You feel rough. You’ve lost your sparkle. Put on some extra weight. You feel a bit low. Life is a struggle.
Are you fed up with the hangovers? Those embarrassing days after when you try and figure out what you said or did?
It’s become a habit, a bad habit.
There could be many reasons why you are ready to just take a break.
You don’t need to have thought any further than that.
Here’s the good news, it’s good to take a break, not in a Rachel and Ross kind of way. But in an I care about myself and my health kind of way.
Alcohol is a toxin a poison, same as if you were eating McDonald’s everyday or a big bag of sweets. At some point, there is going to be some sort of effect on your health.
Or it may be as simple as that you have lost your bounce.
One of the biggest things I hear when I work with people when they first stop drinking is how good they feel. They have more energy, clarity, are sleeping better and life is just easier.
Just think of it as taking some time to look after yourself. We should be doing this from time to time anyway. It’s a good thing to do, honest!
IMPORTANT: If you are drinking a significant amount daily please see your doctor before embarking on any reduction programme. This is very important; Alcohol is physically and psychologically addictive. If you build up a physical addiction by drinking large amounts daily or at the weekends then you could experience physical withdrawal symptoms. These include sweating, shaking, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and fits etc. And it can also be fatal.
I know I haven’t been specific about amounts and that’s because it’s not an exact science, we are all different. Women are more effected than men, but as a very loose guide, women drinking 14 units or more a day, or men drinking 18 units or more a day, should speak to their doctor. However, it could be less or more for you.
How to get started.
· Pick a day, not too far in advance, not everyone needs to do this, some people just start, but this can help to plan for it.
· Once you have picked your start date, make sure you have a good clear run for the next month of not too many difficult scenarios. You know what I mean, there is a good time and a bad time. But I am going to contradict myself here. If you need to take a break sometimes there isn’t ever a good time, in fact the good time is NOW. Go with what feels right for you.
· Tell your nearest and dearest so they can help and be supportive.
· Remove alcohol from the house, this can help.
· If you want to reduce, start by counting your units. Make sure you know how much you are drinking then make a reduction plan. Make sure you put some alcohol-free days in there.
· If you are not drinking a huge amount and it’s safe to do so – see my important note above. Then you can just stop.
· Once you have stopped and you have committed yourself to taking a break look after yourself. Relax, sleep, eat healthy food, do something with your time etc.
· Find something to do, you are going to have more time or energy or both. Even if you don’t get either you still need replace your bad habit with good ones. Make a list of all the things you want to do. Look at the list and pick out 5 realistic ones, the ones that aren’t too expensive that you can do now this week. So, the trip to Vegas might have to come off! Next; pick an item and do it. If you survive, then keep doing it.
· Learn as much as you can about alcohol so you are making an informed choice.
· Save the money you would normally spend on alcohol. Keep it somewhere you can see it so it serves as a visual reminder. Then treat yourself with something healthy and nice.
Anyway, the list goes on and on. There is enough to get you started there.
I am passionate about making sure you have access to good information so you can make better choices with your life and health. Just imagine what you could do? If you weren’t hungover? Had more energy? Had more spare cash?
As I said one of the best things you can do is learn about alcohol.
If you want to know more check out my book There is No Magic Button
Let me know how you get on, I love hearing what people do when they take a break.