Even if your drinking has never gotten you into trouble, there’s no harm in taking a break from alcohol. Really, anything that gives you pleasure can become addictive if you turn to it too much.
I wrote this list because it always seems like there are a million things to do when I’d rather hit happy hour, and I have trouble picking one activity when I’ve decided to do anything but drink.
- Learn to swing a kettlebell properly.
- Take a dog for a walk. Now, you can even earn money doing it!
- Meditate. It’s a 5-minute vacation you can take anytime.
- Put on a face mask and peel it off. Slowly.
- Try a recipe post from a food blog.
Bonus round: Write and photograph your own recipe post. You don’t need a blog for this – Medium will work.
- Write in a journal. What is the thing you turn to too much? How did you come to love it? How did that behaviour evolve over time? What would you go back and say to the person you were when it started? Putting these things in writing may help your perspective.
- Cuddle your pets.
- Bonus round: If you don’t have a pet, volunteer as a cat cuddler or dog walker at a local shelter.
- Mop the hard floors in your place.
- Empty out the junk drawer in your kitchen. I mean, keep that rubber band from the broccoli, because there is a 100% chance that you will need it as soon as you throw it away. But get rid of the old notepads, pens that don’t work, and expired coupons.
- Play Bananagrams or something else light-hearted.
- Read old books.
- Take a Skillshare course. Mari Andrew has a course about art as self-discovery and I’m pretty sure you can do it with a 99-cent watercolour set.
- Audit your closet. Is there anything you can sell on LetGo, Nextdoor, or Poshmark? The same day I installed LetGo, I made $20 selling a pair of sneakers I’d maybe worn twice.
- Start studying a language on YouTube. Find one you like or are curious about and just go with it.
- Hit up Half-Price Books and explore a new genre.
- Learn how to do bodyweight squats with proper form.
- Brush your pets (or do something with your own hair).
- Plan your meals for the week. Got some health goals you want to achieve? Calculate your macros and find recipes that fit them.
- Volunteer for a clean-up day, or just go pick up trash.
- Mend/remove stains from your clothes. Visible mending doubles as a creative outlet.
- Audit your makeup drawer/Caboodle/hair tie collection/assortment of hair products. What haven’t you used in awhile? What’s expired? What do you need to replace?
- Clean your microwave, stove, and counters.
- Make a sludgie (salad in a blender) or fruit infused water.
- Write a letter to a friend you haven’t caught up with in awhile.
Periodically taking breaks from anything I enjoy a little too much helps me regain power. If you find yourself relying too much on alcohol, food, tobacco, or anything else that gives you pleasure, I hope this gives you some ideas for other things that can provide comfort without sabotaging your goals.