Drinking is one of the habits that are difficult to control. But with discipline and determination, it is possible to control and curb the habit of drinking. Some people do well after cutting back while some do better after completely kicking the habit.
Let’s take a look at five ways to keep the habit under control.
Check with Your Doctor
Before you start with any sort of treatment, consult with your doctor and ask about ways you can slowly but surely keep drinking under control. You can ask about how to do an alcohol detox or rehab. This can be done in two settings: in-patient and out-patient.
Admittedly, an outpatient setting is more challenging as the patient continues to be exposed to the usual triggers and challenges. These include peer pressure, proximity to drinking places, as well as having alcohol at home. For an at-home detox to become effective, learning how to deny and avoid the triggers and challenges mentioned above is an extremely important part of the process.
Do not feel obliged to accept a drink when someone offers you one and politely decline any invitation to drink. It would also be wise to stay away from groups that encourage you to drink. If these are members of your family, explain to them that you are in the process of cutting down your alcohol intake and their understanding will be greatly appreciated at this time.
Put everything in writing and remind yourself every day, as if you are making a contract with yourself. This is important. When you write something down, it increases your commitment to yourself and what you intend to do; there is power in it. This step is necessary and will help you in more ways than you can imagine: write down your commitment to yourself, your goals, and your plans.
Keep things organized by using a diary. This will serve as a record and where you can write down why you’ve decided to go through the process, the drinking limit you set upon yourself, a record of your alcohol and non-alcohol consumption days, the steps you’re taking towards progress as well as your end goal.
It’s also wise to set a drinking limit but keep it realistic. Little by little you can peg your limits below the recommended guidelines until you can do without drinking. It would also help to mark your no-drinking days to help you ease out of the habit, slowly but surely. Likewise, writing down your overall health goals will help keep your eyes on the prize and keep you focused all throughout.
When writing your goals, keep the end in mind; imagine a future state and trace your steps back from the end state to the current state. Doing so puts things in perspective and allows you to identify the steps that you need to do in order to achieve your desired future state.
Remove and Avoid
One of the most effective, but admittedly most difficult steps in the process is removing any alcohol at home. When you have no access to alcohol at home, you can dramatically limit your drinking and become faster in achieving your goal.
If you live with others who keep their own alcoholic drinks and beverages at home, let them know that you are in the process of cutting back and avoid joining them should they drink at home.
Going through this process is never easy but letting your family members and your friends that you need their support will help get you the support and encouragement that you need as you work your way towards your goal.
There are a number of activities you can do to fill your time in a more productive way. For example: if you’ve always wanted to learn another language, take your time away from the usual and spend it learning something new.
Pick up a new sport, work out at home — find things you’re interested in, which you can do outdoors and at home. This will help you fill your time to keep you from veering away from your path.
Focus on Yourself
Whenever the feeling of wanting to drink strikes, back up a few steps and find out what triggered the feeling. Often, drinking is associated with events, emotions, or even people who trigger you emotionally or someone you’ve always had drinks with.
When you identify what triggers you to reach for a drink, you can successfully remove yourself from these situations, events, or relationships and help keep everything under control.
But also, be kind to yourself. There will probably be setbacks and bumps along the way, and when that happens don’t let it deter you from working towards your goal. It won’t always be an easy journey but by keeping your desired future state in mind and putting your health first, you can definitely achieve your short and long-term goals and succeed.