The purpose of this collection of tips to stop drinking alcohol is to give you a quick list that you can reference if you’re just starting your journey to sobriety, or if you’ve hit a rocky road, or if you’re looking for help for someone you care about, or whatever your circumstance might be.
An article from Harvard Health Publishing gave 11 tips to stop drinking alcohol, and we’ve included some of those tips below, mixed in with other advice, with our own explanations and interpretations of the advice. You can find the article by Harvard here.
Tips To Stop Drinking
Having tips and advice from researchers is helpful, but it’s also good to get advice from people who they, themselves, have quit drinking so many of these tips are actually from folks who have done this themselves. Here’s some stop drinking books that are worth reading, too.
- Write down your goal: Write down your goal to stop drinking, including why you’re doing it. These are your motivations, and they can be the lighthouses that help guide you forward when the weather gets stormy.
- Limit yourself: If you’re someone who wants to keep drinking, but just wants to do it with more moderation, then you need to set firm limits and stick to them. If you aren’t able to stick to these limits, that’s a strong signal that things are getting out of your control, and it’s time to get more serious.
- Keep track of your drinking habits: Write down every time you have a drink, and then after a week or a month, look back at it and see how that makes you feel. Was it worth it? How expensive was it? Did it cause you to miss out on more important things? You can make a more in-depth journal, too, where you write about how you’re feeling before you have a drink, or how you feel afterwards, or the circumstances that trigger you to drink when you’ve been trying not to.
- Don’t keep alcohol at home: Having alcohol in your home is a guarantee that you’ll drink it, even if you can make to resist the temptation for a while. There’s only one inevitable outcome when you’re buying and keeping alcohol, and that is that you will drink it. If you don’t want to drink the alcohol, don’t buy it and don’t bring it into your home.
- Find other things to do: If you spend a decent amount of your time drinking, then when you decide to quit, you’ll feel a bit of a void. Make the most of this, you can learn new skills and hobbies during this free time.
- Build a support system: You will need to build your own support system, which could include talking to your friends and family, or finding some meetings to attend locally, or finding a buddy online to help with accountability, or whatever you’re able to access. Not everyone has access to the same support, but finding some form of support or safety net can make a big difference.
- Cut out toxic people: If there are people in your life who treat you poorly and make you feel like you need to drink whenever you interact with them, it’s a good idea to create some space from these people, in many cases. If their influence or presence is making you drink, and you’re having a problem with drinking, then you’ll have a much easier time stopping if you don’t have them around.
- Change of scenery: Sometimes, a change of scenery can be what it takes to help break a habit. If you’re living the same day over and over, and drinking is part of that day, it can be a lot harder to make a change. But if you’re somewhere new, with new things to see and do, that can help. In some cases, this new place is a rehab facility.
- Stick with it: You might drink again. It’s possible. It’s even more possible if you pretend that it’s not possible. Acknowledge there could be setbacks, and plan for them, and make them a part of the process, and don’t let them completely derail you. It’s heartbreaking to see somebody go months or years without drinking, then to slip and have a drink or a binge, and then to just give up on quitting. If setbacks are a part of the process, you still want to avoid them obviously, but you don’t let them end your journey.
- Find a new drink: Having something else to drink around the house, that doesn’t contain alcohol, can be a new habit that you replace drinking alcohol with. A lot of alcoholics enjoy club soda or other carbonated drinks as a replacement to alcohol, but there are tons of things to choose from. Some people go with tea, some start drinking more coffee, some choose various soft drinks or flavored water… some people just start drinking a lot more regular water, too. There’s no right or wrong choice here, but having a non-alcohol drink to recreate some form of ritual can be helpful.
Looking For More Tips to Stop Drinking?
There are many more tips out there, and we’ll continue to update this list with more helpful advice. If tips to stop drinking aren’t enough, and you know that you need help, or you’re curious to learn more about getting help to stop drinking, simply call the number below or at the top of this page to speak to an advisor who can help you.