The Top Five Ways to Relax Without Alcohol

woman relaxing, doing yoga on the beach

If you have been through the alcoholism acceptance stages, you asked for help, went through rehab and joined a support group, you have done everything right to get and stay sober. These are just the basics, though. How do you plan to live the rest of your life without alcohol? Do you know how to have fun without drinking? Do you have motivating factors to keep you from reaching for the bottle? If stress and anxiety are important triggers for you, do you know how to relax without alcohol? Here are the best ways to relax without resorting to drinking:

  1. Spend time with family and friends. Spend time with people you like. Talk over coffee or go for a walk together in the park. As humans we are social animals and we need each other. When you have something on your mind, talking it over with someone who cares can be a major relief. Blowing off steam by talking and laughing with loved ones is one of the best and healthiest ways you can relax.
  2. Learn to meditate. Meditation has been shown through both millennia of experience and modern research to be a powerful relaxation strategy. People who meditate regularly are among the most relaxed. Take a class in meditation or just read up on it. The best thing about meditation is that it’s easy. You don’t need any special skills to do it, only practice and commitment.
  3. Have a hot tea or coffee. A warm drink has also been shown in research to provide real relaxation. Just holding a warm cup of tea can instantly lower your blood pressure. Set aside time at the end of the day for a hot cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and just sit and drink.
  4. Read a book, see a movie, knit a scarf. Find a hobby or activity that you enjoy and it will relax you. For some people reading is boring, but for you it might be your hour of the day that helps you unwind. Hobbies are personal, so try a few until you find the one that helps you feel peace.
  5. Get up and exercise. Few things are better for relaxing the body and mind than exercise. Start with a daily walk and move into more vigorous forms of exercise if you feel up to it. Even if it’s challenging at first, you’ll find that after working out you feel much better and infinitely more relaxed.

Once you have gotten alcoholism or binge drinking help and you have learned to be sober, make sure you also learn how to relax as a sober person. In your past you probably reached for a bottle of wine or a fifth of vodka to take the edge off the day. You can’t do that anymore, which means that you need new and healthier relaxation strategies. If you can put these into practice in your daily life, you’ll start to wonder why you ever needed alcohol in the first place.

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