A couple of beers at Friday happy hour with your coworkers, a glass of wine with dinner, margaritas and tacos to help your BFF get over getting dumped, a celebratory glass of champagne or Sunday-brunch mimosa. Drinking alcohol is probably a crucial aspect of your social life. So when it comes time to quit alcohol, you might struggle to fill the void.
Whether you hope to live the rest of your days in sobriety, or you simply need to give your body a temporary break from the hell of hangovers, getting on the wagon can lead to some serious culture shock. That’s why we’ve compiled these five ways to help you cope with an alcohol-free lifestyle. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or an ice-cold soda and read on!
Five Ways to Quit Alcohol but Still Have Fun
In addition to saving you a substantial amount of money, the benefits of quitting drinking include better sleep, concentration, and digestion, as well as reduced risk for heart attack, stroke, and cancer. In short, your life is about to get much better!
Steer Clear of Alcohol-Centered Social Activities
Serious about quitting alcohol? Then stay away from the bar. Trying to white-knuckle your way through an event when everyone else is indulging is bound to fail.
Instead of meeting your friends at the club, do lunch or meet for a cup of coffee and a decadent dessert. Get together for a game of tennis, a Zumba class, or a walking tour of beautiful neighborhoods in your city. There are loads of fun activities that don’t require getting sloshed.
You might get some pushback from your social circle. However, the people who are truly your friends and not just your drinking buddies will understand and support your sobriety.
Banish the Booze From Your Home
Let’s say you have a particularly stressful day at work. You manage to resist the temptation to stop at the bar, but you arrive home only to find a bottle of bourbon or an ice-cold beer staring you in the face. What are the odds you’ll pass it up? Yeah, we thought so.
Getting rid of any alcohol that’s already in your house is a no-brainer. The harder you make it to satisfy any cravings, the easier it will be to stay sober.
Pick Up a New Hobby
One key to maintaining sobriety is to keep yourself busy. Teach yourself to knit, to juggle, to build a birdhouse, or to roll sushi. Immersing yourself in a hands-on project is a better distraction than watching movies or TV, simply because it requires more of your attention.
Get Your Endorphins From Exercise
Many people turn to working out when they’re on the wagon since exercise and alcohol both trigger the body’s production of endorphins. Ever hear of the runner’s high?
It goes without saying that exercise is the healthier choice, so the next time a martini is calling your name, hit the gym instead. By the time you’ve worked up a sweat, chances are good that the craving will have passed.
Be Kind to Yourself
You may slip and give in to the temptation to have a drink, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself and recommit to the reasons you wanted to stop drinking in the first place.
Reward yourself for staying sober, as well. A mani-pedi, some new workout gear, even a special meal are all great ways to treat yourself, and can help you stay on track in the future.
Make no mistake — the decision to quit alcohol is not an easy one, and the path to sobriety doesn’t always run smooth. Kudos to you for your efforts! It won’t be long until you are reaping the rewards: a clearer head, better health, more energy, and more money in your pocket.
For more articles on getting and staying healthy, bookmark our blog and check back often!