Stoptober is upon us and for many people around the world they will be attempting to give up alcohol. For some people, it may prove an easy task. For others it could well be the longest month of their lives!
And while we joke about that, there is a serious point to it. Millions of people suffer from alcohol abuse globally, and do find it difficult to give up drinking for a week, let alone an entire month.
It’s a good test to see whether you can, or perhaps you may well have a problem. And it’s a problem that really does require action, whether that be through private alcohol and drug rehabiltation centres or trying to navigate sobriety yourself.
However, if Stoptober is something you are considering, here are three top tips to help you get to Halloween without touching a drop of what you may wish to call devil juice for a month…
Avoid social situations involving alcohol
First and foremost, an easy way to increase your chances is by avoiding situations that involve alcohol. That doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing your friends, but perhaps consider alternatives. Swap the pub for the cinema, or enjoy a Saturday afternoon on a cycle ride.
It’s an opportunity to do something a little bit different to what you’d usually, and you never know, it could well be a hobby you all take up for good.
Do it as a team
Going it alone can be different and you know what they say, there’s always strength in numbers. By forming a team of people, perhaps friends, family or colleagues to stop drinking alcohol for the month, you’ll have a mini support group that can provide encouragement, help and advice over the period.
If you do decide to go beyond the month too, then you can continue to utilise such a support network.
Identify triggers and have plans in place
Before you even take on the challenge, a good idea is to identify trigger points that turn you to drinking. Perhaps you struggle after stressful days at work, or even on a particular day of the week.
Identifying this will help you battle the temptation when it does arrive, particularly if you have alternate plans in place or a support group you can rely on. You can predict when you’ll most likely feel like drinking and ensure you occupy your mind some other way. For example, going out for a run or to the gym.
Planning is ultimately key to getting through Stoptober successfully, whether it be having coping mechanisms already in place, planning alternatives in instances or having people there for you when you need them.
It isn’t easy, but come through it and you’ll be feeling stronger, healthier and happier. It may even encourage you to give up the bottle for good…