Guide to be Alcohol Free
Whether its Dry January or a total lifestyle change, everyone has the choice and ability to be alcohol free! If this is your path, here are some tips to keep in mind along the way:
1. No one cares that you aren’t drinking. Sure, they may ask and be curious because they see a change in your routine, but you not drinking has no bearing on them. And if it does, might be time to reconsider the time you invest in that relationship.
2. Mocktails are delicious! Thank God its 2023 and there are many delicious and not super sugary options in the world, along with some great local establishments that have booze free options. Check out Mingle Mocktails (https://www.minglemocktails.com) and Spiritless (https://spiritless.com) for drinks at home and The Volstead (https://volsteadzeroproof.com) is a great hang out in Philly
3. Create a menu of coping skills: Alcohol is the go-to stress reducer for many. It’s also a social lubricant. Being alcohol free means you have to change your automatic responses to certain stimuli. What’s going to be your new way to unwind after a hard day? How are you going to celebrate a siblings milestone birthday? Get out your menu:
1. Hot bath or shower
3. Guided Meditation
4. Get Outside/ Be active
5. Praying/ Spiritual connection
6. Get creative/ Find a hobby
4. Move your body! Moving your body is one of the best responses to stress and coping skill available to you at any time. I specifically use the phrase move your body as opposed to exercise because going to the gym feels like a chore. Moving your body can mean yoga in your living room, snow tubing with friends, dancing in your kitchen, or shooting hoops at the park. Moving your body releases endorphins, makes you feel good, and makes intoxicating drinks less attractive.
5. Remember your WHY: Slap a post it on the bathroom mirror or set reminders on your phone. Keep your eye on the prize… reasons might include:
1. Sleep better
2. Less anxiety
3. Support heart health
4. Increase focus
5. Clarity with decision making
6. Increase patience
7. Engage in mindfulness (see benefits here: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner)
8. Be a trailblazer among your peers
If your use of alcohol feels out of your control, these tips may not be effective for you. Be sure to consult with a therapist or physician.