February 14, 2007
Fighting Stress Without Using Alcohol: Part Two
In Part One of this series we explained some of the consequences of the combination of too much stress and alcohol misuse.
In this part of the series we will give you ways to fight stress without using alcohol.
Since a mixture of too much stress and the overuse of alcohol can cause physical and emotional problems we need to find other ways to deal with a life filled with stress.
If you can incorporate a healthy way of living into your daily routine you will be more successful at handling the stress without turning to alcohol.
You will need to make a commitment to finding ways to handle your stress. A half-hearted attempt will not bring the changes you are looking for and may even lead you to abusing alcohol further.
Start thinking about how much stress works for you. We all need some and each person is different.
Spend some time figuring out what stressful things are O.K. and which ones you simply can not tolerate.
After you have these things listed you will be ready to make a plan.
This plan can include ways to avoid the areas that cause you the most stress or how to make them better. If your job is an area that holds a lot of stressful moments for you on a daily basis you may need to figure out ways to reduce this stress.
Is the problem a co-worker or a boss? Is it the work itself? Once you can answer these questions you will be ready to make a few positive changes.
Maybe you are a stay-at-home parent and you love the kids dearly but your days have become so stressful that you are drinking too much, not sleeping well and angry most of the time.
Are there a few mornings a week when you could take the children to daycare so you would have time to exercise or meet friends for coffee or just take a nap. Maybe you used to run or walk every day but you can’t do these things with the kids at home.
It may be worth it to get up a little earlier each day or hire a high school student to stop over a few days a week so you can get out.
If you have been turning to alcohol because of high stress levels and you want to try a different approach consider taking one thing at a time.
Try to push all your other responsibilities out of your mind and concentrate on one task or goal at a time.
Have the most positive attitude you can. Negative thinking is not helpful when you are already stressed. Take a little time off to relax and get back on track.
Go out for a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop and savor every sip. Take a break in the middle of the day and head to the gym. Even a half hour is a great stress reducer.
Make some new friends. If you have been spending lots of after-work hours at the bar or drinking with friends it may be time for a change.
Find some people with whom you share interests other than drinking.
Try some of these stress-reducing ideas and you may find that you start looking forward to them and can avoid the misuse or overuse of alcohol.
Want to find more information on how to stop drinking then visit http://www.stopdrinkingadvice.org/guide/