Withdrawal from Alcohol: 5 Healthy Coping Methods
You may be one of 15 million Americans who is struggling with a drinking problem.
And right now, you may be like thousands of others who are suffering from withdrawal from alcohol.
There may be many reasons why you want to quit drinking. But one thing is for certain: Withdrawal is not easy.
Know that you are not alone through this. We’ve compiled a list of five of the best coping methods to help you through withdrawal.
1. Tell Someone
Getting through withdrawal is easier when you have a support system around you. Your support system will not only keep you company but help you stay on track.
Before detoxing, tell a friend or family member and ask for their support. You should avoid being alone during this time as much as possible.
You can also reach for support in your community. You can find support and people to help you through withdrawal at your local recovery center.
2. Focus Your Attention Elsewhere
Cravings are some of the hardest parts of withdrawal from alcohol.
To avoid cravings, it’s crucial to avoid all areas of temptation during and after detox.
That means avoiding bars or places you normally drink. You should also avoid people who enable your drinking.
Still, there will be some cravings after that. So, focus your attention on other things.
Though you may not feel physically well enough, exercise is helpful. You can try yoga, taking a walk, or going for a light run.
Either way, exercise releases endorphins, gives you energy and boosts your confidence.
This is a good time to pick up new or practice old hobbies, like painting, reading, or writing. Some find meditation helpful when dealing with side effects like insomnia and anxiety.
3. Drink Fluids that Contain Electrolytes
Alcohol depletes your mind and body of a lot of things. And one of the things that it causes is dehydration.
To make matters worse, alcohol withdrawal complicates dehydration and even causes nausea. So, it’s necessary to drink lots of water and fluids during withdrawal from alcohol.
Be sure to drink enough fluids that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes can help with nausea and getting your body balanced again.
4. Eat Healthy
Alcohol metabolizes into sugar. So, alcoholics are used to getting a lot of sugar.
This means that during alcohol withdrawal, your body’s sugar levels can dip real low. Which is why you need to eat well and nourish your body.
But it may be hard to eat during this time. Withdrawal can cause appetite loss and nausea.
Start small and easy with hydrating foods. Go for fruits and vegetables, like bananas, watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges. Try eating broth and ice pops, as well as drinking juice.
As your appetite increases, incorporate more solid foods. You should eat lean protein, whole grains, and minimal dairy.
This is also a good time to start taking a multivitamin that also has magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.
5. Remind Yourself Why You Quit Drinking
Withdrawal from alcohol has many adverse side effects that can be hard to deal with. They range from depression and anxiety to fatigue, headaches, and tremors.
The pain of alcohol withdrawal is a big reason why people relapse. So, during detox, it’s crucial that you continually remind yourself of why you want to do this.
Before detox, write yourself a letter. Explain why you want to overcome your addiction and encourage yourself to do so.
Read it during cravings, irritable periods, and depressive lows. Read it in the morning, throughout the day, and before you go to bed.
You can also collect a box of things that motivate you. They can include photographs of your children, pets, and family. Anytime you feel like having a drink, open the box.
Overcoming Withdrawal from Alcohol
Alcohol withdrawal is not easy. But you can overcome it!
At Midwest Recovery Centers, we’re here to help you.
Don’t let alcohol hold you back anymore. Stand against your addiction.
Reviewed and Assessed by
Taylor Brown, B.A.Com., MAADC II
Tim Coleman, M. of Ed.