Alcohol is the widest substance of abuse nation-wide and millions of individuals across the country suffer from alcohol dependency or alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a legal substance and is a common factor in many social settings and gatherings making it appear ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’. Although many individuals can consume alcohol in moderation, others simply cannot.
Too often, people utilize alcohol as a means to relax or alleviate stress after a hard day of work. This pattern of alcohol can quickly turn to abuse for those who cannot drink in moderation. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to drinking alcohol so that you can still have fun without the dangerous side effects of alcohol consumption.
There are a number of healthy alternatives to drinking alcohol. Some non-alcoholic beverages that you can consume during a social setting are:
- Sparkling water
- Soda pop
You can feel free to dress these drinks up with various berries and citrus fruits for extra flavor. If you are a beer drinker but do not want an alcoholic beer, there are several non-alcoholic beer brands that contain only a trace percentage of alcohol.
Taking up an exercise routine in the replacement of drinking is a great way to get healthier while also kicking the habit of cracking a beer right after work. Joining a local recreational team such as basketball or volleyball is a great way to keep busy while enjoying something that you like.
Some other alternatives that can relapse alcohol consumption are:
- Working in the garden
- Riding a bike
- Dance lessons
Not only do these activities promote wellness and an active lifestyle, but they are also promoting heart health. Even just 30 minutes per day can have a huge impact on your heart and your health, especially when you cut out drinking alcohol. Exercise has proven to increase endurance, decrease stress, and reduce the production of cortisol; a stress hormone.
Taking part in activities that promote mindfulness and relaxation can have tremendous benefits for your health and can keep you busy so that you don’t get bored and begin to drink. Some activities are:
- Tai chi
- Breathing exercises
- Body scanning
Simple changes in your lifestyle can help you in your journey toward eliminating drinking from your daily routine. Every time that you feel the need to have a drink, remember these various techniques and alternatives so that you do not begin to make drinking a hobby. It is far too easy to start drinking after a long day of work but this routine will only make you feel less motivated the next day. Replacing drinking with daily exercise and then rewarding yourself with a mocktail is a great way to break the habit of drinking.
Caring About Change
You must genuinely want to reduce the amount of alcohol that you consume if you plan on taking your new routine seriously. Some tips in maintaining your desire to be alcohol-free are:
- Having no alcoholic beverages in your home
- Avoiding situations where you may be pressured to drink
- Learning how to say ‘no’ when offered a drink
If alcohol is taking control of your life slightly more than you would like, you must take the proper steps now in order to lessen your chances of alcohol-related complications in the future. Sometimes, the effects of alcohol consumption do not make their appearance until it is too late. This is a chance that is not worth the risk. There are many alternatives to drinking alcohol and you must engage in them continuously in order to moderate your drinking and in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.