Giving up alcohol can be one of the biggest challenges in life for some. For millions of people worldwide it has a grip on people, whether that’s a once a week binge or a small glass of wine each day.
Addiction takes many forms and it can take a lot of effort to not just give it up, but recognise that a person’s alcohol consumption is unhealthy and problematic in the first place. That is the first step, and often the hardest.
However, do it and there’s plenty of help out there to make a success of giving up alcohol, entering recovery and a life of sobriety for the rest of your life. At Sanctuary Lodge, which is one of the best alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres in Essex, many people are going through treatment and coming out the other side, picking up tips and tricks from people who have already been through it, as well as professional advice along the way.
So, if you’re looking to give up alcohol, here are three important tips to ensure you make a success of it…
Take one day at a time
It’s the simplest, but most important piece of advice you’ll get. Take one day at a time. Don’t think about tomorrow when you’ve yet to get through today. Giving up alcohol is a day by day thing. You only have to see how it’s represented on television and in the media to see that.
People in recovery will often discuss how many days sober they are, and know to the day, in some cases to the hour, how long that has been. That’s because by breaking it down day by day it becomes more manageable. You’ll quickly find that one day turns into two, three and then weeks and months have flown by, but it’s all done by concentrating on the now.
Find some new hobbies
Occupying the mind is always a useful mechanism. What you’ll find when you give up alcohol is that you start to have a lot more free time. Firstly, there are no trips down to the pub. Secondly, you’ll be fresher in the mornings, giving you that extra few hours.
If you’re not careful, that can become boring and often many people fall down here, reaching for the bottle again. You should fill that additional time productively. Find new, alcohol-free hobbies and throw yourself into them.
Perhaps there’s been something you’ve always wanted to do but never got round to it, like pottery or learning a language. Go for it, you’ll never look back.
Don’t do it alone
Finally, and just as important as taking it one day at a time, is to not do it alone. Now, that’s not saying someone else should give up with you, but you should have people who can support you and you can lean on.
That may be family members or friends, or you may wish to join a support group. Many who have been through the process recommend this as you’ll find people who understand, empathise and will have plenty of tips to get you through the difficult times.
Support networks are so hugely important, not just for detoxing or shortly after giving up, but for the rest of your life, and real friendships can be born out of it.
Giving up alcohol is one of the toughest things anyone can go through, but it can also be one of the most rewarding too, setting you up for a happier and healthier rest of your life.