Whether you decide to take a break from alcohol for a few days, a week, a month, or indefinitely, you will experience both physical and emotional benefits and the opportunity to assess the role that alcohol is playing in your life. People who take a break from alcohol usually swear it makes them feel and look better, so why not give it a try! The benefits include: 

Increased energy– One of the first things people notice when they give up that daily drink is how much energy they have. Use this energy to boost your motivation and productivity and see what you can accomplish.

Improved Sleep – While drinking may help you fall asleep, it suppresses REM sleep, the restorative part of your sleep cycle. Alcohol is also a diuretic so both of these working together means that you will wake up more often at night and feel less rested.

Save Money – Check out the alcohol spending calculator on RethinkingDrinking.gov and see how much you can increase your cash flow!

Improved Skin – Alcohol is a diuretic which dehydrates the body and can contribute to dry skin and premature aging.

Support Weight Loss – Alcohol contains about 150-250 calories per drink, so if you usually have a drink a day, cutting back can support weight loss – as long as you do not replace these calories with something else.

Better Mood – While many associate alcohol with celebrations, alcohol is a depressant and can affect the parts of the brans that influence mood, making you more susceptible to feeling down.

Improved Health – Taking a break from alcohol can improve blood sugar levels, decrease blood pressure, and decrease fat accumulations in the liver.

Reduce Drinking in the Future- According to research from the University of Sussex, the simple act of taking a break from alcohol helps people drink less in the long term. Study participants who took a 30-day break from alcohol in January were still drinking less in August.

Taking a break from alcohol will improve both your physical and mental health. What do you have to lose?

Tips for a Successful Break from Alcohol

Use Your Excuse: “I’m On a Challenge” - Alcohol is the only drug where people get upset when you decide to stop using it. Everyone loves a challenge and going alcohol-free is just another one to add to your list.

Plan - What will you drink when you go out with friends or to someone’s house for dinner?

One Slip Does Not Mean You Have Failed – If you slip up, so what? Learn from your mistake and come back stronger.

Trade a Bad Habit for a Good One – Trying to rewire years of conditioning is hard. Identify your drinking triggers and uncover the benefit you are receiving (i.e. stress relief, companionship, etc.). Then replace the drink with another activity that provides a similar benefit. For example, if you go to happy hour for companionship, try booking a group exercise class with your friends instead.

Provided by the Wellness Neighborhood, Helping You to Rethink Healthy