If you have made the decision to quit alcohol, finding the most effective strategy for stopping can be intimidating. To help you say goodbye to alcohol for good, having a plan of action in place and using the right tips to your advantage will help make the process easier. While each person’s path will differ, there are some methods that are universally used in the quest to give up alcohol.
To help you on your journey of quitting, here are some methods you can try out today.
Begin with a plan
Before you start your journey of quitting alcohol, you need to have a sit down and look into your options first. You must pick a structure that suits you, so whether it’s who you will ring if you require support, or what you will do when you have an urge to drink, having a plan in place will make things easier. Identifying your triggers and drinking pattern is the first step in saying goodbye to alcohol for good. There may be situations you can avoid that promote drinking, such as meals out with friends or family gatherings. The more you understand your mind and body and the more prep you do, the stronger you will be and feel when faced with challenges.
Have a strong support network
Quitting alcohol is far easier when you’re surrounded by a strong support network of family and friends. If you have had problems with alcohol for many years, your loved ones will know all too well how hard it will be for you to give up for good, so knowing your friends and family are by your side can be a big help. If you feel like a burden on your loved ones, you may prefer to join a support group that will allow you to let off steam and speak to those in the same situation as you.
Speak to your doctor first
If you attempt to quit alcohol cold-turkey, you must speak to your doctor in advance. In some instances, alcohol withdrawal can be incredibly treacherous and potentially fatal. While this shouldn’t put you off, it’s best to seek advice from your doctor first to ensure you’re kept safe throughout. If you’re worried about severe withdrawal symptoms, you may find solace in medical counseling that can give you support and guidance along the way.
Practise self-care strategies
Prioritising your mental and physical well-being is a must when giving up alcohol. Some people take up exercise as a way to take their mind off things, whereas others meditate to relax and de-stress. Make sure you pick a self-care strategy that works well for you and try to find rituals that keep you balanced. A persistent habit like drinking alcohol can be difficult to shift, so you must prepare for good and bad days. Quitting alcohol won’t be plain sailing. However, there are positive habits you can put in place to keep you on the right track. Remember to be kind to yourself along the way and retain a positive mindset.
Set realistic goals
Once you’ve decided to quit alcohol, it can be easy to be hard on yourself and think negatively. To increase the chances of success, you must lay out realistic, long-term goals that give you something to focus on. Listing down the reasons behind quitting can keep you motivated and driven. Whether you want to be a better parent for your child or feel healthier in yourself when you start the process of quitting, listing these goals on paper and carrying them with you will serve as a constant reminder. It can be easy to forget why you’re quitting alcohol in the first place, so having the reasons visually in front of you can help.
Keep a journal
In addition to writing down the reasons behind your quit, it’s recommended to keep a journal that can be used to write down your thoughts and feelings along the way of giving up alcohol. When you have a bad day, putting pen to paper and being honest with yourself can change your mindset for the better. Later down the line, you can look back at your experience, which can keep you on the right path.
Quitting alcohol is a long journey for many people. Remember, setbacks are common so should you relapse, try not to beat yourself up about it. While some people find success straight away, others need more time to get in the right headspace. Giving up alcohol will make a huge change in your day-to-day life, so if you fall at a hurdle, simply dust yourself off and try again.
If you are looking to quit alcohol altogether, trying any of the methods above can increase your chances of giving up drink forever. Remember, each person is different, so if one method doesn’t work for you, simply try another until you find one that helps.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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