If you think you’re starting to drink too much and need to stop or cut back your alcohol intake, you should totally listen to your body and act accordingly. Alcohol misuse is rampant these days because people fail to recognize where to draw the line.
Excessive drinking leads to addiction which does more harm than good. Therefore, you ought to learn when to reduce alcohol consumption and when to stop completely.
It is completely normal to struggle with either of these options. Quitting a habit can be difficult, but not impossible. This guide highlights 10 effective ways to manage alcohol consumption.
Set Practical Goals
Based on your existing drinking habits, it may not be realistic for you to stop drinking completely. Instead of pushing yourself too hard, stick with any recommendations from your healthcare provider. If none, simply create practical goals that work for you.
Make a list of the full limit of alcohol you want to consume each day and the total number of days per week on which you want to consume it. Drinking within this limit is considered safe and will keep you from addiction and other health issues.
Examine Your Drinking Habits Carefully
I find that a notepad is best for tracking drinking habits. It is easy to forget how much you have had to drink or the last time you had a drink. To stop excessive drinking, you will need to keep a drinking diary on your smartphone using the notepad app to track how often you drink per day. This will help you understand and regulate your drinking habit.
This can also help you keep track of any unpleasant consequences or events that occurred while you were drunk so that you can avoid them going forward.
Buy Alcohol Only In Small Quantities
Be as specific as possible when creating a drinking timetable. If the goal is to reduce alcohol consumption, you definitely need to be on top of your game at all times.
This includes the number of wines in your cupboard and beer in your fridge. Stocking your home with alcoholic wines, beer, and spirits will eventually destroy your goals of drinking responsibly.
Maintain your goals even when you’re away from home, with family, and friends, dining alone in a pub or restaurant by ordering only the amount of alcoholic drink that fits your recommended alcohol limit.
However, if you’ve already reached your weekly limit, it’s safe to replace it with the same quantity of non-alcoholic wine or beer.
Stay Away From Potential Triggers
Since you know you are struggling, it is best to stay away from anything/anyone that can pull you down the rabbit hole.
This includes certain activities or people who you are accustomed to drinking with. They can still be your friends, however, you need to keep your distance until you are strong enough to be with them without taking alcohol.
Saying "No" Is A Helpful Approach
You will most likely find yourself in multiple situations where a drink will be offered. All you need to do is say NO.
Yes, it can be difficult to say no sometimes but remember if Hollywood celebrities surrounded by alcohol can say no, you can too.
Always keep in mind that the goal is to reduce excessive drinking, hence, you are not compelled to drink because everyone else is. You can say no and still be cool.
Keep An Eye Out For Peer Pressure
Who do you hang out with? Start by going through your notepad to see which friend(s) tend to make you drink more.
We advise you to try avoiding them for a few days/months until you are strong enough to tell them NO. You can fill the space with new friends who are on the same journey as you.
This will help you reduce the loneliness while also motivating you to keep going.
Look Into Other Healthy Options
If drinking and partying is your definition of fun, we encourage you to branch out and attempt different activities and skills that do not involve alcohol and are more centred on self-care.
Consider going for a run, participating in sports, dining out, or going to the movies when you’re bored and lonely at home. Pick up a new activity or return to an old one or simply visit an old friend who doesn’t drink and knows about your goals. Whatever works best for you.
Sip Your Drink
People who gulp down alcohol are more likely to consume more than those who take it one sip at a time. A good way to avoid excessive drinking, especially at social gatherings, is to sip your drink to pass the time.
Furthermore, try not to consume alcohol on an empty stomach. It’s preferable to drink just after eating a decent meal, as this will minimise your desire to consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
Pick Days When You Won't Drink
Taking a little break from alcohol can help you cut down on alcohol use. Make a weekly commitment to not drink for a day or two.
Then walk your way up to a week or a month. This should challenge you physically and mentally to stay the course.
It’s not always easy to cut back on drinking. Make it clear to your family and friends that you need their assistance throughout your journey.
You might also want to consult a doctor, counsellor, or therapist to identify the best course of action for you; whether it’s to cut back or stop completely.
Most people who have successfully quit excessive drinking almost always had to battle multiple challenges along the way. Be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. It may look difficult right now, but it is not impossible. You will be happy you stayed the course. Don’t give in!
Want more tips?
Check out our previous article on 15 Sober Celebrities You Didn’t Know About. Please don’t forget to like and share so we can always bring you helpful tips like these. Thank you!