If you’re looking to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol, these five questions may be helpful to curb your alcohol cravings. If you aren’t looking to change your relationship, these questions are sure to be annoying and seem like fluff.
I’ve been on both sides and understand!
Anyways, this post is for those who are interested in either pursuing a mindful approach to drinking or quitting altogether for a certain period of time. And this builds on the decisions that we talked about on Day 1 that lead to different paths.
You can’t stop drinking and know what it feels like to be alcohol-free if you continue to drink. It seems obvious but you can’t wish for it – you have to work for it. And working for it looks like making a different decision when a craving or trigger arises.
Awareness Around Your Cravings – Ask Yourself These Five Questions
When you feel yourself reaching for the “screw it button” – Screw it, I’m just going to have a drink, take a minute to walk through some of the reasons behind your decisions:
1. What am I feeling right now? (also, you are not a robot)
I think sometimes we go throughout our day and don’t even check in with what we are feeling. It’s hard to sit with emotions, especially when we are used to tuning them out or drowning them out. I like to think of those charts my Kindergartners brought home after school one day (when they used to go to school!) and there were all sorts of faces from which to choose. None of the emotions are labeled as good or bad. They just are.
It’s not realistic to feel happy 24 hours a day for goodness sakes. So, just check in to see what you are feeling and embrace it. You are meant to have all the emotions. You are not a robot.
2. What feeling or relief are you hoping drinking provides?
Are you feeling left out of a social situation (remember those?!). Do you want to drown out some anxiety (we learned why that doesn’t actually work in Day 5!) Or is it a routine that seems really hard to break?
Just take a second to sort through that if you can. P.S. There are plenty of times I have checked in and said, “Even though I know it won’t help anything I am still going to numb out and check out for a bit.” That’s o.k., too, unless you are really trying to change habits that are no longer serving you. In that case, I encourage you to realize that alcohol won’t really help anything and can actually make things worse later on.
3. What do I actually need in this moment?
A lot of times we think we need alcohol when we really just need a nap or a good cry or to vent out our feelings with friends. In the case of a good day, maybe we just need to change our perspective on how we celebrate and connect with friends. Or maybe we need to work through some triggers like sunshine on a Sunday = Sunday Funday! Whatever it is, just take the time to acknowledge it and then try to make a decision that supports how you actually want to feel.
4. How will this get me further away from where I want to be?
Or, another way to look at it: Will this get me closer to the goals I’ve set for myself?
5. What has starting over gotten me in the past?
Day 1s suck! If you are tired of starting over, stop giving up.
Finally, this past holiday season I spoke with Anne Smith at But Not All At Once about changing your routines and habits around alcohol. If you’ve got some time, give it a listen – I think it still holds up even though it’s not Christmastime!