Staying at home during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was important to help reduce the spread of the virus. It also gave the world’s scientists and governments more time to understand the severity of the threat they were facing and figure out the best way to move forward. Unfortunately, these lockdowns and quarantines had some negative effects. Many people developed bad habits to get them through the boredom and monotony of staying at home day after day. One of these bad habits is day drinking. This has made many look for advice on how to stop drinking.
Alcohol consumption during the pandemic increased a lot. It has been two years since the first quarantines and lockdowns, but many people are still dealing with these bad habits they developed. This problem has been labeled “pandemic alcoholism.” If this is something you are dealing with and you want to know how to stop drinking, let Bayless Integrated Healthcare help.
There are many health costs to alcohol abuse. These costs can add up and will have very negative effects on your life. Here are a few of the most severe costs, according to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA):
- An estimated 95,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually.
- Research shows that people who abuse alcohol have a greater risk of depression, heart disease, liver disease, stomach bleeding, strokes, and some cancers.
- Abusing alcohol can make existing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleeping disorders worse.
It can be tough to figure out how to get rid of a bad drinking habit, but not impossible. Here are our suggestions for how to stop drinking and put an end to the problems alcohol consumption during the pandemic has caused you.
Check-in with yourself
This is the first step to ending the pandemic alcoholism issues you are dealing with. You need to check-in on yourself and assess your current drinking habits. This is because you need to know your situation before you can break a bad habit.
We recommend asking yourself questions like these:
- “Is drinking interfering with my life?”
- “How much alcohol is safe and reasonable for me to drink?”
- “How much was I drinking when alcohol wasn’t a problem in my life?”
The answers to these questions about your alcohol consumption during the pandemic will help you better understand your situation.
Set bite-sized goals
If you want to know how to stop drinking, you need to understand that it will be a long process. It won’t happen overnight. To help you focus on your end goal, you should set bit-sized goals. Bite-sized goals are more achievable. This will allow you to make progress each day. You do this because when you have smaller goals, you are more likely to achieve them. Smaller goals will also help you stay on track.
Experiment with changing your behaviors and record your feelings
Not every solution for how to stop drinking will work for everyone. You will have to experiment with different changes to see which works best for you. You can use a calendar or journal app on your phone to keep track of how you’re feeling and how effective they are.
If day drinking or other alcohol use is causing problems in your life, develop a plan to change your behavior
Sometimes, you will need help if you really want to figure out how to stop drinking and create a plan that sticks. If you have done everything you can think of to stop the negative effects alcohol consumption during the pandemic has had on your life, you may have an alcohol use disorder. You will need to develop a plan to change your behavior and should talk to a primary care provider for help.
Bayless Integrated Healthcare can create a personalized plan to help stop drinking excessively. Reach out to schedule an appointment today!