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Cravings are common when you are reducing or quitting.

Suddenly, drinking is all you can think about and that little voice in your head whispers, “just one won’t hurt!”

It’s normal to experience cravings. They’re not a sign that you’re weak, flawed or destined for failure. They’re just a sign that you’re changing a habit and you’re feeling it.

Cravings are tough to deal with, particularly during the boozy festive season, when there’s so much alcohol around.

So this blog is all about going back to basics. Here are 5 simple strategies for stopping cravings in their tracks:

 

Listen to the craving

Cravings nearly always have something to tell us – they’re often a sign that something is wrong. We need to address the problem, rather than trying to smother it with booze.

Often, the message cravings have for us is that we’re hungry and thirsty. Seriously – it can be that simple. Having a glass of water and a snack can be a simple fix.

 

Play the movie to the end

Close your eyes and picture what will really happen if you have ‘just one drink’. How will you feel later tonight or tomorrow morning? Spend two minutes doing this. Be brutally honest.

The fantasy is always that you’ll be able to control yourself this time – but if you could do that, you would’ve figured out how to do so by now.

 

Ask: how will alcohol fix this situation?

Remember, booze doesn’t change things. Whatever you’re drinking to escape will still be there when you sober up (only it’ll be even harder to cope with because you’re hungover).

People always talk about alcohol being ‘relaxing’ and ‘a great stress buster’. But I’ve yet to meet anyone who feels calm and stress free the morning after drinking too much.

 

Change your surroundings

Get outside and go for a walk. You could run off your cravings, or swim away from them, or sweat them out in hot yoga. Even something simple like a hot bath or shower helps.

Cravings are often a sign that we need a break and some headspace. Forcing yourself to change your surroundings can help satisfy this need.

 

If all else fails, strike a deal

Agree that you’ll reconsider the situation – tomorrow morning!

It’s unlikely you’ll wake up in the morning and think “I should’ve drunk last night!” But if you do, well – you know what to do! At least you’ll be making that decision in the cold light of day.

 

Bonus tip: don’t forget to do the deep work

Consider the tips above as emergency first aid. They’ll help you get out of a craving when you’re in one.

Focus on building a solid foundation for yourself without over-drinking. This means educating yourself about alcohol and addiction, learning new coping mechanisms and tackling the root causes behind your drinking.

Call us to arrange an online coaching session, or a face to face consultation on 01527 878162 or email julie@actalcohol.co.uk