With a New Year upon us, some people are thinking about cutting out sweets, carbs or even alcohol for a month or even longer.
We understand that quitting cold turkey can be hard, so the Sweetwater County Prevention Coalition would like to help provide you with a few tips for giving an alcohol free month a try.
There are many benefits to abstaining from alcohol for a period of time. A study conducted on short term alcohol abstinence shows increased health benefits.
For those who choose to abstain from alcohol, even for just a month reported; getting better sleep, having more energy, and even experienced weight loss.
Here are some tips to consider if you would like to try:
CREATE A NETWORK OF SUPPORT
This first step can be one of the most useful ways to start your trial on the right foot. Having a support system allows you to be held accountable, communicate your experiences, and understand the goal you are working towards. People who are good supporters of what you are trying to achieve will encourage you along the way, without pressuring you into quitting early, or engaging in activities that will derail your progress. Another support option may be to use an app to help you track your cravings, as these urges can be normal, or track your drinks if you are not looking to cut out alcohol completely but rather decrease your use.
The next tip to help you meet your goal is to avoid temptations. Avoiding temptation doesn’t just apply to drinking alcohol itself. This part can also extend to places where alcohol is consumed or people who
frequently use alcohol and who you would normally drink alcohol with. By decreasing the activities and social circumstances by which you would typically consume alcohol the temptation to drink will be less likely. This opportunity may allow you to pick up a new hobby, reconnect with old friends or make time for other activities.
For some, avoiding people who drink regularly might be difficult if you share a home or are in a public place. You may choose to reach for an Alcohol- Free option if that’s the case. Options like a virgin mixed cocktail may be a good choice, but if you are looking to skimp on the sugar you may reach for a flavored sparkling soda water, tea, or coffee.
DON’T. GIVE. UP.
This process will vary for all people who give it a try, but keep your goal in mind and look to use the resources around you. Remember that a slip up is not a failure and you can get back on track. Stay motivated and remember that time and experience are part of the process.
For more information on Alcohol and Substance use resources contact SAMHSA’s National Help Line at 1-800-622-HELP(4357)