The pandemic has no doubt impacted many aspects of our lives and consumption of alcohol is no exception. Studies have shown that binge drinking and drinking to excess have increased by 21% since the pandemic began. This statistic is alarming as alcohol can have serious negative effects on overall health. You can learn more about the effects alcohol has on the body by reading, “How Alcohol Affects Overall Health”.
After understanding how alcohol can impact the body and brain, it’s now time to start thinking about quitting.
How to Quit Drinking
The tips you will read below are not comprehensive and those experiencing extreme alcoholism should consult a doctor to learn how to safely quit drinking.
Simply stop drinking alcohol. This is the most straightforward, basic approach. This can be tough for those who have an alcohol addiction and may not be appropriate for everyone. This approach has the potential to be dangerous for heavy drinkers. If experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as fast heart rate, sweating, anxiousness, you should seek medical advice.
Start slowly by limiting alcohol consumption. The amount will vary for every individual and how much you currently drink. Cut back slowly by first tracking how much alcohol you are consuming in a week. Then aim to drink one less drink per week/day depending on your current consumption.
A large part of alcohol consumption is a habit. We go for that glass of wine because it’s part of our routine. Change that habit by switching to a mocktail or a relaxing cup of hot tea. Or, do something else entirely. Going for a walk or run is a very healthy substitute that also relieves stress at the end of the day. Or perhaps take a warm bath and relax.
Avoid Drinking Situations
Avoid situations that make you tempted to drink like bars. This may be part of developing new habits as well. Instead of going to the bar for a happy hour take a yoga class instead.
Seeking Help to Quit Drinking
If you are struggling to quit on your own, help is out there. Your primary care physician is a great resource. They can help you determine what kind of help is needed and can provide a referral if needed for in or outpatient treatment.