If you want the benefits that come with laying off the bottle, do whatever you can to cut back. Here are seven ways you can stop drinking and reclaim your life:
1. Make a Contract With Yourself
Make an agreement with yourself to commit to a sobriety goal. Put it in writing and sign your name to it. Keep the contract somewhere you can see it. Make your commitment specific and manageable. Try a “Sober October” or “No-Drink November.” Commit to no booze for 30 days. As the health benefits of sobriety start to set in and you acclimate to your new lifestyle, you may no longer crave alcohol or feel the need to drink.
2. … And With Others
Teamwork makes the dream work. Don’t just make the contract with yourself—get others involved. Recruit friends or a buddy to join you on your sobriety quest and hold each other accountable. [inline_cta_one] Make a contest out of your sobriety challenge for extra fun. Maybe you could tag-team your 30-day sobriety challenge with:
- A fitness challenge—who can lose the most weight, walk the most steps, etc.
- A learning and enrichment challenge—who can read the most pages, attend the most classes and seminars, etc.
3. Shake Up Your Social Life
Team sobriety is great if your social circle buys into it. However, one of the biggest challenges many drinkers face in quitting is social alienation. Alcohol is such a big part of your interactions with your friends and family, you feel like the odd man out without a drink in your hand. You might even fear outright mockery or ostracism. Your sobriety contract may be the perfect occasion to break out of and expand your social circle. Look for meetups that don’t revolve around alcohol. Opportunities include:
- Running clubs, biking clubs, or other fitness clubs.
- Reading, film-buff, or study groups.
- Clubs for travel enthusiasts.
PRO TIP: Pick activities during daytime hours at venues where alcohol isn’t served.
4. Find Your Favorite “Mocktail”
Sometimes, all it takes is a cold drink in your hand to make you feel less weird for being the only sober person in the bar. Great fake out cups include:
- Coke or soda water with a lime.
- Ginger ale in a Moscow Mule cup.
- Margarita mix, Pina Colada mix, or any cocktail mix … minus the booze.
PRO TIP: Ask the bartender to serve your mocktail in a rocks glass, cocktail glass, or whatever glass he would serve his alcoholic offerings in to sell the ruse.
5. Write In A Journal
Your road to recovery will have its frustrations. Get them out of your head and on paper. This can make a world of difference in how well you cope with them. Document your journey in a diary. Anxieties and sticking points have a way of seeming less menacing on the page than they do in your mind.
6. Check Your Support System
Nobody accomplishes a hard goal alone. Make sure your family, friends, mentors, and colleagues are on board with your sobriety, ready to cheer you on. Consider expanding your base of support with a therapist, support group, trusted clergy member, or substance use counselor.
7. Enter A Professional Rehab Program
Outpatient and inpatient treatment programs are available for treating alcohol addiction. During a alcohol rehabilitation program, you’ll receive a combination of behavioral therapy, peer support, medication, and recreational activities that help build skills for a lasting recovery.
Reach Out For Help Today
If you try these methods and find yourself unable to quit, don’t beat yourself up. You may have built up an alcohol dependency, a physical syndrome characterized by cravings that are almost impossible to fight through willpower alone. To learn about professional treatment options at The Bluffs, contact us today.