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If alcohol is starting to impact your life - and you have noticed that your relationships, work performance, finances and health are starting to suffer - it’s important for you to take steps to stop drinking and get your life back on track.

How to stop drinking

We have outlined practical steps that you can follow to help you stop drinking. We have also looked at the support that is available to you at Life Works. It is highly recommended that external professional treatment is sought as you look to stop drinking, so that you can do so in a manner that is safe, well-managed and effective for long-term recovery.

Recognise your triggers

Do you tend to drink when you feel difficult emotions such as stress, fear, frustration or anger? Or do you want to drink more when you are in certain places or with certain people? It’s really important to be aware of these triggers so that you can address them and curtail your drinking.

For example, if you find that you reach for a drink when your stress levels rise, make time to learn techniques to help you alleviate the pressure that you’re experiencing. These may include mindfulness or yoga. In turn, this can help you to reduce your drinking.

Plan alcohol-free activities

If you tend to spend a Saturday afternoon in the pub with friends or family, suggest swapping this for a walk in the countryside instead. This way, you still get to spend quality time with people at the same time as getting some exercise and fresh air.

Similarly, if you and your colleagues are in the habit of heading for after-work drinks, put forward the idea of all joining an exercise club instead, as an alternative way of ‘blowing off steam’.

Ask your family members to help you stop drinking

When trying to stop drinking, remember that your friends and family are on your side, so don’t be afraid to ask for support. If you need to attend events where alcohol is present, such as a wedding or birthday party, take a ‘sober buddy’ with you – someone who can help you to refrain from drinking alcohol and support you throughout.

Also keep a list of people that you can call if you’re ever struggling. By calling a loved one at crucial moments, they can offer words of comfort and advice, and remind you how far you’ve come.

Don’t be afraid to say “no”

Remember that you can say “no” to invitations and people. For example, if your colleagues keep inviting you for after-work drinks (even if you have tried suggesting alternative activities), you are perfectly within your rights to say “no” to them.

Also, if you have already agreed to attend certain social events, don’t be afraid to cancel closer to the time if you believe that it would be better for your sobriety if you didn’t go. When you’re trying to stop drinking, it’s so important that you go with your gut instinct and check in with your own feelings and emotions. 

Make the most of the benefits

When you stop drinking, this is a great opportunity for you to make the most of the benefits of a life without alcohol.

Having more energy and waking up without a hangover means that you can start doing the things that you enjoy again. Get yourself out of the house and take up old hobbies that you stopped because of your drinking, or start new hobbies and try things that you’ve always wanted to do.

You could even try volunteering – not only will it keep you busy, but helping others can boost your wellbeing and self-esteem. You can do good and feel good at the same time.

Look after yourself

When you’re trying to stop drinking, look after yourself properly. Make sure you eat healthily, exercise regularly and get at least eight hours of sleep every night. By looking after yourself physically, you’re more likely to have the strength and energy to remain sober.

Also, try to make sure that you schedule some time each day to relax, do something you enjoy and focus on yourself. This could be taking time out to read a book or magazine, go for a walk or have a hot bath. Even the smallest acts of self-care can go a long way.

Ensure your house is a ‘dry’ zone

It is crucial that your house is a ‘dry’ zone to remove temptations. Make sure that there are no alcoholic drinks and be mindful of products that may contain alcohol such as hand sanitisers and certain food/sauces. If you live with other people, ask them to support you by not bringing any alcohol into the house, at least during the early stages of your recovery.

Seek professional help to stop drinking

While the tips above can help you on your journey to becoming sober, stopping drinking on your own can be challenging. That’s why it’s important to seek professional help for your alcohol misuse problem.

At Life Works, our world class Addiction Treatment Programme, delivered by our expert team of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and other addiction specialists, has been specially designed to help you every step of the way towards overcoming your drinking and getting your life back on track.

Life Works’ Addiction Treatment Programme offers:

  • A free, no obligation addiction assessment
  • 10-day medically assisted withdrawal detoxification to remove all traces of alcohol from your system
  • Structured group therapy and individual 1:1 therapy programmes
  • A wide range of evidence-based therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) informed groups, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) informed groups and mindfulness
  • A high quality family programme
  • Access to 12-Step support groups
  • Access to 12 months of free aftercare following treatment

Ultimately, our aim at Life Works is to ensure that you receive a high quality, bespoke treatment experience, which equips you with the skills to remain sober for the rest of your life.

Find support in Woking

Here at Life Works, we help to support individuals and families dealing with addiction. If you are seeking support for yourself or a loved one, you are welcome to talk to one of our team on the phone or come in for a visit and a free assessment. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have and also to be able to take a look around the clinic for yourself.

If you would like information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 0808 159 5652 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT.

This blog was reviewed by Siobhan Ward (BA(Hons) Graphic Design, MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling, PgDip in Addiction Psychology and Counselling), Addiction Programme Lead at Life Works.

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