Realizing that you have been drinking too much, deciding to make some changes and joining a group to help you reach your goals are all HUGE steps to take better care of your body and mind. These steps sometimes take years and often never happen so if you have gotten that far, you should be really proud of yourself. However, if you are here reading this, you might be wondering what to do next.
In nearly every program aimed at reducing addictive behaviors, people are told to go 30 days without the addictive substance and this is true with even things like sugar. There are many reasons for this, one being that it resets your body. In dealing with an addiction to alcohol, one of the reasons this is important is because at the end of 3O days, your tolerance will be lowered. This means you will need less alcohol to feel the effects and pleasant buzz which is the reason you are probably drinking to begin with.
After spending 30 days abstinent, reintroducing alcohol back into your life can be tricky and if your goal is to have a healthy relationship with alcohol, this is when the true works begins. Tracking drinks is helpful and necessary in the beginning but in my opinion, it isn’t realistic or even beneficial to do long term. For me, it takes the fun out of something that is supposed to be enjoyable. Marking bottles and counting drinks is also very similar to the games that those who call themselves alcoholics at AA meetings say they once played. It's easy for me to see how this behavior could result in too much thinking about alcohol leading to planning and obsession... Not good! Those are all the reasons that the Mindful Drinking Challenge aims to get you in the habit of paying to attention to how you feel while you are drinking so ultimately you make better decisions and even enjoy your drinks a little more.
Still, as I said before, tracking and planning is important at first and necessary to make healthy behaviors habits. There are tons of tips for making sure you don’t overdo it when you start drinking again. The page below was taken directly from my Mindful Drinking Ebook and includes my favorite tips, numbers 1 and 2 are my most favorite!
If you are looking for even more tips check out the book, Responsible Drinking or any of the book that I recommend. If you are a member of Facebook check out Moderation Management's "Onsie List" under announcements on their page and join the Mindful Drinking Facebook group.
Once you practice these there will come a day that drinking mindfully will just be a habit but if you find that you are having difficulty drinking moderately even with these tips, I urge you to consider abstinence. Drinking is fun but life is also pretty great without it. There is lots of help available and you need help finding some, don't hesitate to reach out.