5 Tips To Help You Stop Drinking Alcohol For A Month

A movement that has really taken off lately is the idea of taking a month off from particular habits. People use it for so many reasons. It might be health-related – like those who do Whole-30 to lose weight or possibly identify food intolerances. Maybe they are raising money for a cause, as is the case with Movember or Sugar-Free September. Or maybe they are trying to identify if their habit has become problematic and need some space and clarity in order to sort things out – like those who join us in the Live Alcohol Experiment. Taking a break from anything for 30 days can be really beneficial, or a complete waste of time. It all depends on how you do it. We’re going to share with you our 5 best tips to help you stop drinking alcohol for a month – and actually feel good about it!

stop drinking alcohol for a month

Why should you stop drinking alcohol for a month?

This is going to be shocking to most of you but barring any serious legal or medical ramifications, there is no reason why you “should” stop drinking alcohol for a month. Now that doesn’t mean that taking a break from alcohol isn’t a good idea. What isn’t a good idea is living our lives based on shoulds. We shouldn’t should all over ourselves. Let’s ask ourselves this instead – what are some reasons you might want to stop drinking alcohol for a month?

Reasons to stop drinking alcohol for a month

1) You’re curious what life could be like alcohol-free

One great reason to take a break from alcohol is pure curiosity. Many of us start drinking in our teens. That means that we’ve spent the majority of our lives with alcohol at least controlling portions of every day, week, or month. It’s natural to wonder what life might look like alcohol-free. Is it better? How does it change? There’s only one way to find out!

2) You’re conflicted about your drinking

Have you ever poured yourself a drink and wondered – “Why am I even drinking?” Or has it ever crossed your mind that you really don’t even enjoy drinking sometimes? Often when we do something habitually, it becomes mindless for us. We do it out of routine without even considering if it’s something we truly want or enjoy. When you stop drinking alcohol for a month, you open up space to gain clarity around that question and decide what role you’d like alcohol to have in your life.

3) You don’t like the way you feel after drinking

One of the benefits most people notice when they stop drinking alcohol for a month is how much better they feel. Maybe not instantly, but certainly after the first week or so. When you stop drinking, your body starts healing. So you sleep better, you’re more hydrated, you have more energy, and you even reduce your risk of cancers and other diseases! The shocker is not realizing how bad you felt daily until you’ve taken a break from booze!

4) You’re low on cash

There’s no denying it. Alcohol is EXPENSIVE. Some age groups spend upwards of $300 a month on it on average. So if your budget is a concern right now, cutting out booze is an easy way to save cash while also taking advantage of the other benefits!

5) You’re looking to improve relationships

When you stop drinking alcohol for a month, your relationships are going to change. Your relationship with yourself, your friendships, romantic relations, with kids, family, and even at the workplace. Cutting out booze means turning up authenticity. You become more present, more aware, and more accepting. Drinking makes us tune out. It creates a barrier that comes down when you stop drinking.

So now we know just a few reasons why someone might be pushing pause on their drinking for a bit. The big question remains though – how can you help yourself to be successful when you stop drinking?

5 Tips To Help You Stop Drinking Alcohol For A Month

1) Focus on How You Feel About Stopping Drinking

The way we feel about something is a key predictor of how successful we are a doing it. That’s especially true when we’re looking to stop drinking alcohol for a month.

What is your mindset like? Are you focused on all the things you’re going to be giving up and missing out on by not drinking? Have you even taken a moment to consider the things you might gain when you take a break from booze?

We usually get what we expect. So if our mindset is that taking 30 days off from alcohol is going to be a miserable experience, our mind is going to look for proof to support that mindset.

stop drinking alcohol for a month research

We also can’t force ourselves to believe anything we don’t want to. So what’s the alternative? Try to have an open mind free of expectations. Be open to the idea that you’re going to spend the next 30 days learning new things. New knowledge leads to new emotions. Here is an interesting tidbit to get you started – “Research shows that 92% of people who give up alcohol for 30 days end the month much happier than when they started.” Are you open to exploring how your feelings might change over 30 days?

2) Lean into the “What-ifs”

What is it that keeps life interesting? It’s all about the discovery of new things. New knowledge, new skills, new people, and new experiences. Use these 30 days to explore the what-ifs!

Lean into the “what-ifs” and see what happens! What if you lose 10 lbs? What if you start sleeping better? Could it be that your relationships get better? Are you curious if you might actually like life without booze? What if this reduces your stress and anxiety?

One of the great things about choosing curiosity is that it allows us to restore control naturally. How is that? Well, we often create very unrealistic expectations for ourselves which create all these rules we not only can’t abide by but don’t enjoy trying to adhere to.

You can learn more about how to become an observer and get curious in The Alcohol Experiment by This Naked Mind.

3) Go All In

A killer tip when you want to stop drinking alcohol for a month – no waffling.

Cut out the maybe’s. The workarounds. The loopholes.

Make a firm, not going back on it commitment to see what 30 days without alcohol is really like. Even if things get uncomfortable, awkward, weird, or difficult. If your commitment to this break is to only stick with it if life doesn’t get messy or hard, you’re basically giving yourself an out. A reason to walk away.

If you’re taking a month off drinking, you need to make a firm decision to do this no matter what.

Life isn’t always pretty or neat so for a true experiment we need to experience what all the ups and downs of life are like without alcohol in it.

stop drinking alcohol for a month

Did you know that your mind actually can’t tell the difference between a vividly imagined experience and a real one? We discuss this phenomenon and use it to our advantage on day 16 of The Alcohol Experiment with “The Power of Belief”. Here is an excerpt – “Close your eyes and walk through a scenario where you may be tempted to order a drink, but instead of ordering a glass of wine, you order iced tea. Be intentional about this scenario you create and get as specific as you want. Visualize yourself going to that wedding reception or class reunion and having a great time, laughing, dancing, and sipping on a tonic water and lime instead of a martini.”

4) Get by with a Little Help From Your Friends

Science and research have proven that shared experiences enhance our own personal experiences. If you want to stop drinking alcohol for a month, don’t do it alone. How can you find support? Some people take on a challenge like Dry January, Feb Fast, or Dry July with friends and raise money for charity at the same time. Others might invite a friend or make new friends by joining in The Alcohol Experiment. With over 400,000 people having stopped drinking alcohol for a month using The Alcohol Experiment, it’s easy to find connections and camaraderie inside our always free 30-day experiment.

5) You’re Going To Need A Bigger Toolbox if You Want to Stop Drinking Alcohol For a Month

One of the biggest pitfalls of most of our current relationships with alcohol is that drinking because our default response for every emotion and situation we encounter.

We drink in celebration and in sorrow. If we are bored or we’re enteraining, we pour a drink. Happiness, anger, and everything in-between – it all calls for alcohol.

If alcohol is your all-in-one tool, you’re going to need a bigger toolbox for the 30-days you have ahead.

What kinds of new tools will you need to develop? You need tools and tactics for dealing not only with life’s challenges but also the challenges alcohol might have unknowingly created in your life!

How will you react to an alcohol craving? Do you know how to identify potential triggers and work through them? What do you do about all your current beliefs surrounding alcohol? And what about getting through things like –

…happy hour

…dating or sex without alcohol

…boozy business meetings or awkward questions about why you’re not drinking?

Not having tools in place for the situations that arise as part of everyday life makes taking a break from alcohol much harder than it needs to be.

If you’ve never taken a break from booze before it’s hard to know what to prepare for and what tools and tactics can help you. Attemping to figure all of that out on your own can be such a frustrating and disheartening experience! Luckily, you don’t have to muddle through this without support. There are countless resources available to help you no matter what situations you might encounter. Sometimes the greatest reassurance of all is realizing you aren’t alone in the emotions you’re experiencing.

Our favorite resources for those trying to stop drinking alcohol for a month can be found here.

Are you still unsure if you’re going to stop drinking alcohol for a month?

We’re going to level with you here. The truth is that as humans we don’t do anything that we don’t want to. So the reason you might find yourself sitting on the fence about making a decision to stop drinking alcohol for a month is because you’re not doing it for yourself. It does not matter how badly anyone else in your life wants you to do this, how many articles you read, or how many programs you join. Nothing will change until your why changes and you do it because it is what you want for yourself.

Another reason we sometimes hold back from taking a break from alcohol is because things just aren’t that bad yet. That begs the question of – how bad do you want them to get before you explore what a life with less alcohol in it will look and feel like for you? What consequences will be bad enough to warrant getting curious? And why do you have to wait until your relationship with alcohol is painful in order to change it?

One of our big movements here at This Naked Mind is to change the narrative around alcohol. You can stop drinking alcohol without having a problem with it. You don’t need to hit rock bottom, have a medical diagnosis, or legal problems to decide that you want to change how much space alcohol holds in your life.

Alcohol is truly the only drug you ever have to justify not taking! Most of us can do anything for 30 days. Isn’t it worth it to see how much better your life can get when you stop drinking alcohol for a month? We all know the booze isn’t going anywhere but you just might take off once alcohol is no longer bringing you down!