Top 6 stress-relieving tips that don’t include drinking alcohol

Girl wearing a hat sipping on her alcohol free drink in a champagne coupe

Whatever your reason for cutting back or cutting out on your alcohol consumption, we want to help give you some tools that may help you with your goals to“drink healthier”. The first step to making positive change is to bring awareness to the areas of your life that you wish to improve most and if alcohol isn’t a part of this, or if you’d like to reduce your consumption and drink more mindfully, then the following tips may assist.

1. Nature Therapy

The best therapy of all comes in the form of Mother Nature and she is always available to you, provided you have access to a green space.

Take the time to breath in the fresh air and take in the fine details of the nature around you. Look up close at a leaf and marvel at the tiny veins that transport water, energy and nutrients to the rest of the plant. Find somewhere to sit and absorb the beauty around you and savour the moment. Listen to the sounds of nature, birds singing, the sound of the wind in the leaves. This is a great way to reset your thinking and calm the nervous system.

2. Get Moving

This may be obvious one, but movement is instrumental to our mental health and relieving stress. Exercising can look different to everyone, for some it’s smashing out a high intensity workout at the gym, for others it’s a stroll on the beach.

Walking the dog, hiking, dancing, lifting weights, bike riding, swimming, sex, yoga, surfing, lifting weights, chasing your toddler around… there are numerous ways you can incorporate movement into your life and increase endorphins.

3. Journal it out

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to strengthen your emotional resilience and reduce stress. A gratitude journal forces us to pay attention to the things that are good in our lives, things that we might otherwise take for granted. In practicing gratitude we start to become more in tune with the everyday sources of pleasure that surround us - and the emotional tone of our life can shift in profound ways.

Grab yourself a journal or notebook and start jotting down 3 things you are grateful for every day (try and make them different every day) and watch your energy shift.

4. Spend time with animals

Pets provide companionship and support, and can help you to become more active. They give you a reason to get outdoors and (especially in the case of a dog,) they encourage you to get active.

Research has shown that spending time with animals decreases stress in a similar way to exercise: It decreases the production of stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) and increases the production of stress-reducing hormones (e.g. oxytocin). Not only do we as humans benefit, but our pets benefit too, so it’s a win-win.

5. Connect with others

Connection with others provides help to reduce the effects of stress and can foster a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Having a friend of group of friends who you can turn to at times of stress is beneficial in improving the ability to cope with stressful situations.

Social media is a great way to “find your tribe” and connect with likeminded people. To help build your community, follow and engage with accounts that lift you up and make you feel good about yourself. (Make sure you unfollow accounts that don’t leave you feeling good about yourself)

Connecting with others might look like picking up the phone and having a chat with a long time friend, grabbing a coffee with a work colleage or jumping onto an alcohol peer support group such as the daybreak app by Hello Sunday Morning and talking about whats on your mind.

6. Grab an alcohol-free drink

In those moments when you know you will feel triggered to have an alcoholic drink, a great tip is to plan ahead and stock the fridge with an array of delicious alcohol-free drinks.

If you are heading out to a bar or restaurant, check their drinks list first to make sure they have some delicious, non-alcoholic options and if you are at home, enjoy the ritual of making yourself a special drink (like ETCH!). If you feel extra fancy, you can create a delicious alcohol-free cocktail and turn your FOMO into JOMO!