Well prepared to start your new challenge

You have decided to take an alcohol break. In this case it means that you leave the alcohol for what it is for a month. And whether you're a light or daily drinker, male or female, student or senior, couch potato or sports enthusiast, you pause because you want to. Because you think it's a good idea, because you want to be more aware of alcohol or because you feel like a challenge. Here are some tips that will help you make this break month a successful month.

  1. Down the sink with it

If you're planning to take a month off, it's best to remove all booze from your home. Throw it away. Empty it. No, not in your glass; in the sink. If you can't bear the idea of washing down half a bottle of rum, put it in a hard-to-reach place or give it to someone for safekeeping.

  1. Make a plan for situations where alcohol is offered

This dry month, you are not likely to frequent pubs, bars or restaurants for large social gatherings due to any coronavirus restrictions. But if you unexpectedly find yourself in a situation where alcohol is involved, you have to be prepared. Deciding in advance what to do and what to say will help you when the time comes. Practice your answer in front of the mirror. Examples of saying no in a nice way are:

-No thanks. I don't drink alcohol for a month.

-I'm turning this one down. No alcohol for me for now.

-I'll stick to a cool one, because I still have to drive/I have an important meeting tomorrow/I'm doing intensive sport this week.

- I'm not drinking any alcohol tonight. Nor the rest of the month.

-I'll get myself something else. I want to stay fresh tonight.

  1. Treat yourself

Not drinking for a month will save you money. One idea is that you use this money to treat yourself. If you feel the urge to drink sometime this month, remind yourself that with every drink you don't buy, you're one step closer to getting those new shoes, that nice lamp, or your driver's license.

If your craving gets too bad, replace your alcoholic drink with something else you enjoy. Instead of a glass of wine or a beer, you watch your favorite movie for the eleventh time. Are you looking for a nice running route or do you treat yourself with a new book? And remember, a craving will pass. Within half an hour, your desire for a drink has greatly diminished. Distracting yourself in that crucial half hour is therefore key.

  1. Gather support around you

Alone is also only alone. You can take a break on your own. But it's a lot easier with the support of your friends and family. It's even better if they join you. Because together you are strong. But even if no one else wants to join you on your dry trip, it's important to have a support network. Your sober friends don't have to be there physically. But it's nice if you can call someone when you're having a hard time.

  1. Fill the hole with nice things

Good news: now that you're sober -and no hangover days-, there is much more time for other fun things. Take a course, immerse yourself in astronomy, learn a new language, help your elderly neighbor with groceries, grab your forgotten guitar, finally give that room a makeover, dust your paint brushes, treat yourself to those good running shoes… in short: there is time and space for yourself.



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