Support can come from family members, friends, counselors, other recovering alcoholics, your healthcare providers, and people from your faith community. The symptoms listed above may be a sign of a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens, or DTs. This rare, emergency condition causes dangerous changes in the way your brain regulates your circulation and breathing, so it’s important to get to the hospital right away. Opt for sparkling waters, Kombuchas, and non-alcoholic brews when you’d otherwise order a cocktail. Entertain with fancy glass bottles of mineral water or rich, sweet Italian soda.

If your circle of friends or family are regular drinkers, they may question your decision to take a break, and even tempt you to forget the whole idea. Peer pressure is a big factor that contributes to people’s decision to drink more quantities of alcohol more often than they ordinarily would.

Overcoming Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol does a number on sleep, and taking a break can really restore your patterns and quality, though be patient, it can take a few weeks. “Viruses won’t be caused by alcohol, but you can be more vulnerable to them if you’re drinking,” he says. So, it’s not that sober living will give you a super-powered immune system—it’s just that it will get you back to your baseline, i.e. the efficient immune system you should have had before you started drinking. If you’re an otherwise healthy person, Dr. Galligan says it should take your immune system just a few weeks to bounce back. Do you want to stop drinking altogether or just cut back?

Taking a Break From Alcohol

If you’re having trouble sticking to your goal, discuss it with your doctor or another health professional. Making a list of the reasons to curtail your drinking — such as feeling healthier, sleeping better, or improving your relationships — can motivate you.

Find new meaning in life

Most people who successfully cut down or stop drinking altogether do so only after several attempts. You’ll probably have setbacks, but don’t let them keep you from reaching your long-term goal. There’s really no final endpoint, as the process usually requires ongoing effort.

A drinking relapse doesn’t mean you’re a failure or that you’ll never be able to reach your goal. Each drinking relapse is an opportunity to learn and recommit to sobriety, so you’ll be less likely to relapse in the future. Treatment should address more than just your alcohol abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being.

Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

You could ask for it to be served in a spirit or cocktail glass – you might be less likely to be asked why you’re not drinking. In our alcohol-centric society, it sometimes feels uncomfortable when everyone around you is drinking and your own hands are empty. Choose a healthier alternative like sparkling water, soft drink or a mocktail.

How do you take a break from alcohol?

  1. Assess your relationship with alcohol. Think about what's motivating you to take a break from alcohol.
  2. Make a plan.
  3. Notice changes in how you feel.
  4. Resist peer pressure!
  5. Take note of your mental health.
  6. Reassess your drinking habits.

You aren’t to blame for your loved one’s drinking problem and you can’t make them change. Consider staging a family meeting or an intervention, but don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation. Offer your support along each step of the recovery journey. Your chances of staying sober improve if you are participating in a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous, have a sponsor, or are involved in therapy or an outpatient treatment program. Treatment doesn’t have to be limited to doctors and psychologists. Many clergy members, social workers, and counselors also offer addiction treatment services.

How to take a break from alcohol

The site provides self-help tips and strategies that can aid you in quitting. It’s always a good idea to periodically examine your relationship with alcohol. A popular way to do this is to participate in a sober month like Dry January or Sober October, which are health and wellness trends that emphasizes taking a break from alcohol for an entire month.

  • Talk to your doctor or an addiction specialist to learn more.
  • For three to four weeks, keep track of every time you have a drink.
  • Then replace the drink with another activity that provides a similar benefit.
  • They may even be able to prescribe medication to help you quit.
  • “In one week, you might not feel a real change. In one month, you will feel a real change. In a year, you will feel a huge change – [it’ll be] life-changing,” predicts Sobelton.
  • Cravings for alcohol can be intense, particularly in the first six months after you quit drinking.

I feel a pervasive sense of wellbeing, crave healthier foods and have much more motivation to workout. Is there anything worse than the quality of your sleep on nights you drink? With a racing heart, mulling over your choices with gloom, and trying desperately to fall back asleep? Studies show that even one drink reduces our REM cycles from Taking a Break From Alcohol six cycles a night to two and fragments sleep, leaving you exhausted after drinking and your brain undernourished. But sober sleep is a dream—it’s like being at the bottom of the ocean with the waves gently rolling you into deep slumber. In contrast, sleep after drinking is like battling the sea in a tiny rowboat during a hurricane.

Not drinking for a while might seem daunting or like there’s no good time to do it, but let’s see what hitting pause on drinking really looks like. Whether you’re already thinking of cutting down, it’s not something you’ve considered, or even if you’re already abstaining, I hope you’ll find some life-enhancing lessons in this podcast.

Most people with alcohol problems do not decide to make a big change out of the blue or transform their drinking habits overnight. In the early stages of change, denial is a huge obstacle. Even after admitting you have a drinking problem, you may make excuses and drag your feet.

There is no shortage of non-alcoholic drink options in both supermarkets and restaurants. Yet, Sandra Parker of Just The Tonic Coaching (, is adamant it is possible to enjoy this time of year sober, and in fact, have even more fun without a drink in hand. Drinking can send your hormones into a frenzy—it impacts our endocrine system, which allows our body to respond appropriately and cope with changes in our environments. Severe alcohol-induced hormone dysregulations can sometimes cause serious issues like reproductive deficits, thyroid problems, and behavioral disorders over time. Did you know alcohol use can actually make you more prone to getting sick by undermining the immune system? That’s because alcohol use disrupts communication in our immune system, the body’s way of safeguarding against viruses and bacteria. Alcohol causes a “steady depletion of the vitamins and minerals that our body needs to feel our best,” explains Brooke Scheller, DCN, CNS, doctor of clinical nutrition.

Taking a Break From Alcohol