Many people are able to drink without serious consequences, but there is a significant part of the population that struggles with sobriety. Many people rely on alcohol as a coping strategy. Others develop an actual physical addiction to alcohol.
Common signs of alcoholism include:
- An inability to drink in moderation
- Overspending on alcohol
- Craving alcohol
- Neglecting personal and work responsibilities due to alcohol consumption
Work, personal relationships, physical health and psychological health can all be negatively affected by drinking alcohol in excess.
Increase the odds of staying sober with these useful tips:
1. Remove all alcohol from your home. Anyone that’s ever been on a diet knows that any food in the house that tastes good will eventually be eaten. The same goes for alcohol. If you enjoy drinking, you’ll eventually break down and drink it if it’s in the house.
2. Avoid situations that make it easy to drink. Opportunity can equal disaster. Be careful about meeting coworkers at a bar after work. Parties can be another danger zone. Consider taking a date to a location that doesn’t serve alcohol. Be wary of where you spend your time if you want to stay sober.
3. Re-evaluate your social circle. Spending time with your long-time drinking buddies can be a huge mistake. Do you have friends that always drink on the weekends? Does someone in your family drink frequently?
- While many people will be supportive of your decision not to drink, there may be some that won’t. You might have to shuffle the people in your life if staying sober is a priority.
4. Find a group of people that share your challenge. There are many groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, that provide support to those who have chosen to stay sober. These groups can be a great place to build friendships with those going through the same struggle.
5. Exercise. A good workout can clear your head, burn off stress, and reset your brain and your perspective. Exercise benefits you in many ways.
6. Get help with any mental health issues. Mental health issues can make sobriety much more challenging. Get the help you need to deal with any mental health issues you might be facing.
7. Find a hobby that you love and do it! Spend time on an enjoyable activity as often as possible. A positive mood makes it easier to avoid drinking. What do you like to do? What would you like to try?
8. Deal with urges effectively. It’s important to have a plan when the urge to drink arises. There’s no way to avoid the urge to drink completely. What are you going to do when it happens?
- Call a friend?
- Call a sponsor?
- Go for a run?
9. Reduce the stress in your life. Stress is uncomfortable. When we’re uncomfortable, we tend to do whatever needs to be done to make ourselves comfortable again. Stress can’t be avoided completely but reducing the amount of stress you experience can help reduce the urge to drink.
10. Address any physical pain. Pain, like stress, is another form of discomfort. And let’s face it, alcohol is pretty effective at reducing pain. See your doctor and deal with any injuries or long-term pain your body might be suffering.
These tips can help with maintaining sobriety, but the initial steps of becoming sober might require the assistance of health professionals.
If alcohol is a serious issue for you, it is likely to be an ongoing struggle for the rest of your life. It’s a battle best fought one day at a time.
Alcoholism is a serious disease that requires immediate attention. Get the necessary help you require. You’ll be glad you did.