5 Alternatives to Drinking Alcohol
Are you trying to cut back on your drinking but not sure where to start? Everyone feels the need to unwind somehow and many people choose to unwind with a glass of wine, a beer, or some other form of alcoholic beverage.
For some people, alcohol is a way to temporarily relieve some anxieties. It also works well as a distraction and acts as something to do to fill the time. However, alcohol can quickly turn into a negative cycle that requires increased consumption and eventually turns into an addiction.
For some people that drink alcohol regularly, it’s done as a way of masking some much deeper mental and emotional life challenges. In this way, alcohol acts as a type of coping mechanism which can be dangerous and quickly turn into alcohol addiction.
Even if you just drink casually, alcohol can have terrible effects on your anxiety levels. Alcohol can affect your sleeping patterns which means that you’ll find it much more difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep can result in higher levels of anxiety, which means that reaching for alcohol to calm your anxiety can very quickly turn into a vicious cycle.
If you feel like you need to take a step back from alcohol, there are several alternatives that you can try to help you wind down and help you relieve your anxieties in a much healthier way. We have come up with a list below of five of the best alternatives to drinking alcohol. Take a look and see if you can incorporate any of these into your life.
Spend Some Time With a Friend
When you spend some time connecting with your friends, this can help to cheer you up. Being around friends helps to release the feel-good hormones in your body such as oxytocin and serotonin. Oxytocin can help to calm down your stress response.
There is evidence that supports the fact that oxytocin can curb your urge to drink when you’re under stress. Spending time with your friends can even help you live longer according to research. Invite your friend round for a catch-up, go for a long walk with your pal, or schedule a Zoom call with your long distances friends, these will be healthy steps to avoid you falling back into rehab and old habits.
Try Non-Alcoholic Drinks
There are many non-alcoholic versions of drinks available such as non-alcoholic wine, alcohol-free beers, and mocktails, amongst many more. These are often just as tasty and satisfying as alcoholic beverages but without the boozy consequences.
Instead of mixing up your favourite cocktail, consider creating a virgin version of the same drink. It doesn’t have to replicate an alcoholic drink either, consider buying some chamomile tea as this has its own proven calming properties. There are many alternative drinks you can try.
Make time to Meditate
Meditation for overcoming alcoholism is one of the very best ways to help you relax and can even be just as relaxing as sipping an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol helps to chill people out by drowning out noises and stresses. Meditation is similar but works a little differently.
Meditation helps people to quiet their brains and can actually relieve stress instead of just covering it up as alcohol does. Consider looking up some meditation apps on your phone to help you get started. Making a habit of meditating and doing it regularly is one of the best ways to ensure you remain stress-free and will reduce your temptation to reach for the bottle.
Just make sure you give yourself a bit of time away from the phone screen afterwards as flicking through the news and social media is a surefire way to get your stress levels to increase again.
Start a Workout Routine
If you are interested in swapping out alcohol for some much healthier habits, why not try exercising? Attending a fun workout class or going to the gym are two great ways in which you can beat some stress. Plus, you won’t be left with a stinging hangover at the end of it.
Even if you just go for a very quick 20 – 30 minute exercise session, this can make a huge difference to your stress levels. Exercise has calming effects according to research and the benefits from a workout can last for many hours after the workout is complete. It is thought that people who work out experience higher self-esteem, improved moods, and overall less stress.
Even just a brisk walk is enough to get your heart pumping and help to make you feel more relaxed.
Take Some Music Lessons
If you want to try something a little less physical, you may also want to consider taking up music lessons. Music lessons as a group can be a very exciting way for you to meet new people and make friends without having to rely on alcohol.
It has been proven that music also has many powerful health benefits. Music can lead to less stress and can even help improve your immune system. Music is also one of the best ways to help relieve anxiety. Research has shown that taking some kind of music lesson can help to promote cognitive function, improve your mental health, and improve your connections with other people.
So think about a type of instrument that you want to try and get looking into some local classes. Learning an instrument is also very rewarding and will give you a sense of pride as you master the art of the instrument.
Get In Touch If You Are Struggling With Alcohol
Are you struggling with how much you are drinking on a regular basis? Do you think your drinking habits may be turning into an addiction? If so, it’s important to reach out for help at alcohol rehab as soon as you can. The sooner you reach out for professional help, the sooner you can start battling and facing these problems, making it much easier for you to recover.