain Patient and Persistent
Quitting alcohol is a difficult journey to take. The withdrawal symptoms and your alcohol cravings might drive you crazy. Stay focused and patient. At that moment, think of the bigger picture. Imagine yourself in a happier and healthier life. This will keep you motivated and persistent.
Find a Hobby
Engaging in an activity is a great way to distract yourself from the urge to drink. For instance, learning a new musical instrument, cooking up a yummy dessert, reading your favorite storybook, or participating in sports will help get your mind off a shot of tequila.
The slower you take each sip, the more you can enjoy the drink. In the end, you will be consuming less alcohol, and your urge for one more drink will naturally vanish.
Take a B-Vitamin Supplements
B-Vitamins are crucial for your body. It helps in mood regulation, keeps your brain functioning properly, and improves your heart health. Alcohol inhibits your B-vitamins absorption that helps fight against anxiety and depression. Taking B-vitamin supplements will help restore your body to a healthy state.
Exercise and Meditation
There is nothing better than mental and physical exercise to keep you active and healthy. To keep your mind away from alcohol, focus on eating a healthy meal, exercise daily, and relax your mind through meditation.
Once you turn sober, you will notice significant changes in your personality. Giving up on alcohol allows your body to heal from the mental and physical damage it may have caused. To play safe, if you are a binge drinker, switch to moderate drinking, then go for completely quitting alcohol.
Now you know the steps and tips that will help you throughout your journey. It may be easy for some but difficult for people with severe AUD symptoms. The good news is it is not an impossible task. All you need to know is what damage your body has gone through when consuming alcohol, and quit before it’s too late.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.