The closest some people get to going alcohol-free (AF) is doing Dry January once a year. However, there is a growing trend of more people, mainly Millennials but increasingly Gen Zers, of legal drinking age living an alcohol-free lifestyle. It’s thought that around 30% of Americans do not drink alcohol at all for various reasons.
But how easy is it to go alcohol-free, and what can you do to support this life choice if you no longer see alcohol as a part of your future? Sadly it isn’t always as easy as deciding to start living alcohol-free. An estimated 15 million people have alcohol addiction problems or rely on alcohol to get through complex parts of their lives and navigate certain circumstances.
This post looks at how you can support your alcohol-free journey.
Assess Your Relationship With Alcohol
Do you know why you want to give up alcohol? Is it the way it makes you feel or behave? Do you worry you drink too much when you drink, or do you want to choose a healthier lifestyle? Knowing how and when you tend to drink can help you look at your lifestyle and the bigger picture.
This gives you a better insight into your relationship with alcohol and allows you to formulate the best strategy for living without alcohol. If it helps, write down your drinking patterns, your situations, and how you felt when you started drinking.
Don’t Keep Alcohol In The House
It sounds simple, but many people find themselves mindlessly buying alcohol out of habit. But making a conscious effort not to have alcohol in the house can remove temptation. If you enjoy having a social drink with a friend when you have company or like a relaxing drink after you at Quench list, we have compiled the best alcohol-free beers you can keep in the house. The best thing is they taste so much like the real deal that you won’t even realize you’re not drinking alcohol until you wake up without a hangover the next day.
Make A Plan For Challenging Times
If you aren’t too bothered about drinking, you won’t have an issue choosing non-alcoholic drinks over alcoholic ones. But if you are making an active effort to stay alcohol at events and social functions, then planning can be your best tool.
Try to find out if the bar has any good alcohol-free drinks if you visit a bar or restaurant. Maybe ask a friend to stick with you when ordering and confirm that all drinks are alcohol-free.
Or maybe you drink when you are home alone and bored? In this case, you should prepare some activities or tasks at home to keep your mind off wanting to drink alcohol. Most people fall into this trap when they are tired, bored, or had a hard day at work, so having plans or activities to replace the habit can go a long way toward helping you maintain an alcohol-free lifestyle.
Focus On The Benefits
There are a great many benefits of going alcohol-free. The AF lifestyle will impact your physical and mental health and if you find you are waning on your willpower, consider all the benefits you are getting from cutting alcohol from your life. These include;
- Better sleep
- Improved mental health
- Cleaner skin
- More energy
- Improved liver function
- Balanced moods
- Improved heart health
- Better relationships and connections with people
- Weight loss
- Mental clarity
It doesn’t matter how long you have been alcohol-free; you will start seeing some benefits immediately, depending on your consumption level. Make a point to remember how you feel when you haven’t drunk alcohol and commit this to memory.
Take Small Steps
In the beginning, you will need to make a more conscious effort to remain AF. You will notice how much of your life revolves around alcohol, and migrating to an alcohol-free lifestyle can be a massive change in your life.
So at first, it might help to avoid situations where you will be tempted to consume alcohol or where it isn’t possible to refuse alcoholic beverages.
Journalling can help you make sense of your feelings towards alcohol and notice how much you change as you go longer without drinking. Then the more confident you become not drinking, the more you can expose yourself to different scenarios knowing you have the skills to cope.
Surround Yourself With Sober Curious People
Not drinking alcohol shouldn’t be a big issue, but in today’s society, people can often and wrongly assume there is a problem if you don’t drink, and being sober is something to be frowned upon.
Surrounding yourself with others who are also living an alcohol-free lifestyle can help you support your choice and understand what you are going through.
Set Smaller Goals
Overhauling your life is sometimes overwhelming. Telling yourself that you are never drinking again can be a daunting experience.
However, breaking down the task at hand can significantly improve your chances of success. For example, start by cutting out alcohol for one day or one week, depending on your starting point. Take each day as it comes; the longer you remain alcohol-free, the more benefits you will see.
If you are struggling, why not add alcohol-free drinks by taking advantage of the fantastic range of deals we have found to substitute alcoholic versions for AF drinks to satisfy any cravings.
Changes in all areas of your life can improve your chances of remaining sober and continuing your alcohol-free journey.
Whether it is finding a support group, changing your social circle, habits at home, or more, implementing changes in your life alongside exploring a sober curious life.
When you decide to explore an alcohol-free lifestyle, it can come with many challenges. Still, the key to success is to start small to help you adjust your mindset and how you perceive the part alcohol plays in your life and implement small habits you can build on and support your new way of living.