You may not need to completely reinvent your life to quit drinking, but making a few changes in your surroundings to help avoid alcohol triggers can make a big difference. If you want to improve your physical and mental well-being at any point of the year, taking a 30-day break from alcohol can lead to many health benefits. Heidi Borst is a freelance journalist, healthcare content writer and certified nutrition coach with a love of all things health and wellness. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping, MSN, Yahoo and more. Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Borst is a lifelong runner and general fitness enthusiast who is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of sleep and self-care. Many use alcohol to reduce stress and promote relaxation, but chronic alcohol use increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Some of the more commonly utilized aftercare services include 12-Step meetings (AA), regular sessions with a counselor or therapist, sober living residences, and non-12-Step groups like SMART Recovery. These symptoms may start a few hours or a few days after your last drink of alcohol. Sometimes, symptoms may be severe enough to require medical treatment at a hospital or rehabilitation facility.
One of the best things about giving up alcohol is that you may find yourself feeling happier overall. This is because alcohol can cause depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Drinking alcohol can contribute to a variety of cognitive issues, including poor memory, slow reaction time, impaired impulse control, and poor concentration. Over time, drinking can also damage nerve cells and contribute to a loss of brain volume. The brain also begins to repair some of the damage and shrinkage you may have experienced while drinking.
Abstaining from alcohol consumption, even just for 30 days, can provide lots of physical and mental health benefits. If you’re a heavy drinker, your body may rebel at first if you cut off all alcohol. You could break out in cold sweats or have a racing pulse, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, and intense anxiety. Some people even have seizures or see things that aren’t there (hallucinations). Your doctor or substance abuse therapist can offer guidance and may prescribe medication like benzodiazepines or carbamazepine to help you get through it. Being dependent on alcohol means you feel you’re not able to function without it and means stopping drinking can causes physical withdrawal symptoms like shaking, sweating or nausea.
If your goal is to reduce your drinking, decide which days you will drink alcohol and how many drinks you will allow yourself per day. Try to commit to at least two days each week when you won’t drink at all. Tap into your social network to help support you through Building Alcohol Tolerance alcohol withdrawal. Find a supportive friend or family member to be with you while you withdraw and support your new non-drinking lifestyle. For most people, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin sometime in the first eight hours after their final drink.
There’s a reason you’ve reached the decision to quit or cut back. Whether it’s improved relationships, better health, or weight loss, keeping the “why” in sight can help boost your motivation. Sunnyside uses a psychology-based approach to help you drink more mindfully, no matter what your goal is. You’ll get a 100% custom plan, then daily texts to track your progress and help you stay on target.
Consider setting smaller goals for yourself — and celebrate them as you go. Rather than one overarching “I want to quit drinking” goal, start by telling yourself you’re going to cut back. American Addiction Centers recommend no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men, so keep that in mind as you’re setting https://g-markets.net/sober-living/100-most-inspiring-addiction-recovery-quotes/ a goal to cut back. The mental health changes you experience when you stop drinking can include symptoms of withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, irritability, mood swings, and clearer thinking. While some of these changes can be uncomfortable for some time, they will eventually begin to improve the longer you abstain from alcohol use.
Reviewing the results, you may be surprised at your weekly drinking habits. Distance yourself from people who don’t support your efforts to stop drinking or respect the limits you’ve set. This may mean giving up certain friends and social connections. There are many support options available that can help guide you through alcohol withdrawal, as well as abstaining from alcohol after withdrawal. People who drink daily or almost every day should not be left alone for the first few days after stopping alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms can quickly go from a bad hangover to a serious medical situation.
“Sometimes people drink alcohol to help them relax or navigate social anxiety, only to find it makes things worse,” says McMahon. Alcohol dependence can make it harder to think or remember things. Over time, heavy drinking can cloud your perception of distances and volumes, or slow and impair your motor skills. It can even make it harder for you to read other people’s emotions. But if you quit, your brain seems to be able to regain some of these abilities.