How to stop drinking alcohol in 8 steps: Practical how to guide to giving up alcohol completely

Updated

How to stop drinking alcohol on your own, at home, every night

In this post we are going to share with you the 8 actionable and practical steps you can start implementing today to help you to stop drinking alcohol:

  • Write it down & Visualise
  • Set your stop drinking goals
  • Start a journal
  • Clear your home of alcohol
  • Plan alcohol free days
  • Keep Busy
  • Tell your friends & family
  • Be consistent

What is the best way to stop drinking alcohol?

 

We find one of the best ways to stop drinking is to find an accountability buddy this could be a friend or loved one, someone you trust to help keep you on track and provide you with the support you need during these first few days and weeks.

This can act as a really personal and closed support group for quitting alcohol.

Do you find yourself drinking wine every night at home? Does stress from work or your relationships have an effect on how much alcohol you drink? Even a simple change to stop drinking alcohol during the week on your own can make a huge difference to your health and mindset.

There are so many benefits when you give up alcohol for as little as one week. If you are looking to stop drinking for good or even for a month, it is a good idea to have a plan in place.

This is one of the most important factors when it comes to “quitting alcohol”. So let’s look at the 8 steps you can start taking today to help you start changing your relationship with alcohol, drink less and improve your health.

Figure out your triggers

Reflect on what your drinking habits were like before: were you out with friends or work mates? After you put the kids to bed? When you are home alone? Consider what would trigger you to drink in these situations and how you could respond to these differently.

Preparation is key, don't be afraid to use alcohol free alternatives, organise new activities to keep yourself busy or try practising meditation to take control of your triggers.

Write it down & visualise 

Everything starts with you. Write down the reasons why you are looking to stop drinking. These reasons can be related to your health, relationships, career, children and sleep. 

To ensure you see your goals every day by writing them down on a piece of paper and placing them front and centre somewhere like your fridge, mirror or work locker well serve as a reminder that you want to stop drinking and make sure you actually cut back on your alcohol consumption.

Here are some examples:

 

  • I’d like to lose some weight in order to complete a 5k. 
  • I need more energy so I can play football with my kids. 
  • I’d like to spend more quality time with my other half. 
  • There is a promotion at work I’d like to apply for. 
  • I’ve not had a good night's sleep in months, I want to get 6-8 hours worth. 

Once you have these goals written down. Take 10 minutes each day in a quiet space, this can be done any time of the day but we recommend in the morning. 

Now visualise yourself in each of the scenarios that matter most to you. 

This could be you at your local park kicking the ball around with your son, or playing in the park with your daughter. It could even be taking a long Sunday stroll with your dogs surrounded by fresh air and the crisp feeling of the British winters. 

Set your drinking goals

Remember this is a process to changing your relationship with alcohol. Even the fact that you are reading this guide after looking up “how to quit alcohol” is a huge step in the right direction. 

Rather than going cold turkey straight away set a drinking goal. A good place to start is within the recently updated alcohol drinking guidelines. 

The new advice says men and women who drink regularly should consume no more than 14 units a week – equivalent to six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine. 

So if you are looking at how to quit alcohol every night then start by cutting the amount of wine, beer or spirits you consume during the week. 

Small goals big impact 

Reward your progress. Set small goals and reward yourself for achieving these.

Start a journal 

During the first month keep a daily journal of your drinking habits. This could be the very start of a life changing process for you, with this in mind it is important to document each stage. 

In your journal or diary keep track of the following each day:

  • How much alcohol you consumed
  • Where you consumed it
  • Who you were with 
  • How you felt 
  • How well you slept 
  • What you ate that day
  • How productive your day was
  • Track your drinking goals 
  • Write down accomplishments 

Example of a journal entry:

My AF journal

Day 17 – Tuesday 5th December

Today I consumed 2 pints of beer while out with my team for a Christmas meal. I am very proud of myself as last year I can’t remember how much alcohol I had and ended up having to waste a holiday. During the day I ate a late breakfast and a sandwich for lunch before our 3 course Christmas meal. I went to bed feeling great and even got a good night's sleep, waking up before my alarm and had some extra time to spend with the kids before heading to work. 

Writing a journal can be extra beneficial for those of you that looked up how to stop drinking alcohol on your own, your alcohol diary can be a rather useful tool in your arsenal. 

Clear your home of alcohol 

Over the years you may have collected an array of spirits, wines or beers that have created your own personal mini bar.

You could look to replace these with a selection of non alcoholic wines or even some alcohol free beers

Think about it if you were about to start a new weight loss diet, you wouldn’t stock your fridge full of cakes, cheese and chocolate. When answering how to quit drinking alcohol everyday one of the easiest things you can do is remove the temptation. 

If there are members of your household that are not looking to take charge of their life like you are, it is perfectly reasonable to ask them if you can throw out any beer or wine you have lying around. 

It’s not like you are trying to make them stop drinking forever. 

Try to agree on a specific time frame at first and who knows with no alcohol around they too may adopt your new attitude and embark on giving up alcohol with you

Plan alcohol free days

The first few weeks on your campaign to stop drinking alcohol will fly past. Once you feel ready to start planning alcohol free days. 

Break yourself in gently and start by planning a couple of days during the week. Once you have managed this plan a non alcohol day over the weekend. 

This can give you the opportunity to try something new with your other half or spend extra time with your kids. 

The next step would be to plan an alcohol free week then a month. Before you know it you will be challenging yourself to give up alcohol for a whole year

If you do fancy having a “drink” at the weekend there are plenty of alcohol free wines to be had. 

Keep busy

With all of your new found energy it is time to look at finding a new hobby or perhaps something creative to work on. 

Drinking alcohol takes up a lot of your time, now that you are well on your way to stop drinking alcohol start planning ways to keep yourself busy.

There are so many things that you can do with your new found free time and really begin to take back control of your life:

There are endless ways to really take advantage of your time with family, friends or own your own. 

Tell your friends and family 

No one ever achieved greatness on their own. Share your goals with those closest to you. When you do this you can ask friends to hold you accountable. 

Share your successes and your failures when it comes to you taking the decision to stop drinking. Those closest to you may not even know that you have a drinking habit and have been drinking alone at home each night for the last 7 months. 

You could even share this how to quit drinking guide with them so they fully understand the changes you are looking to make in your life. Even challenge them to go alcohol-free too. 

Be consistent 

At the end of the day we are all human. If you find yourself having a bad day revert back to your list of reasons why you want to stop drinking alcohol. If you are making a conscious effort to cut back how much you drink then you are well on your way to . improving your mental health as well as how you feel physically.

If you do find yourself having one too many beers one night, don’t beat yourself up. 

If you are consistently making small positive changes to your lifestyle and your relationship with alcohol that’s what matters most. Going from drinking alcohol on your own every night to giving up for even a month is not easy. 

Consistency is key to when it comes how to quitting alcohol. 

Don’t be afraid of change 

Take the first step today and change your relationship with alcohol and watch the whole world change around you. 

Discover why One Year No Beer is the leading habit changing programme with a 96% success rate helping people answer “how to stop drinking alcohol” 

Become the most productive, present and healthiest version of yourself just by making one change today. 

What happens to your body when you stop drinking?

When you stop drinking alcohol for a week or a month you can expect the following benefits:

One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘what happens when you stop drinking?” There are so many benefits of not drinking alcohol, some of those benefits are;

  • You start sleeping more deeply and your physical and mental energy to increase as a result.
  • Your skin begins to look dewier and more youthful as hydration restores
  • Weight loss and improved fitness
  • Improved moods and a feeling of contentedness

What happens when you stop drinking alcohol for a week?

When you stop drinking alcohol for a week:

  • You start sleeping more deeply and your physical and mental energy to increase as a result.
  • Your skin begins to look dewier and more youthful as hydration restores.
  • Skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, and rosacea may also improve.

What to look out for when you quit drinking

Potential symptoms of alcohol withdrawal

Around half of alcohol dependant people experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild too serious. Alcohol withdrawal produces a general timeline with a wide range of symptoms.

Commonly an alcohol withdrawal symptoms timeline consists of 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 – Mild symptoms (6-12 hours)
  • Stage 2 – Moderate symptoms (12-48 hours)
  • Stage 3 – Severe symptoms (48-72 hours)

The first stage

  • Headaches
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unclear thinking
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Hand tremors

The second stage

  • Irregular blood pressure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Fever
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures

The third stage

  • Delirium tremens
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating

One Year No Beer

One Year No Beer is a community of like minded people looking to change their relationship with alcohol.

If you are about to embark on a journey to try and stop drinking alcohol then why not surround yourself with an online support group. 

If you or a loved one you know are experiencing any of the symptoms listed from the third stage you or they should seek professional help from a medical standpoint. Or consider a support group designed for those who suffer from addiction that can be provide professional treatment.

Quitting alcohol is not easy and often the road can be a long and bumpy one. This is why it is important so seek the best support to help you take that first step to improve your mental health. If you can stop drinking alcohol from becoming a problem in the first place then even better.

If you would like to have the support of like minded people and be part of the the best online community that help people change their relationship with drinking alcohol then you can go some way to improving your health today by taking part in OYNB's free 5 day challenge.

iIf you know a loved one that could benefit please share this post that covers how to give up drinking alcohol.

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