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Ways to Relax Without Alcohol or Drugs

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If you’re looking for ways to relax without alcohol you’re in the right place.

Stress is uncomfortable. It can cause physical symptoms and make you feel anxious. It can rob you of happiness and peace and make you feel miserable.

These are some of the reasons why people start looking for a way to numb the fallout caused by stress.

They’ll turn to things like alcohol or drugs. This is known as self-medicating. This means you develop a habit of trying to use one thing in order to alter the effects of another.

People take these substances hoping that doing so will alleviate the stress and the side effects it causes.

They believe that if they use these things, it’ll calm them down or give them a break from the pressure they feel due to the stress. The problem with self-medicating using alcohol or drugs is that the relief you might feel for a little while won’t last.

In fact, it can create more problems and make the stress you feel even worse. What substances do is they can actually lead to other problems.

You can damage your health by drinking too much alcohol and you can develop an addiction to drugs if you use them as a method of escape.  Fortunately, there are many ways to relax without alcohol or drugs.

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It’s Takes Courage to Face Your Stressors

ways to relax without alcohol

There are reasons why people want to turn to something to find this escape. The emotional side of stress can be difficult for some people to get through. They battle waves of fear or anger.

They may feel hopeless or like they just can’t make it unless they self-medicate. Choosing to do this is an unhealthy way of attempting to cope with toxic stress. It’s much better to find heathy ways to relax without alcohol.

Sometimes, people choose to turn to these substances to try to overcome the side effects of stress, such as trying to beat insomnia.

They think if they just drink enough, they’ll sleep through the night. Alcohol is one of the most often abused substances when it comes to trying to get stress relief.

But the problem is that alcohol makes stress worse because of how it affects your stress hormone.

Alcohol Makes Stress Worse!

Rather than diminishing this hormone, alcohol causes a boost in the production of cortisol. So in the end, you feel even worse after using it because alcohol alters the balance of your hormone levels.

If you use drugs to self-medicate, trying to find relief from stress, it can put you in dangerous situations as well as wreck your health. You may also develop an addiction and have to take more or higher amounts of the drug in order to find short term relief from stress.

You can tell you’re using these substances to self-medicate if you feel stressed and your first thoughts are to turn to alcohol or drugs.  Betters ways to relax without alcohol include trying to find healthy stress management techniques.

While these things might make you feel better for awhile, once the numbness is gone, the stress will still be there. But, unfortunately, you’ll have new problems to deal with, such as a weakened immune system or mood swings.

What You Need to Know about Alcohol and Stress

Alcohol and stress have a complicated relationship. An occasional drink can help you to feel happier and more relaxed. But, heavy and prolonged consumption increases your risk for anxiety, depression, and other undesirable consequences.

Much of this is due to how alcohol affects your brain. When you’re healthy, your body deals with stress by increasing hormones like cortisol that prepare you for action, and then quickly restoring the usual levels once the challenge has passed.

Relying on alcohol disrupts this balance. Your stress responses become less efficient, and you may build up tolerance, so you have to drink more to achieve the same effects.

Meanwhile, your drinking may create additional sources of tension. You may develop mental and physical health issues, and your drinking may interfere with your relationships and career.

You can break the cycle if stress is making you drink more, and your drinking is causing more stress. Try these tips and reach out to your doctor and your loved ones if you need more support.

Tips for Dealing with Stress without Alcohol

  1. Think positive. Pay attention to the wonderful things that happen each day. Remember that hardships are temporary. Try to find the humor in difficult situations.

  2. Plan ahead. Identify potential obstacles before they occur. It’s easier to stay calm and ease everyday anxieties when you recognize your options and have a plan of action to pursue.

  3. Focus on solutions. Devote your energy to overcoming a challenge rather than complaining about it. Concentrate on the things you can change. Find ways to turn setbacks into opportunities for learning and growth.

  4. eat healthy foods for stress reliefEat healthy. Self-care makes you more resilient. Nourish your body and mind with a balanced diet rich in whole foods and fiber. Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and empty calories.

  5. Sleep well. High quality sleep promotes healing. Go to bed at the same time each night so you’ll wake up feeling alert and refreshed.

  6. exercise for stress reliefExercise regularly. Physical activity reduces stress hormones and lifts your spirits. Enjoy a variety of workouts so you’ll stay motivated while you build up your strength and condition your heart.

  7. Live mindfully. Meditation and deep breathing can help you calm uncomfortable emotions and racing thoughts. Practice on your own or browse for instructional videos and apps online.

Tips for Drinking in Moderation

  1. ways to relax without alcoholSet limits. Decide how many drinks you’ll have before you get started. That way you’re less likely to overindulge. You may also want to schedule alcohol-free days or weeks.

  2. Slow down. Pace yourself by sipping your wine. Stay hydrated with a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.

  3. Eat a snack. Alcohol enters your bloodstream more gradually when you have food in your stomach. You still need to drink responsibly, but a snack gives you some extra protection.

  4. ways to relax without alcoholResist peer pressure. Do you find yourself drinking more when you’re around some of your friends or coworkers? Create strategies for dealing with such triggers, like suggesting activities that don’t involve alcohol.

  5. Avoid binge drinking. There’s a big difference between having one drink a day for a week and having 7 drinks in one evening. Stick to the conventional guidelines for no more than1 or2 drinks a day.

  6. Ask for help. Moderate drinking is safe for most adults, but you may need to give up alcohol if you have certain medical conditions. Talk with your doctor about the appropriate decision for you.

Positive thinking, coloring, relaxation practices, gardening and self-care are a few ways to relax without alcohol.  PLUS, they are more effective than alcohol when it comes to handling stress.

If you think your drinking may be affecting your health and wellbeing, call a community hotline or ask your doctor about resources that can help you get back on track.

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