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Whether you are taking a break, detoxing or considering stopping altogether – giving up alcohol is not easy! Not only does our society encourage drinking – our bodies may crave it and our mind may be anxious trying to fill in the space.

But there are good reasons to persevere and it is well researched that even after 24 hours your body begins to repair and restore. After one month, you will experience improvements in your liver, your skin and your sleep patterns.

Reducing your alcohol consumption or giving up takes effort and everyone is different. Remember to go easy on yourself and if you can, talk about it with people close to you or you may find it easier to speak to a counsellor.
For free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs call National Alcohol & Other Drugs hotline on 1800 250 015. If you are in crisis call Lifeline 24/7 on 131 114.

How to fill the space? Many suggest rewarding yourself and engaging in fun and positive activities in the replacement of alcohol. Here’s a little list of alternatives to drinking (aka distractions):


Get Active!

  • Fix your bike/car
  • Go jogging/walking/bike riding
  • Relax at the beach/park
  • Try something new, like rock climbing or pottery
  • Dance at home to your favourite tunes
  • Get a massage/haircut/other spa treatment.


Reward Yourself with Food instead of Alcohol!

  • Nourish yourself with some fresh produce, fruits and veggies
  • Have a picnic with your friends
  • Go for an ice-cream or another sweet treat with pals
  • Eat pizza, or something else you really like
  • Enjoy a fresh coconut or other favourite non-alcoholic drink
  • Have dinner at a special place.


Enjoy Your Hobbies!

  • Cooking/baking
  • Reading a book
  • Listening to a podcast/audio book
  • Singing/listening to your favourite music/playing an instrument
  • Drawing/painting/other artistic activity
  • Playing a sport, going skating or surfing or mountain biking
  • Writing
  • Photography
  • Gardening
  • Reading/learning something interesting online


Be adventurous!

  • Spend time in nature
  • Go for a hike
  • Go to the local park or to a botanical garden
  • Go to an amusement park


Relax – Reward yourself by taking it easy!

  • Sleep in
  • Leave work early
  • Lay on the grass and listen to some nice music
  • Play your favourite video game
  • A warm bath with candles and essential oils
  • Yin yoga
  • Enjoy an afternoon of quality time with someone special
  • Curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and your favourite film
  • Chat on the phone with a friend.
GOM Central