If you’re used to having a nightcap before bed, you’re going to reach a point where you begin to question whether it’s a habit or an addiction.
This is why it’s always a good idea to take a break from drinking. If you can take a break without physical withdrawal symptoms, you haven’t yet reached the point of addiction. Still, you may be treading the waters of “problem drinking,” which isn’t great either.
You’re probably realizing that drinking doesn’t solve problems. On the contrary, it’s at the root of many a person’s troubled stories.
So if you’re ready to take a break from drinking or quit for good, it’s probably a good idea.
Here are 6 alternative ways to relax instead of drinking.
1. Drink calming tea
Drink a sleepytime blend or a chamomile tea to help calm you before bed. Not only will this provide much-needed relaxation to soothe your anxiety, but it can also provide a ritual to replace drinking wine, beer, or cocktails before bed. Triggers like drinking while watching your favorite program can lead to strong urges.
If you aren’t exercising daily, now is a good time to start. Immediately after exercising, you’ll feel great. That’s thanks to the endorphins your body releases to handle the pain. But throughout the day, you’ll feel a sense of relaxation as your body neutralizes some of the stress hormones you’re producing. You’ll feel better and sleep better.
Meditation is well-known for its relaxation benefits, but did you know that it provides a dopamine release that can be effective at fighting addiction? Meditation provides the largest natural dopamine release, and so it can be effective at helping you feel better as you relax.
4. Drink kombucha
This one is controversial for people in recovery for alcoholism, but if you’re not addicted to alcohol, kombucha is a great alternative. The reason it’s controversial for recovering alcoholics is that it contains a small amount of alcohol that occurs naturally in the fermenting process. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has probiotics.
5. Take Kava Kava
Kava kava is a supplement that affects the body that’s similar to alcohol. It can provide a similar sense of relaxation without the intoxication. But there’s one word of caution. If you’re struggling with alcoholism, you may want to avoid kava kava. Its effects on the liver may be damaging. Unfortunately, there’s not enough research to determine for sure. So, if you have issues with liver health, avoid kava.
6. Warm, Epsom salt baths
If you’re a recovering alcoholic or have a habit of drinking too much, your magnesium levels may be suffering. Epsom salt baths can induce relaxation as your body absorbs magnesium through your skin. The warm bath itself can also help you feel calmer and more relaxed. And if you’re not a bath taker, you can get similar effects from taking a magnesium supplement. There are even powders you can mix into a beverage.
When you first cut back on alcohol (as long as you’re not addicted), the first few days are the hardest, and it gets easier from there. Develop new habits and alcohol will have less of a hold in your life.