If you are attempting Dry January, good for you! If you overindulge in alcohol, taking a break is the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health.
The benefits of just 30 days alcohol-free are impressive. The benefits continue the further you go. At 4 year sober, I am the healthiest, happiest version of myself that I have ever been.
I am also almost literally aging backwards from my physical appearance to my lab reports.
The magic potion has everything to do with ditching the drink.
As a drinker, it might also comfort you to know that I rarely think about alcohol anymore.
It’s amazing to me that a substance that previously onsumed my every thought is now in the rear view mirror.
It’s living proof that we CAN change, our brains rewire, and new habits are formed.
I was a daily drinker and if I can do it, so can you.
You likely won’t be able to do it alone. Maybe you’ve already tried.
Adding in support will always be the answer to anyone struggling with ditching the drink.
Just because you haven’t done it yet, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it.
Most of my clients have a few attempts under their belt before they let it go for good.
This is not a failure.
This is proof you are on the path to success.
Keep going, keep trying, keep adding in more support.
You WILL find the right combination of tools that work for you. As a Certified Professional Recovery and Life Coach I have helped hundreds and inspired thousands to get alcohol free.
These are my top tips for people new to ditching the drink.
1 — Commit
This sounds terrifying, I know. I am not suggesting committing to forever if that sounds impossible. I do want you to be set up for success, not overwhelm. It is certainly not a perfect path.
But…the truth is…the only way to evaluate your relationship with alcohol, is to remove alcohol and gain clarity. You can’t do this while you are still drinking. Alcohol affects the brain, judgment, decision making, inhibition, and overall mental health. You will not be able to clearly think about your drinking, while drinking. When you are drinking, alcohol is doing the talking.
Therefore, start by committing to a period of abstinence. The longer you commit, the more benefits you’ll see. I know this can sound daunting. If you can, commit to a year, if not 6 months, if not 90 days, if not 30 days, if not 14 days, if not 7 days, if not 4 days, if not 4 hours. You get the idea. Build on alcohol free momentum and commit to let’s say 30 days and then when you get closer to 30 decide what you want to do next, perhaps another 30? Commit to some alcohol free time.
You have to measure and document your success. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. We use our phones for everything these days, so why not do a daily check in, find community, educate yourself, and log your alcohol free days and money saved. Gold stars and rewards help to rewire the brain and these apps are incredibly effective at helping people ditch the drink. There are many options out there, but here are 3 that I recommend.
1- Reframe — this app is currently for Apple users only. It’s a neuroscience based approach to building healthier drinking habits. With Reframe you can track your progress, use the science backed tools, and find community.
Ready to give it a try? https://www.reframeapp.com/ Use code: ditchedthedrink for 15% off or 14 days free.
2- Oberit — Oberit is a wellness app that helps you become the best version of yourself. By using neuroscience, Oberit rewards healthy habits. Oberit helps overcome unhealthy drinking habits in a positive and pleasurable way by earning rewards to spend in their wellness marketplace
. Here’s the link to check it out: https://gr3f.co/c/50833/0cPQl
3- Loosid — Loosid is a popular and fast growing app that helps you find community and treatment options. In addition, it has sober dating connections and boozeless guides for sober friendly places, restaurants, and more.
Check out their Recovery Voices podcast, and my episode Suburban Wine Mom Ditches the Drink
3- Remove Temptation
The best way to succeed at ditching the drink is to set yourself up for success. If you have your old friend, alcohol, sitting around, it might be easy to reach for it in times of stress. I recommend removing the alcohol from your house. If that’s not possible, move it to an inconvenient location so it creates a pause before you automatically reach for it. I have clients who have put it in the garage or a high cabinet if they couldn’t completely get rid of it.
Take a look at your social calendar and decide which outings feel too stressful for early sobriety. Cross them off. You don’t have to go, you can change your mind. You might not tuck in forever but in early sobriety it’s ok to get some alcohol free days under your belt before putting yourself in a challenging situation.
Each day you stay away from alcohol your sober muscle grows. It’s a practice. If removing the pressure of social obligations feels like a relief to you, then you know it’s right to cancel for now.
These top 3 tips will get you started on your path to ditching the drink for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
If you are struggling, adding in more support is always the answer.
My clients use a variety of tools and support to find success.
There are so many resources these days from books and podcasts to community and coaches. Social media is full of alcohol free inspo, look for #alcoholfree and #sobercurious hashtags to follow and start to engage.
You can do it!
You reading this article tells me you have the desire and everything it takes to ditch the drink!Reach out if I can help.