How To Make Kicking Booze Less Miserable
…by intentionally replacing alcohol with these four healthy(er) habits
“Isn’t it hard to quit drinking?”
“How do you relax or socialize without alcohol?”
“I could never do that!”
These are some real things people have said to me when I’ve told them I am taking a year-long (off the record: possibly forever) break from drinking alcohol. Yes, it was hard at first. While I can’t say for certain the magic spell for lasting and long-term sobriety, I do know some tips and tricks that have made last 109 days less painful, and, dare I say, glorious! Aside from the threat of public shame, there are
four things you need to quit alcohol:
A replacement habit for your oral fixation. For me, that was sparkling waters (pear-pear La Croix, what’s good?) because I had to constantly open a can and compulsively sip on something*. For you that could look like gum, lollipops, flossers, or drinking juice out of a wine glass.
*Context: I used to drink White Claws all day so this makes sense for my situation
A replacement habit for your mind because drinking silenced all those intrusive thoughts. For me, that was books and audio books I could focus on, get excited about, and learn from. For you that could be sudoku, crochet, journaling, or a puzzle.
A replacement habit for relaxation because we used to use alcohol to relax. For me, that is smoking weed. I know it’s not the healthiest habit and soon I plan on getting to a place where I am better equipped to self-soothe and regulate my emotions, but that’s not right now <3 For you – and future me – that might look like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or self-care.
A replacement habit for the body. Alcohol makes you tired! When I stopped drinking I had all this energy all of a sudden and didn’t know what to do with it. For me, going to the gym and lifting weights feels really good. For you, that might look like walking your dog more, taking barre classes, or simply making a point to take ten minutes everyday and have a dance break.
To reiterate: these replacements work FOR ME, and will be different for everyone. You don’t need to have them all figured out, however, preparation is *key* when quitting. So if you’re serious, your job is to experiment until you know which substitutions work best for you. Get creative, get curious, have fun, think outside the box and you may just find a hidden passion you didn’t even know you had!
I know all of this sounds a little elementary and basic, and it is. That’s the point — small changes make a bigger difference than you might think.
—> What are some replacements you would use? Any you think I should try?