If you are planning to stop drinking, you must have a plan in place. You will need to deal with withdrawal symptoms, the temptation of social situations where alcohol is being served, and most importantly, your cravings for alcohol. This article discusses how to prepare yourself before stopping drinking so that you can maintain sobriety for the long-term. Continue on for Planning to Stop Drinking? Here’s What to Do!
Have a Plan
One of the primary things you need to do is create a plan. You will want to think about the situations you are likely to encounter that may lead you back into drinking and determine how best to handle them without having alcohol as an option.
Going out with your friends, attending social gatherings where there might be free-flowing alcohol or simply feeling like unwinding after work, all of these can be potential triggers for a relapse.
One way to deal with this is to have a list of alternate activities that you can do instead of drinking. This could be something as simple as going for a walk, watching a movie, or spending time with your friends sober doing something more creative.
If you feel like you’re struggling, it might be helpful to talk to someone about it or consider your detox options. Alcohol detox at home can be a good practice if you have a solid support system in place. Otherwise, you may want to opt for a program that is supervised by medical professionals.
Learn How to Cope with Cravings
One of the most difficult aspects of quitting alcohol is dealing with cravings. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are often very uncomfortable and can be hard to manage without having a drink or two as a ‘fall-back’ option. This is why it’s important for you not only to have a plan in place but also to be prepared to deal with cravings when they happen.
Preparing in advance can go a long way towards making the process easier for yourself. Some helpful ways of dealing with cravings include exercising, talking about your feelings, and distracting yourself until the craving passes by doing something else entirely. Try gardening, watching Ted Talks on YouTube on the benefits of being life-long sober, or reading a book. You may also want to keep some healthy snacks on hand to help you when temptation strikes.
Quitting alcohol can be difficult, so it’s important to have as much support as possible. This could come from friends and family members who are willing to offer a listening ear or help out with alternate activities, but it might also be helpful to seek out professional support.
Alcohol addiction and abuse can be damaging, and it’s not always easy to quit by yourself. This is why having a strong support system in place that you can rely on when things get tough, will make all the difference when trying to stop drinking.
If you are planning to stop drinking, prepare yourself ahead of time and have a plan in place to deal with potential triggers and cravings. Don’t try quitting cold turkey if you can avoid it, as this will most likely make the process more difficult if you don’t have superhero levels of willpower! Instead opt for a program that can help guide your recovery journey toward solid results. Are you quitting alcohol in 2022? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!