Drinking beer (and other alcoholic beverages) has become more widespread during the pandemic. Studies show that 1 in 5 Americans have resorted to heavy drinking as a way to cope with the stress brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak. If you’re trying to get rid of this unhealthy habit, here are some tips that may help you cut out alcohol from your life, for good.
1. First, you need to know the ill-effects of alcohol.
Even moderate consumption of alcohol can make you feel groggy and can cloud your judgement. If you are a heavy drinker (more than 8 drinks a week for women and 15 drinks a week for men), you will experience the following short-term effects:
- Digestive issues
- Disrupted sleep
- Increased anxiety, depression, and irritability
But that’s not all. You will also have to worry about long-term health effects including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Chronic Pancreatitis
Now ask yourself – is drinking 2-3 bottles a day really worth all this trouble?
2. Think about why you drink.
You have to know your why. How much are you drinking – are you drinking too much? If yes, then what triggers you to drink? Plenty of people drink due to:
- Relationship stress
- Financial problems
- Problems at work
Find out what your alcohol triggers are and find ways to help you manage this.
3. Find a community.
You might want to talk to your partner, family or close friends about your plan to stop drinking. They may be able to help you. Perhaps your partner also wants to quit drinking and you two can take this journey together.
4. Build the right relationships.
So instead of hanging out with co-workers at the pub during happy hour, why not go to a coffee shop? Rather than spending your weekends with your partner having some cocktails or a few glasses of wine at a bar, why not go on a picnic? By keeping yourself away from places where drinking is the norm, or from people who can only envision a “fun time” with a few shots of tequila, you can avoid the temptation to drink.
5. Get rid of alcoholic drinks in your home.
It’s so much easier to avoid alcohol if there’s no alcohol in your home (or in your office). Keep it out of sight and instead stock up on non-alcoholic drinks. And no, you’re not obligated to serve alcohol to guests.
6. Discover a new favorite drink.
Find yourself a drink that’s actually enjoyable so you won’t miss alcohol too much. For example, you can infuse sparkling water with berries. You can add lemon to your juice, or try some cold tea drinks.
6. Prepare for withdrawal symptoms.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a heavy drinker, if you stop drinking, you will still experience some withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Mood changes
Don’t get tempted to go back to your old ways even if you experience these.
7. Prioritize wellness and self-care.
Good self-care practices can help you take care of your physical and mental health. Be sure to stay hydrated. Eat healthy foods and even give in to cravings every now and then. This way you will be less likely to feel tempted to drink. Get enough sleep. Do some exercises – walking, jogging, hiking or even dancing. Get a gym membership in gyms like YouFit. Do something you love. People sometimes drink because they’re bored. Starting a new hobby can help keep your mind off alcohol.
Here’s a video explaining the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol: