With the new year, many people turn to thoughts of renewal, and the tradition of the New Year’s resolution is a promise to yourself that this year, you’ll make a change for the better. For some people, that means no more alcohol. Here are some tips to help you ease the transition to sobriety:
- Tell a friend. Find someone who can be trusted to support you without nagging you or shaming you, and tell them what your goal is. Being accountable, if only in your own mind, can be a big help when temptation comes.
- Find a substitute. Rather than not-drink, find something—something fun, something distracting, something that will take attention and energy—to fill in the emotional space in your life you’re no longer occupying with alcohol.
- Look after your health. A sport such as jogging will not only replace drinking as an activity you can engage in, it will make you healthier as well, making it easier for you not to drink.
- Don’t think in black and white. If you end up cutting back on drinking, that’s a victory, not a defeat. In fact, if you don’t have an alcohol abuse problem, cutting back may be enough, if you can stay cut back. If you can have a healthier relationship with alcohol- whatever that means to you—that’s a success.
- Don’t get derailed. If you slip up, that’s not the end of the world, or the end of your resolution—simply try to do better tomorrow. Don’t let a single incident convince you that you may as well give up. It’s worth keeping at it.
Quitting or reducing drinking is an important and sometimes difficult decision, but it is an important life change that can improve your overall health.