One of the things when I got sober & quit smoking was I had a lot of free time on my hands and boredom is a huge trigger. I would wonder what to do instead of drinking tonight.
I would Google What to Do Instead of Drinking and I found a lot of suggestions. Many of the suggestions are have a bubble bath, write in your journal, which is great and by all means go ahead and do that. I needed more than that.
The other suggestions I found, didn’t have specific recommendations, which I have included. The other issue it wasn’t things I could do right now, it wasn’t practical! Go bungee jumping, or go bowling, great ideas. I did not have a desire to jump off a bridge (I had already been in that state hungover and was trying to crawl out from that level of depression) or didn’t have friends you could go bowing with it was hard.
I have put together The Ultimate FREE Guide, What to Do Instead of Drinking Tonight. These are practical Suggestions. With recommendations, you can add refer back to it or use it as inspiration and add on to it.
How to quit drinking forever, it’s a bold statement, and really can’t be promised, but I do know that making better choices one moment at a time, is the key to sobriety.
If you are looking at quitting drinking, sobriety at first can seem so overwhelming and panicky to think I’m never going to have a drink again (no matter how bad you feel, while you have your head in your hands and are saying that out loud and making that decision). Gah the thought of never drinking again actually still panics me. That’s why I don’t think about it. I think about the here and now. In fact in both my recovery and health coaching it’s all about one moment at a time and making better choices. In fact I had a client that was in her late 50’s never married, and isn’t even open to dating but was worried about not drinking on her wedding day.
So let’s look at making better choices today, because today right now is what counts.
Opting for the better choice, example heading out with a friend for a walk with a friend and it could lead to a boozy lunch. Suggest grabbing a coffee first (even if it’s your 3rd cup of the day) and going for a walk.
At the grocery store, avoid the booze aisle and hit the Flower aisle (yes even if you are a guy) flowers will brighten up any space way better than tequila.
Being so worried about the 6 month- 20 year distant future. Use the STOP method, literally tell yourself to stop, outloud or in your head 5 times, very slowly.
Situations that may arise today or on the upcoming weekend it’s time to plan ahead for that: 1) your best friends birthday – go early, bail early you made an appearance 2) You are going on a trip with friends and staying in one room – do you bail or can you get your own room 3) boozy brunch time to flex the sobriety muscle and drive there (best excuse ever is I’m driving) 4) obligatory work dinner time peruse the menu or call ahead to see if they have any mocktails ( zero proof drinks) if not time to know what you are exactly ordering for a drink and practise ordering that before you go. 5) Situational: Out of town for work and the mini bar has been a problem in the past call ahead and ask for it to be alcohol free 6) Grocery stores are your downfall, have your groceries delivered (the cost of delivery will offset the booze)
Putting in boundaries around out of town family or friends, yes it’s hard, but I know to keep my family visits and visitors to a maximum of 2-3 days max (that includes Christmas). It’s a better choice for us all.
Going into the deep stuff, at some point you will need to look at the WHY you have been drinking. Did it go from drinking in your 20’s partying to coping? Is it a habit to relieve stress? To Escape an unhappy marriage? Is it anxiety? Are you bored? Is it Trauma? Is it Perimenopause/Menopause? Do you feel like you don’t fit in? A better choice than to drink is to look at the actual underlying reasons.
I hope the tips help on keeping sober, this minute, this hour, today and making better choices is key and imperative on How to Quit Drinking Forever.