Several years ago, a trend started in Europe of having a whole month of the year where you’re completely sober.
I know there are a lot of you reading this that do indulge in alcoholic beverages but have you given your body a break lately? If not, you might want to give Sober January (or any other month) a try!
Why You Should Give Your Body A Break
Giving yourself a break from alcohol can have major impacts on the body.
Research shows that abstaining from alcohol for just 30 days results in way better sleep.
This is because it benefits your heart rate variability (HRV), which then helps your recovery and how your body is dealing with stress.
According to a British Medical Journal study, participants who abstained from drinking lowered and altered their blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduced cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Those are big benefits, so maybe you should consider going without alcohol for a month.
You can have mild symptoms at first if you cut off alcohol. Medically, you’ll see anxiety levels go up, shakiness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and sleep disruptions.
You could even see severe symptoms two or three days after quitting if you have been drinking heavily, such as hallucinations, delirium, a racing heart, or fever.
If you cut off alcohol and you were drinking regularly, you might go through some of that, but it is absolutely worth it.
If you want to cut out alcohol, I’m going to give you 5 tips to help you take a break from it.
5. Plan For Urges
If you’re used to indulging in alcohol in a social setting, as some kind of reward, or at the end of your day, you need to make a plan to deal with those urges.
It may not always be easy to stick to it, but when an urge inevitably happens at some point, you need to have a plan for how you’re going to overcome it.
The urge is going to pass, you just need to ride it out, which means getting your mind and attention off of the urge.
If you don’t act on it, it will subside eventually. If you feel an urge coming on, there are strategies that you can employ to help direct your attention off of them.
One of the best strategies is to change your scenery.
Go move, go for a walk, go work out, and take some time for yourself. Small environmental changes can help set you up to get your mind off of that urge.
If you completely abstain, you’ll feel better about yourself and reinforce the benefits of the dry month over and over.
At this point, you’ll start to feel better, you’ll lose weight, you might exercise more, and you’ll sleep better.
It’s a message that your body is sending you: “Hey, I really like feeling this way!”
It’s going to help you keep going in that direction and feel fewer urges.
4. Plan For Events
Whether it’s wanting a nice glass of wine, an after-work Friday drink or some kind of cold drink at a ballgame, many times, locations, and situations are set up for drinking.
There are triggers, and they’re important—our brain gets neurons fused for triggering some of the habits that we do.
We have to address the habits of being around alcohol.
People think that means they can never go to a bar or a baseball game again, but that’s ridiculous because you’re still going to go there.
You just need to have a different approach, some kind of change in the environment or even avoid those situations short-term so you can have success long-term.
3. Don’t Give Up
One day is a slip-up, but two days is a habit. Don’t feel guilty, it happens.
Just begin again the next day and begin your process of giving your body a break from alcohol.
You may be able to add it back in down the road, but you at least have this period of time that’s dedicated to you and your health.
2. Avoid Temptation
This one is simple but important: keep alcohol out of your house.
When you’re invited to someone else’s home, bring something to drink so that you’re not tempted.
1. Find A Substitute
Find things to drink as alternatives to alcohol!
You can have sparkling water, water with lime or other fruits, a coffee drink if it’s earlier in the day, or a smoothie.
Just find something to substitute in and satisfy that little urge or craving.
Cutting out alcohol completely can have a massive impact on your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, energy, and sleep.
If you try this challenge and it gets hard, try using these 5 tips to overcome your urges.
If you feel like you’ve had too much, or you just feel like you need a break from alcohol and want to undo the damage it did to your body, then drink one glass of this per day.
It’s the best way to repair a damaged liver, and you can find it right here.