Drinking alcohol can be a great way to unwind, celebrate with friends, or otherwise take the edge off. For some of us, though, what always starts as a fun night routinely becomes a slippery slope that leads to hangovers, hurt feelings, and often much worse. Chances are if you are someone that should not be drinking, you know it. The consequences often start harmless, if not a little embarrassing, but can quickly spiral out of control until you are stuck and wondering what to do.
The biggest issue is that for most problem drinkers, the habit has become the answer to at least one of their problems in life. Making a habit change away from an activity that has been used as a crutch, especially over long periods, requires a disciplined commitment to changing your life. As someone that at one point had a problem with alcohol, I understand as well as anyone just how difficult it can be. Luckily, I have had the issue under control for a number of years thanks to a few strategies that allowed me to rid myself of this difficult-to-kick habit. Here’s what has worked well for me and allowed me to get my life back.
Find A Replacement Hobby
The biggest issue I had with cutting alcohol out of my life is that I had used it to solve so many things I deemed as problematic. If I was anxious, bored, or just looking to have a good time, alcohol was the first thing that I looked to for entertainment. When I left the booze behind, finding a hobby that filled this void for me was critical to my ability to keep the liquid temptation in the rearview. For me, it was running and CrossFit; they both allowed me to burn off extra steam and gave me something to do when I had spare time on my hands.
Embrace Those That Embrace The New You
When you make a significant change in your life, especially one that will change parts of your personality, some of your friends will inevitably be more supportive than others. Unfortunately, for some people having a friend that is always a little drunker and more embarrassing than them is the best reason they have to keep someone around. Chances are you were that person for at least a few of your friends. You will quickly learn who supports you in your quest to find your best self and who does not, it’s essential that you focus your time towards those that want the best for you.
Find A Replica
Even if you are committed to a lifestyle that doesn’t involve drinking, you will eventually be in situations where alcohol is served. Having a go-to non-alcoholic drink, you can have in your hand will limit how many people tempt you with a cold one. Find something you enjoy sipping on and enjoy knowing that you are making the best decision for your health.
Don’t Forget To Look Back
When you make a significant change like cutting alcohol out of your life, especially if it has been negative in your past, you will run into growing pains that make you wonder if it was all worth it. In these moments, it’s important to not only reflect on how much better you feel physically, but also to realize how bad things could have gotten had you not put yourself first. Take stock in how much less dramatic and chaotic your life is, and you will know it’s not worth trying to reintroduce it.
Giving up alcohol is hard; there is no question about it. To find success, you will have to shift your lifestyle and commit to seeing it through even when times get tough, and the temptation gets real. By sticking to the strategies above, you give yourself the best shot at keeping this bad habit behind you. Stay strong and keep moving forward, progress is better than perfection, and if you stay true to the course and committed to bettering yourself, it will get easier over time. You got this!