A University of Sussex survey found that 71% of people that took part in Dry January say they slept better, nearly the same amount said they had more energy. Participating may also be especially beneficial to women, who can suffer greater health and safety risks when they drink because their bodies take longer to break alcohol down, according to a UC Davis health report. However, when drinking becomes a nightly habit (that one glass of wine , or two, or three per night to “wind down,” anyone?), it can begin to take a toll on your health and sabotage health goals like weight loss. Drinking too much alcohol can negatively affect your sleep , your mood, your skin, your hormones, and your digestion.
- “Some conditions might improve right away after the drinking stops—if they’re triggered by alcohol,” Dr. Genebriera says.
- Alcohol can chill people out after a stressful day, but ultimately it can be quite depleting.
- Psychological symptoms can include irritability, anxiety and restlessness.
- The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator can help you recognize and find high quality treatment for alcohol use disorder.
- Recent evaluations of their Daybreak program – which includes one-on-one chats with health coaches – shows it leads to significant reductions in drinking, and improvements in physical and mental health.
By replacing alcohol consumption with something fun or exciting, you’ll be able to maintain this lifestyle change better. Alcohol in moderation can be fine, but if you feel that your drinking habit has gotten out of your control, then it may be time for you to take a break. If this sounds tough for you, don’t worry, there are ways to make it easier. If you regularly drink at work events it might be easier to stop drinking completely in those situations if there’s less social pressure. But it might be easier to slowly reduce your consumption first if your social life is heavily reliant on drinking. While a break from booze will look different for each one of us, there are certain strategies that can really help if you want to stop drinking (even if it’s just for a while).
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Some people might discover their alcohol use was irritating their stomach, disrupting their sleep, causing weight gain, contributing to conflicts, or that they relied more on alcohol for stress relief than they thought. Waking up without the fatigue, malaise and other common symptoms of hangovers could greatly improve one’s quality of life. In addition, potential improvements in health and wellbeing could have positive effects on relationships.
You could try a bit of mixology and create mocktails to drink at home so you still feel like you’re having something fancy, or you could find an alternative drink that satisfies you, whether it’s soda, iced tea or something similar. Be prepared to have these things on hand for when a craving strikes so you can nip it in the bud. Think about what’s motivating you to take a break from alcohol.
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Spending time with people who understand exactly what you’re going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober. Support can come from family how to take a break from drinking members, friends, counselors, other recovering alcoholics, your healthcare providers, and people from your faith community. The symptoms listed above may be a sign of a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens, or DTs.
Try to remain neutral and don’t argue, lecture, accuse, or threaten. Social media can also be a great place to start making sober friends by following hashtags such as #soberlife, #soberissexy, and #sobercurious. Mindfulness practice has also been shown to help drinkers to change their drinking. Understanding this can be a helpful motivator to make changes.