1. Spend Time with a Friend
Spending time with friends lifts your spirits by releasing feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin. Oxytocin reduces the stress response and has been shown to reduce the desire to drink when stressed. Spending time with friends may even help you live longer. Plan a lengthy walk with a friend or a phone date.
2. Get Some Exercise
Working out — whether it’s a bike ride, a stroll, or a virtual HIIT session — might help relieve the tension that pushes us to drink. It will also provide you with a burst of endorphins, a hormone produced by the body that causes positive feelings.
3. Experiment with Non-Alcoholic Beverages
There are plenty of nonalcoholic drinks that are just as tasty without the booze.
Instead of making your favorite drink, make a virgin version, a nonalcoholic (NA) beer, or prepare some relaxing chamomile tea, which has its own calming benefits.
Meditation can help you relax just as much as a strawberry margarita can. Alcohol relaxes us by shutting out noise and tension. Meditation, on the other hand, assists us in quieting the mind and truly relieving stress (rather than just covering it up).
To get into the habit of meditating, try utilizing a meditation app. Merely remember to put your phone down for a few minutes afterward – doomscrolling or watching YouTube will just re-energize your brain.
5. Dance (Even if by Yourself)
Putting on your favorite music and dancing around the room by yourself is a very pleasurable experience. Dopamine, the feel-good hormone released by music, is the same chemical that floods the brain when we drink alcohol.
6. Overcome the Overwhelming
Taking care of long-neglected household chores will help distract you from the need to drink — no matter how difficult it is to persuade yourself to do so. No one wants to clean out their closet, but when they do, it provides them a lot of delight.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if your new happy hour routine takes a few tries to get used to. When you make a change, you’ll notice an improvement in your overall quality of life. You’ll sleep better, feel less worried, and have more energy – a win-win situation.
And, if you feel you are drinking too much and are having difficulty cutting back, speak with your doctor or a mental healthcare practitioner, who can assist you and offer therapy if necessary.
7. Bonus Tip – Plan your next Vacation
Maybe you’re stressed because you need a vacation, a get away. Plan your vacation to a dream location like Paris, Jamaica, Barcelona, Mexico, Dubai. Start searching the web for different destinations, activities, hotels and tours. Start saving your money for the trip, so when it’s time to take a vacation, you’re ready to go. This is a good distraction to get away from the stress and engage in something that will be helpful for your mental rejuvenation.