Thinking of taking a break from drinking? Are you giving up or gaining?

Are you about to complete FebFast? Or maybe you are planning to give Dry July a go.

If you’ve ever taken a break from drinking, how was the experience?

Was it a month of feeling like you were missing out or did you enjoy it?

When I was trying (unsuccessfully) to moderate my drinking, I would regularly take a break from drinking to prove to myself that I didn’t have a ‘problem’.

After all, if I could give up drinking for a month surely I didn’t have an issue with drinking. Right?

The fact that I was even thinking that way was a red flag that alcohol was becoming more of an issue in my life than I wanted it to be. But I ignored the big red flag!

When the enthusiasm starts to fade

At first I’d go into these month-long breaks with enthusiasm which would gradually wane as the days and weeks wore on.

The issue was that I was always looking at it in terms of giving up drinking (a deprivation mindset) rather than experiencing what I was gaining.

And, when I feel deprived, the rebel in me comes out so I knew that if I ever wanted to successfully take a break, I had to approach it with positivity rather than FOMO.

What we focus on is where our energy goes

If you approach a break from drinking by thinking about what you’ll gain, it can be quite a different experience.

When I took this approach I thought of all the things I wanted to gain from being alcohol free:

  • I wanted to sleep better
  • I wanted to be more energetic
  • I wanted to see if my menopausal symptoms improved
  • I didn’t want to wake up with hangovers

As I built up the days and weeks alcohol free, I realised there were more benefits:

  • I had more time in my day as I wasn’t wasting so much time thinking about drinking – when I would drink, how much, beating myself up about drinking too much
  • My moods were more stable and I felt more content
  • The dark circles under my eyes were significantly reduced
  • And so much more …

I wrote about the unexpected benefits of taking a break in a recent blog.

I took this approach for my last break from alcohol. I wanted to take a three-month break because I wanted to feel healthier and more energetic.

That three months has now become almost 18 months of living alcohol free and I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.

That length of time may seem too much for you but I do promise that if you decide to take a month’s break and look at all the positives you’re gaining, you’ll have a very different experience.

If you want to chat to me to get advice on the strategies I used, you can schedule an obligation-free chat.

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