Overcoming Alcohol Addiction
Drinking alcohol is largely accepted as a social activity and a way to cope with stress. It might even be a remedy for insomnia or anxiety. If you experience mental health issues, you might find you use alcohol to temporarily feel better. Drinking alcohol is sometimes used to cope, or as a coping strategy. You can find yourself gradually drinking more alcohol, more often.
If you have a mental health condition and you use alcohol as a coping strategy, talk about it with your healthcare provider.
Benefits of cutting down on alcohol
Falling asleep without alcohol means you won’t wake up so often and you’ll have a more restorative deep sleep. With that comes better mood, concentration, creativity, productivity and mental performance.
This benefit really follows on from improved sleep – if you sleep soundly then you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, with more energy for the day.
Even one drink during the afternoon or evening can interrupt your sleep, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic. That’s because alcohol is a diuretic. It removes fluid from your body, and one of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue.
Drinking alcohol can affect your judgement and behavior. You may behave aggressively when you’re drunk. Memory loss can be a problem during drinking and in the long term for regular heavy drinkers.
Alcohol dehydrates the body. It can give the skin a dull, grey twinge to it. When you cut back on your drinking consumption, your skin will look brighter and clearer in just a couple of days. You’ll look and feel healthier, thus it can have a big impact on how you interact with the world around you.
Drinking can even interfere with the digestion, storage, utilization, and excretion of nutrients. In fact, many people who drink heavily become malnourished. Once you stop drinking and begin building healthier habits, your body can also begin to better absorb healthful nutrients.
How to Quit Drinking?
Track your drinking
Write down when you drink, what you drank, and why you drank. You will start to recognize patterns in your behavior and reasons that cause you to drink. Then you can think of ways to replace alcohol with something else that does the same job.
Try alcohol-free socializing
Socializing with friends or relatives presents many people with their biggest challenge. Instead of always heading to the pub, think of ways you can see your friends or relatives without reaching for a pint or a glass of wine.
Keep an alcohol-free house
Keeping a ‘dry’ house can remove temptation. Let your friends and family know that you are cutting down or stopping drinking, so that they don’t bring alcohol around or put any undue pressure on you.
Make time for self-care
Satisfying hobbies can distract you from wanting to drink, but they also help you relax — something everyone needs to do. If you’ve recently found yourself longing to get back into an old hobby, now its time to go for it.
Reach out for support
Quitting alcohol on your own is harder for some than others, but there’s no need to go it alone.
If you’re having a hard time sticking to your goal or just want some extra guidance, consider reaching out for a health care specialist.