How to Stop Drinking Every Night
Come to the conclusion you’re drinking too much? Despite many years of debate, abstinence isn’t the only solution and many people can succeed in cutting back perfectly easily – by following the 10 steps below this could end up being you too!
As with nearly every successful campaign in world history, stopping drinking every night starts with a bit of planning and thought. Let’s get going and start you on your road to cutting back from drinking every night.
1. Is Your Drinking a Problem?
You don’t have to be on 10 pints a night to have a drinking problem. The UK government recommends no more than 14 units a week. This is the equivalent of six pints of normal strength beer or 10 small glasses of wine.
Essentially, if you’re in the pub every night for one pint, Monday to Sunday, you’re drinking too much. Not everyone can manage just one!
The pub and other alcohol-related activities may be all you end up doing – rather than gardening, walking or doing other things with friends.
A final and slightly more worrying issue is that you may feel physically unwell without a drink. If this is the case then skip the next eight sections and go to the “If You Can’t Succeed” section at the bottom of this article.
2. Face the Facts
Once you have assessed whether you need to cut back it helps to admit it to the most important person of all affected by it – you. In facing the facts so you can start to tackle the problem. Until you do then there’s no sense in going through the process towards stopping!
3. Measure Your Problem
Having come to your own conclusion and seen the reasons for your conclusion it may seem silly to measure it, but until you fully understand why you’re drinking then you can’t fully fix it.
Keep a journal for a week. This could be factual and devoid of all emotion like a warship’s logbook or it could be you talking to your best friend (you) with all the ups and downs in life.
What it needs to cover is:
- How much you’re having every night
- Why you drank
- Who with
With these ideas, so you can start thinking about what you can do to stop drinking every night.
4. What Else Could or Do You Do in the Evenings?
One of the reasons you may want to cut down is that after a glass or two of wine you’re sitting on your sofa not up to much else.
What more is there to life other than dashing out of work to the pub and propping up the bar?
With your journal, you can work things out. Could you go to the gym? When was the last time you went for a romantic walk under the moonlight with your partner?
Don’t plan to summit Everest as that never works! A charity walk next summer or to get a personal best at a Park Run is achievable.
Another don’t is to take on too many projects as you won’t manage them. Do 2-3 max. Let those fill your evenings.
5. Set Goals
Now you have dreamed up the super slim, super fit, the super happy picture you want to be this time next year it’s time to get serious.
Haven’t run 100 metres in the last 10 years? Better plan a half-mile a couple of times a week to start. Break your plan down into little bits, in much the same way as we are your plan to cut your drinking down here.
Make the bits achievable.
What realistically do you think could get in the way of you stopping drinking every night? Do you have a supply of alcohol in the house? Throw it away until you’re happy you’ve achieved your goals.
Could your workmates or fellow pub regulars be an issue? They aren’t your best friends (in most cases) and you may well meet more healthy friends with your plans.
Have you a serious problem inside you that talking therapy could help with? Your GP could point you to some help or you could research paid-for local therapists online.
Look for non-alcoholic drinks in the supermarket. Try a few! You’d be surprised what delicious alcohol-free drinks there are!
7. Tell Close Family and Friends
It may be a bit embarrassing but if you tell your closest friends and family then they can support you.
This might be your partner not stocking the fridge with your favourite drink or your friends asking you to be the designated driver on a night out.
8. Your Drinking Buddies Don’t Need You Every Night!
The reverse of the medal with regards to your family (who you want close) is that those who encourage you shouldn’t be in the picture all the time.
Seeing them every day after work? They may have more to say to you if you turn up on Friday night.
Peer pressure is one of the hardest things to fight when it comes to cutting back on the booze.
That could mean you going quiet for a while until you’re confident that you can go without.
Some people can be a little pushy when it comes to alcohol – if they don’t like you being sober then perhaps they don’t actually like you?
9. Take the Leap
Now you’ve taken eight little steps in the run-up to stopping drinking every night, now’s the time to jump out of the plane! You’ve thought it through and are clear what needs to happen, so you can be confident of your success.
You may not achieve a five-night clean sheet the first run but if you’re keeping your journal then you should be able to go back and see what went right and what went wrong. Go back and see what you can do right each time.
10. If You Can’t Succeed?
Not everyone is cut out to beating the booze by cutting down.
You might be in a tangle of problems or find yourself ill from a night or two away from drinking. If you do feel very ill, or worried that you consume too much to simply cut it down (perhaps you drink decent quantities of spirits every night or 5-10 pints of beer) then it might be time to get help.
You can also book an appointment with your family doctor to get advice as to what the NHS can help with, though do be aware that there are limited resources available for this.
We Wish You Well!
The fact that you are reading this article suggests you’re close to the point where you are admitting to yourself that you are a problem drinker.
That’s a big step to take. From there, you’re starting on a journey where you could end up realigning your relationship with alcohol.
That can only be a good thing. Good luck!