And, with the lockdown starting to be relaxed, it’s tempting to celebrate with a drink or two – maybe even with friends at a safe distance at some point. But, with the risk of infection still there, it makes sense to be as immune to infection as possible. And cutting back on alcohol is a good place to start.
Do you want to know how to quit alcohol, beyond locking? Or at least reduced? Alcohol consumption is one of the most difficult habits to beat because it has been part of many human cultures for a very long time. For many people, this is part of their social life; for others – especially right now – it may be their way of relaxing or being bored. Yet it has been proven time and time again that alcohol has many negative effects on human health. In addition, it costs us a lot of money …
Books and audio materials to help you stop drinking
Give up self-hypnosis with alcohol …
The following tips for quitting alcohol use are for people who are not satisfied with the amount of alcohol they consume and who would like to significantly reduce or completely give up alcohol consumption. If you’re already happy with just the occasional glass of wine, you probably don’t need this advice. On the other hand, if you are a heavy drinker and think you have alcohol dependence, you should always consult a doctor before trying to quit smoking.
What are the benefits of giving up alcohol?
There are endless benefits to giving up alcohol. Improved mood and better sleep to more money in your bank account. Of course, quitting drinking is a personal choice, and you may have your own reasons for wanting to give up, but here are some hard facts to help you reaffirm your decision:
- Not drinking improves heart health, liver health and lowers blood sugar, which reduces the risk of serious illnesses, including heart disease and many types of cancer;
- Giving up alcohol improves the quality of your sleep: drinking before bed is one of the main reasons why many people wake up at night;
- Not consuming alcohol will help you lose weight, not only because of the calories in drinks, but also because alcohol interferes with metabolic processes in your body and makes you hungry;
- Finally, many people report that they feel happier and less moody when they are not drinking.
What is the best way to give up alcohol?
How you stop drinking really depends on how often and how much alcohol you drink. The more you drink regularly, the more difficult it will be to give up, so be prepared for a long process. Give yourself at least a year to give up completely, and don’t fight if you get it wrong once in a while when you go out with friends. All of the following tips are intended to make it easier for you to quit smoking, rather than relying on superhuman willpower levels.
1. Stop buying alcohol
If you regularly buy a bottle of wine for dinner, it is unrealistic to expect that you will not reach that bottle when it is in the kitchen refrigerator. Especially if you have a complete personality (that is, you have to finish what you started), make sure that there is no alcohol readily available in the house, except during special occasions. If this is too difficult, start buying half-bottles or mini-bottles, which most supermarkets stock these days. Online shopping right now? Don’t order bulk wine, as tempting as it is.
2. Buy expensive alcohol
How much do you spend on alcohol per week? Add up the cost of all the bottles and get into the habit of getting one expensive bottle with that amount instead. Developing a taste for good wine may seem counterintuitive, but the higher the price of your alcohol, the less likely you are to buy it often.
3. Set a realistic timeline
Don’t expect your urge to drink to go away overnight. Instead, try to drink half the amount you consumed in the first month; then reduce it again the next month, and so on, until you have little or no drinking. Do it over a period of six to 12 months.
4. Prepare for the questions
It is likely that as you quit drinking, you will get a lot of “why?” questions. If they make you uncomfortable, it may be easier to prepare generic responses in advance (for example, “I’m training for a marathon”), rather than feeling the need to explain your reasons in detail.
5. Start a reward piggy bank
If giving up alcohol is a bit like a punishment, make it a reward by saving the money you would have spent on alcohol for something you had wanted in a while. Be sure to buy it too!
6. Enter the kitchen
For some people, a glass of wine is in part a way to make a routine meal a little more fun. If you’re trying to quit drinking, it makes sense to try to vary your meals a little by buying a nice cookbook and experimenting in the kitchen.
7. Get a responsible partner
People are social creatures and are much more likely to reach their goals when they feel they are doing it with someone else. This does not mean that you have to tell everyone that you know you are quitting drinking; one close friend is enough. While locked, schedule regular video calls to discuss your progress.
8. Don’t feel bad if you don’t hit your targets
To reiterate: quitting drinking is not a form of punishment for the “bad” way you have been. If you have a setback (an anniversary or a wedding, for example), be kind to yourself and move on. it’s all the other days that you haven’t drunk this week / month that counts.
9. Join a recovery program
Talk to your GP to see what they recommend, but while you are waiting for an appointment, investigate Alcoholics Anonymous as your first stop.
*See this study which examines the ways in which alcohol has been shown to interfere with the immune system.
- Giving up alcohol is a step towards better health; the other learns to sleep well, with the help of our guide