One of the most familiar (and quickly abandoned) New Year’s resolutions is the decision to drink less or quit drinking altogether. Every year, thousands of people say to themselves, “This is it. I’m finally getting this under control! I’m going to stop drinking in the New Year!”
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, about 10% of men and 5% of women have an alcohol use disorder, such as alcoholism or heavy drinking.
If you are determined this year to take control and quit drinking, here are a few tips to make your effort successful:
Community support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are a great place to meet people who want to quit drinking and take control of their lives. This inexpensive option can help bring some accountability to your plans to quit drinking or drink less.
Counseling with a licensed psychologist can help you examine any emotional issues that may be making you drink more. Some psychologists have indicated that we never get over emotional problems from our childhood, which can cause us to drink or take drugs. By talking through those issues you can essentially retrain yourself to feel better, which will help you drink less.
Many of us have that friend who seems to make us drink more than we normally would. Maybe it’s not just one friend, maybe it’s your whole group of friends. What would happen if you spent less time with them and more quality time with your kids? What about spending some more time with your grandmother or a favorite uncle? Finding positive social circles that encourage good, clean fun is one very effective way to keep yourself from drinking.
Some people have stressful jobs or a marriage that may be going through a rough patch. Often, the only way they deal with the situation is to drink too much. That buzz may be relaxing… but it’s slowly poisoning your body! Instead, why not try something that’s actually good for you? Exercise helps to relieve tension and makes you sleep better. If you’re a creative person, you might try woodworking, painting, or baking. Anything you can occupy your mind with will replace the time you would normally spend drinking.