Alcohol consumption, affects every aspect of a person’s life, from their mind, body, relationships, career, to their own safety as well as that of others. Definite signs that you are drinking too much include if you can’t wait to get done with work or class to get to a bar if you can’t recollect what took place while you were drinking, if you have frequent hangovers or if you arrive late to work or miss work altogether. Most people fail to even realize that they have a drinking problem. However, if anyone’s alcohol consumption begins to affect those around them, then they are at some stage of alcoholism. People with drinking problems usually depend on alcohol, when they are lonely or by themselves, or when they are sad or angry. Most people take pride in the fact, that they can consume large amounts of alcohol and not get drunk, however, they do not realize that they have decreased their body’s ability to react to a health threat.
Those who have medical conditions that are worsened by alcohol consumption need to quit completely. Alcoholics, need to quit under a doctor’s supervision, as they are likely to suffer harmful withdrawal symptoms. However, if you need to cut down, or wish to stop, these are a few simple strategies.
The first step is usually to get inspired. You can do this by listing your reasons for quitting and writing them down on paper. Now paste this list in a prominent place where you can see it every day or carry it around with you. Remembering your reasons and visualizing them will help you resist temptation. There are a myriad of benefits you could reap from quitting, including better health, better sleep, weight loss, better fitness, or even a successful relationship.
Recording your progress will help your journey of recovery. Write down your goal and your time frame (if you have one) on the first page. It could either be to stop drinking completely or to cut back to a reasonable level. This will help you track your progress, and you will not be able to fool yourself, about the amount you are drinking. One must write down the number of drinks consumed each day on a calendar or day planner.
Throw out all the alcohol you own. If you are trying to quit or cut back, the last thing you want is, bottles lying around the house to tempt you.
Inform close friends and family about your decision to quit or cut down. You need to gather all the support you can get. This way, your friends and family could avoid drinking around you, at least initially. Good friends will also stop intervening if they find you giving in. If you need more than this, then you could join a support group.
When you are in social situations, learn to say no. Be firm about your decision, even if someone tries to persuade you. They should realize that ‘no’ means ‘no’. You may know people who will harass or belittle you for not drinking. This behavior usually stems from envy and their own lack of resolve. However, it is best to avoid them. You don’t want anyone or anything to hamper your progress.
If alcohol was a big part of your life, you are needed to replace it with something. The best activities are games and sports. Any form of exercise, even at a gym, will help you shake anxiety or that edgy feeling. You can fill your other time with movies, arts and crafts, or you could learn something new, like dancing. This is the best time to take up all that you have wanted to do or learn, but have been putting off.
A lot of people find strength and solace in prayers. Irrespective of whether you are a spiritual person or not, you can try it out and see if it works for you. All you need to do is to sit in a quiet place by yourself and have a conversation with God, asking him for strength to fight the temptation.
If you are trying to cut back, try to consume your drink at a slow pace. Try to stretch one drink for as long as possible. If you are going to have a second one, then ensure you take a significant break between each drink. You could also intersperse your alcoholic beverages with glasses of water, juice, soda, or nonalcoholic beer. Try to avoid drinking when you are thirsty, as you are likely to consume more.
Another step in cutting back is starting later. If you have your first drink at around 8 pm, first try to wait until 9, and after a while push it till 10. Keep pushing it until you are down to one small drink before bedtime.
Take a clean break on one day of the week. Pick a day that works for you and let it be your starting point till you are able to go a whole week without drinking. Make a note of all the things that took place differently during this time, so that you know the difference of not drinking.
Another big difference that reducing or quitting alcohol will make it to your bank balance. Keeping a record of how much you have saved will help you in your journey.
Reward your self every time you’ve achieved a goal, even if it is a small one. You could treat yourself to a nice meal or buy yourself something nice.
Most people lapse several times while trying to quit. Your long-term success depends on how you accept these setbacks. They are an important source of information, and by analyzing the situations that made you drink, you could either address the issue or try avoiding that particular type of situation in the future. Feelings can be coped with by talking to a friend or someone in your support group. However, the important thing is to get up, brush yourself off, and without a great deal of guilt or self-pity, get back on track.
The best way to recover is to find and identify methods that work for you. You must also stay focused and strong about achieving your goal.