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10 things to do when you feel the urge to drink alcohol

10 things to do when you feel the urge to drink alcohol

Everyone experiences the urge to drink from time to time. If you feel like you're about to have one, this article shares 10 ways to distract yourself until the urge passes.

Not only is it important to understand what triggers your cravings, but equally important: What do you do to manage them in the moment?

If you’re trying to quit drinking, you're sober-curious, or you're doing Dry January and you want to stay feeling focused and clear-minded, here are some things you can do instead of drinking. The next time you feel the urge to drink, try the following tips:

  1. Have a glass of water and set a timer for 5 minutes
  2. Take a walk around the block
  3. Revisit your "why": why are you trying to avoid alcohol in the first place?
  4. Start any kind of puzzle, number or word game
  5. Pour yourself a glass of alcohol-free wine
  6. Pick a fun new recipe to cook
  7. Watch a YouTube how-to video for a hobby you’ve always wanted to try out to learn more about it
  8. Make yourself a delicious mocktail
  9. Meditate (You can download a free meditation app, watch one on YouTube, or simply take long deep breaths for 3 minutes)
  10. Call or text a friend for support

Hopefully these tips will keep you on track. Everyone handles this differently. Over time, you will learn the tools that work for YOU to manage your drinking urges. Tracking what's triggering your cravings can help you better manage them as well. Your urges won't always be as strong as they are now. Pat yourself on the back for whatever time it is that you've been alcohol-free and know that you can do this.

Remember, cravings are always temporary. The more you practice doing something else instead of drinking, the easier it will be to manage your urges. Stay strong!

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