If you are feeling the strain of weekend pressures to drink, meandering dangerously close to having a wobble and salivating as your mind conjures up images of large glasses of wine, then read on…
This is your guide to MAKING IT THROUGH TO MONDAY – AF!
1. Get busy. Plan to do something early tomorrow morning. Ensure that this activity is one which a) you are really looking forward to and b) something which would be hampered severely by a heavy intake of booze this evening. Suggestions include setting out with a camera to try and snap an early sunrise or nice nature pic, going for a run, hitting the gym before the hordes descend with over-excited children, or hitting the hills with a picnic lunch for a long hike with friends, or alone to enjoy the silence.
2. Play the movie to the end. What you may be dreaming of is a convivial glass or two with friends, chatting and laughing gaily for an hour or two before heading home in a slightly tipsy (but most definitely not drunk) haze. Get real! What will really happen is that once you start you won’t stop, and after guzzling far too much vino, will stagger to bed (or collapse on the settee fully clothed) and wake up at 3 am with a furry tongue and a pounding head – oh yes, and a mountain of self-hatred.
3. Concentrate on good health. Healthy food goes out the window when you over-indulge in alcohol. Either you forget to eat altogether and obtain your calories from wine, or you develop monstrous cravings for carbs and sweet things, and gorge on calorific delights ranging from pizza to cakes to gallons of creamy lattes. When you don’t drink, it’s so easy to eat healthily and stick to an exercise plan, thus avoiding feeling like a gluttonous pig on Sunday evening. Stock up on lovely healthy food, make hearty soups and create striking salads.
4. Ask yourself this; if you have had the week from hell, would drinking make any of it better? In the short-term it may feel as though downing a bottle or two is helping, but in actuality it is simply storing up trouble for the future – depression, anxiety, lethargy, inability to think with any clarity and perhaps additional problems to undo which occurred as a result of you being drunk (arguments with your other half, shouting at the children unnecessarily, sending a text message to someone who you really should just leave alone – you know the kind of thing) are all potential repercussions of a heavy booze session.
5. Socialise during the daytime. If it’s early days for you and your sobriety, make plans to socialise during daylight hours as opposed to thrusting yourself amongst people who are out drinking for the night. This is by no means a long-term solution, but cravings can be extremely strong in the first few weeks of your new AF life, and placing yourself at risk of temptation is asking for trouble. Arrange to meet friends for a picnic, a shopping trip, a jog, a game of tennis, to watch a film together, or just for a coffee, but it’s probably best to avoid the pub on a Friday or Saturday night for the time being, certainly until you feel confident that you can happily resist the urge to join in with the boozers.
6. Log on to Soberistas.com! If you haven’t joined our site yet, then you can sign up now for peer support, friendship and advice, all available 24 hours a day. Talking to others who know how you feel (because they’ve been there themselves) is a great way to work through cravings, and to help yourself reach a safe place again mentally where you know you won’t be tempted to drink.
And remember, it does all get easier with time, so hang on in there and remind yourself that you are doing all this for a brighter and happier future! And don’t forget to ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!