Swearing to yourself over and over again that “this will be the last time I drink” is frustrating. Alcohol addiction is a serious illness that can, and will, destroy lives. It is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
Getting sober may not be the most exciting thing on your to-do list, but it certainly is the most important. If it’s clear you want to stop drinking but don’t know how to quit alcohol, read on to learn some helpful tips
1. Join a Support Group
Joining a support group is key to becoming sober and staying that way. Groups like AA will guide you on a path to quit drinking and remain sober. Connecting with others in your support group can be very comforting, as all of you are facing the same challenges.
You might also build a support network of close family and friends who you can call upon for help during tough times.
2. Learn to Manage Urges
Urges will come and go, and its best to be prepared on how to handle them. You might try a substitute like chewing gum, drinking a can of seltzer, or reciting your personal mantra. A mantra can serve to give you strength and keep you on track when faced with urges.
Understand that urges to drink cause you no physical harm, but are only a form of discomfort. Just like a visit to the dentist or getting caught in a conversation with a chatty neighbor, the discomfort is temporary and will not last.
3. Change Risky Habits
Risky habits are those that lead to your drinking. Is it hanging out with certain people? Passing your favorite bar on the way home from work? Keeping alcohol in the house? Whatever it is, identify your triggers and avoid them.
Avoiding risky situations will be helped by creating new habits to take their place. Instead of hitting happy hour after work, go to the gym! This will be paramount in getting sober and is a good, if not the best way to quit drinking.
4. Practice Self Care
Practicing self-care is the opposite of addiction. You are now in control. Eat a well balanced and healthy diet, get enough rest, and stay active through exercise.
Exercise can be especially helpful because it will release endorphins in the brain that make you feel good. These endorphins are strong enough to overpower cravings. Quitting alcohol will be easier with a regular practice of self-care.
5. Seek Long-Term Treatment
Coping with addiction is a challenge with longevity. Urges to drink last for a while and you may battle them for years to come.
Seek out a therapist for help in learning coping skills and how to avoid destructive behavior that will lead to a relapse. There are qualified mental health therapists that specialize in treating addiction and they are there to help you!
Try out different therapists until you find one you connect with.
Getting Sober Step by Step
Getting sober can be a difficult process that presents its own set of unique challenges. Take these tips as a guide to build strength along your journey and practice what works for you daily. If you found this article helpful, check out some other posts on our blog!