Cutting Down and Living Better: How to Stop Drinking Alcohol

how to stop drinking alcohol
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Vinicius "amnx" Amano

Interested in learning how to stop drinking alcohol? Whatever your reasons, alcohol isn’t for everyone. Read here for tips on how to limit your alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption rates for adolescents and young adults are at some of the lowest levels seen for decades. As awareness of the dangers of heavy consumption is becoming more well-known and less socially acceptable, it’s now more common for people to reduce drinking, take breaks, or stop drinking altogether. A few popular reasons some refrain from alcohol include:

  • Health 
  • Finances
  • Improved sleep 
  • To have better control and avoid binging
  • Better focus on work, studies, or hobbies 
  • Religious or cultural reasons

If you’re interested in learning how to stop drinking alcohol or cut back on your consumption, keep reading for tips on how to do this in easy, effective ways. However, if you’re concerned you may have an addiction to alcohol, it’s best to speak with your doctor or another licensed professional to get adequate advice on what to do.

1. Journal About Your Relationship with Alcohol

Journaling can help start the journey to cutting back on drinking.
Journaling can help start the journey to cutting back on drinking.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Reflect on how your relationship with alcohol in writing. Consider different aspects like how often your drink, how many drinks you have in one night, and how you feel the next day. How do you feel on days you don’t drink at all? Then consider the positive reasons you’d like to cut back or abstain. 

2. Set a Goal

Just remember changing ones relationship with alcohol is a process and might not achieve perfect results from the start.
Just remember changing ones relationship with alcohol is a process and might not achieve perfect results from the start.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / akesq01)

Set a realistic goal for yourself. Try not to set your expectations too high, as these unrealistic standards can often make us feel guilty if we don’t achieve them. If you work in a bar or plan to go to a music festival, it might be more manageable to drink without getting intoxicated or to set a maximum of one or two drinks for the night. 

It can also be a good idea to make multiple goals over the course of a long time. This makes it easier to first cut back in small amounts and then make bigger cuts as time goes on. For example, you can take a week off from drinking, then when you’re ready again go for two weeks or even a month. 

3. Tell Others

Fortunately, the choice to stop drinking alcohol is becoming normalized and no longer looked at negatively, so it's easier to tell others about a decision to cut back.
Fortunately, the choice to stop drinking alcohol is becoming normalized and no longer looked at negatively, so it’s easier to tell others about a decision to cut back.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / VinzentWeinbeer)

If you’re wondering how to stop drinking alcohol, one of the best things you can do is to talk to friends or family about your goals and reasons for cutting alcohol out. This can help hold you accountable and maybe even inspire them to do something similar. 

4. Don’t Keep Alcohol in the House

Ridding your place of alcohol takes away temptation and ensures you won't make any impulsive choices.
Ridding your place of alcohol takes away temptation and ensures you won’t make any impulsive choices.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur)

While at times it may be easy to avoid alcohol, there may be other times when we want to give in to cravings, so it’s best not to keep it in the house if you want to stop drinking alcohol. Maybe you used to use alcohol as a way to unwind after a stressful day. Others may be more impulsive and take to drinking when having guests over. Whatever the old habit used to be, it’s usually a good idea to keep alcohol out of the house when taking a break from drinking.

5. Form New Drinking Habits

Be creative when socializing and think of new ways to drink, whether that be non-alcoholic beverages or drinking light alcoholic beverages in moderation.
Be creative when socializing and think of new ways to drink, whether that be non-alcoholic beverages or drinking light alcoholic beverages in moderation.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / vivienviv0)

If you still want to take part in social activities that may involve alcohol, you can still do this while successfully avoiding drinking. Bars and restaurants are increasingly carrying various mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages. If you have a party to attend, you can also bring your own non-alcoholic beverages to make it easier on yourself. 

For those that just want to cut back on drinking, try to have a rule like switching to water in between each drink or at most only having one drink per hour. Drinking slowly can also help vastly in maintaining control over your intake. 

Try these ideas for non-alcoholic beverages:

6. Rediscover Hobbies

Once you've learned how to stop drinking alcohol, you may find yourself at a loose end. Rediscover your old hobbies with your newfound time.
Once you’ve learned how to stop drinking alcohol, you may find yourself at a loose end. Rediscover your old hobbies with your newfound time.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Foundry)

If refraining from drinking for you means spending more time at home, you can use that time to get back into old hobbies. This can look like this:

  • Reading a good book
  • Cooking and baking more
  • Learning a new language
  • Knitting 
  • Watching more films
  • Trying out DIY projects 
  • Meditation 
  • Exercise 
  • Arts and crafts  

7. Socialize in Sober Spaces

Explore new spaces you've never been to and invite friends to tag along.
Explore new spaces you’ve never been to and invite friends to tag along.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Peggy_Marco)

Start inviting friends for coffee dates or walks in the park. There are plenty of options for sober activities that are still a good time. Try out:

  • Museums and art galleries
  • Flea markets 
  • Seeing a movie
  • Thrift shopping
  • Hiking 
  • Going for a picnic 

8. Be Persistent

The best advice when it comes to cutting alcohol out is to take it day by day.
The best advice when it comes to cutting alcohol out is to take it day by day.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / brenkee)

Whether you want to quit drinking alcohol completely or develop a healthier relationship with alcohol, the key is to be persistent. Your goals are a process and you likely won’t be perfect from the beginning. Take your time, stick with it even when there are hiccups, and accept yourself.

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