In the US alone, just shy of 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder. It’s also a very difficult problem to resolve on your own.
Alcohol is something that you can readily find in grocery stores, convenience stores, and dedicated liquor stores. On top of that, it’s common at social gatherings. That can make the question of how to stop drinking feel insurmountable.
Even if you do succeed in quitting alcohol, there is still the problem of staying sober. If you’re looking for things to do instead of drinking, keep reading for five options you can use before and after you get sober.
- Seek Professional Help
Alcohol recovery is particularly difficult because the withdrawal symptoms can prove severe or, in some cases, medically dangerous. If you want to quit, do it safely, and maximize your odds of long-term success, you likely can’t do it without some help.
You can get professional help with an alcohol detox program and a substance abuse treatment program, such as the one at Hope Rising Recovery. These programs can help you manage withdrawal and provide skills for coping afterward.
Alcohol use disorders often take a toll on your mental and physical health. Exercise provides a way to help you reclaim a little of both. Exercise lets you build up muscle mass or endurance with weight training or cardio.
Exercising also releases endorphins into your brain, which can boost feelings of well-being and relieve feelings of stress.
- Restart a Hobby
Drinking also leads many people to abandon old interests or hobbies. You can restart an old hobby as a way to occupy your mind and even provide a channel for your emotions. For example, you could take up music, painting, or writing again.
- Learn a New Skill
If drinking cost you your old job or if your old job helped drive your drinking, picking a new skill is a great option for something to do other than drinking. For example, you could learn basic computer programming, graphic design, or even a foreign language. The new skill can help find work or change careers.
Staying sober often means severing ties with most of your old friends or at least your old drinking buddies. That can leave you with few options for socializing, which also helps promote good mental health.
Consider volunteering for a charity organization. It gives you somewhere to go outside the house and provides you with a social outlet.
Picking Things to Do Instead of Drinking
Picking things to do instead of drinking is partly about filling up your time and partly about forging toward a new future. Seeking professional help lets you stop safely and learn coping skills. Filling your hours with activities won’t necessarily make you want to drink less, but it can serve as a distraction.
Healthy activities like volunteering and exercise promote mental and physical health. Learning new skills can provide you with new job opportunities away from your old life.
Looking for more tips and staying healthy or staying sober? Check out the posts in our Lifestyle section.