Are you seriously considering giving up alcohol? If you are, you’re joining the ranks of over 20 million Americans trying to beat some type of substance abuse.

Or, maybe you just want to cleanse and detox your system for a month. After that, feel free to enjoy a glass of chardonnay over dinner with your girlfriends on a Friday night.

But, if you’re wondering if your two to three glasses of alcohol four and five times a week is starting to get the best of you, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’re sharing some tips for anyone who’s planning on giving up alcohol, whether it be for a month or a lifetime.

Why You Should Give Up Alcohol

1. Develop Better Sleep Patterns

Raise your hand if you’ve ever drank some wine to help you fall asleep at night. We’ve all done it. The thing is, wine will help us conk out nice and early, but it won’t help us stay asleep.

Eventually, alcohol interferes with our REM cycle, leading to disrupted sleep.

Guess what an absence of alcohol brings to the party? Higher energy levels, increased productivity, and an overall boost to our mood. Heck, maybe we’ll even have the energy to get a little exercise in a couple mornings each week.

2. Shrink Your Waistline

What’s your drink of choice?

Is it wine? Is it beer? Or, worse, is it a mixed drink of some kind? The calories can swarm our waistlines if we let them. Let’s just take a very rough average of 150 calories per drink.

Mind you, that’ll be much higher if you’re drinking cocktails with sugary mixers. But, for the sake of this argument, imagine what eliminating a couple hundred calories out of your daily or weekly diet will do.

3. Boost Your Immune System

Have you ever woken up from a bender and noticed you had a sore throat? That’s a combination of the abuse to your throat and a lowered immune system.

Since it is, at its core, a toxin, alcohol is only going to lower our immunity. Why should we go on damaging the very system that works so hard to protect us?

4. Clearer Skin

We can all attest to alcohol’s ability to dehydrate us. But, it’s not just those cotton mouth mornings that are impacted by alcohol.

Our entire system is being depleted. So, when we decide giving up alcohol is the way to go, we’re sure to experience clearer, more rejuvenated skin.

5. Give Your Brain a Rest

Moving beyond the superficial, let’s talk about what giving up alcohol can do for one of the most important organs in our body – our brains.

Let’s say you entered the bar last Friday night acting normal and happy to see everyone. One, two, three drinks later and you’re talking louder than normal, laughing high above the crowd, and cracking jokes you wouldn’t normally crack.

That’s how fast alcohol impacts our brains. It slows down the speed between our neurotransmitters. Basically, every sip you take is disrupting your brain’s desire to operate at peak performance.

Over time, think about how much lasting damage you’re doing to one of your organs that matters the most.

6. Give Your Heart a Rest

Like our brains, life is all a wash without a functioning heart. Have you ever felt a surge in your heartbeat when living it up on a Friday night? Or how about the simple fact that our face gets flushed when we’re two or three drinks in?

Think about that. As soon as we feel the flush in our face, we know we’re negatively impacting our heart and blood flow.

But, long-term, severe drinking eventually paves the way for a weakened heart that can’t pump as efficiently as it wants to or can’t beat according to its normal rhythm.

7. Let Your Liver Have a Day Where It’s Not Working Overtime

With every glass we drink, our liver perks up and starts working to rid the body of the toxins we’re ingesting. In truth, the process of breaking down alcohol can create more toxins that are being dumped into our system.

Of course, the liver is happy to perform this function once in a blue moon. But, heavy drinking causes fat to build up on the liver. That added fat puts a strain on our livers, making its job that much more difficult.

8. Give Cancer a Kick in the Knees

We all hear and read about antioxidants. Green tea and other healthy alternatives are happy to pour antioxidants into our system which kick back at all the harmful toxins we ingest on a daily basis.

But, the more we accept toxins into our system, the more we weaken our immune system and the more we put ourselves at risk for cancer.

Get ready for this astonishing fact. According to The National Cancer Institute, seven out of ten people with mouth cancer drink or have drank heavily in their lifetime.

Worst of all, five or more drinks/day can also put us at risk for the following types of cancer:

  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Esophagus
  • Larynx
  • Liver
  • Rectal

This doesn’t really make Friday night’s binge drinking session down at the local pub really worth it, does it?

9. Boost Your Mood

Don’t we all drink to feel better? Sure, we all love to chase that buzz, put our cares and struggles behind us, and dig in deep to that pitcher of margaritas.

But, in truth, alcohol is a depressant. Its guise of light-hearted buzzy nights is nothing more than that — a guise, a lie.

It’s literally slowing down, or depressing, our body’s ability to function properly. It’s true for our brains, our hearts, our livers, our immune systems, and more.

Not only that, with your lowered inhibitions and your regrettable moves last night, how can you not feel a twang of regret or remorse? Add in a heavy head, puffy eyes, and you’re setting yourself up for a typhoid of depression.

We have to ask ourselves, were those two buzz-worthy hours really worth it all?

Tips on Giving Up Alcohol

Many people all across the world struggle with giving up alcohol. There are websites, communities, local AA chapters, and rehab centers that are equipped to help anyone struggling with this battle — whether it’s for a month or an entire lifetime.

If this isn’t a month long challenge for you, but a real battle, you can find rehab centers online easily.

Check some of them out. Read their reviews and testimonials. Meet with a few of them before taking the plunge.

In the end, it’s your brain, liver, heart, immune system, waistline, and energy levels we’re talking about here. So, what’s the first step toward giving up alcohol?

1. Don’t Try to Go It Alone

Do you have any friends who keep talking about their desire to get healthy? See if you can convince them to take this month long journey with you.

The moment you start to feel like you’re going it alone while the rest of the world lives in a barrel of fun, you’re likely to forget your plans for giving up alcohol.

2. Stay Busy

The best way to give up alcohol is not to live like a hermit for a month, barring all the temptations from your door. This is more likely to make you feel down and out and – you guessed it – reach for a bottle.

Instead, make some plans that don’t revolve around happy hour and nights down at the club.

Try to get up early every morning and do something healthy for yourself, like take a morning stroll.

Enroll in some type of Friday night cooking class in town, or something to take you out of a world riddled with pints and martini glasses.

3. Take Up a New Hobby

Also, don’t just stay busy on the obvious nights, like Friday and Saturday nights. Enroll in some other activities that will give you something to look forward to.

Perhaps you’ll find a Saturday morning yoga class or join a group of people in your community who’re training for a marathon.

When we switch our focus from what we’re lacking (alcohol) to what we’re gaining (new friends and experiences), giving up alcohol isn’t such a mountainous feat.

4. Keep Treating Yourself

When you’re not dropping $9 on a raspberry martini or $8 on a craft beer, you’re doing yourself a number of favors. While your liver is thanking you for the respite, perhaps you can plan a respite of your own.

Why not book that solo trip to that cabin in the mountains so you can work on your manuscript?

Why not treat your mom to a beachside getaway? Changing your scenery is likely to help you check off yet another win in the month without alcohol challenge.

5. Remind Yourself Why You Started

If you start to feel anxious about this whole scheme, remind yourself why you started.

Maybe your little getaway with Mom was harder than you thought because you kept thinking, “Well, if I’m on vacation, I should be drinking.”

Or, maybe your yoga pals wanted to go out for brunch after class one afternoon and you struggled to order club soda instead of mimosas.

In these moments, remind yourself why you started. Your body is healing; your system is free of toxins; your stomach is less bloated; your brain isn’t out of whack. Feel encouraged that your struggle is toward a greater good, not a hopeless cause.

Be Well, Friends

Here at Florida Independent, we’re all about Health & Fitness. If we only have this one life, aren’t we meant to make the most of it?

While you’re powering through your lofty goal of giving up alcohol, come on over and read some of our articles that’ll help you down your new pathway to wellness.

In fact, while you’re giving your brain a rest, you can even help it recover some of its former memory strength.

No matter your goal, when you put your health first, everything else will fall into place.

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Don’t Invest In a Career. Here Is Everything You Can Do To Build a Life

The world is changing rapidly. The way we live has already changed. The way we work keeps changing. Entire industries are crumbling. Robots are eating jobs. People are scared of losing their jobs. Nobody is safe.

But people are empowered to express themselves more than ever. The opportunities to create, to become a part of a global conversation and transformation are now more than you can ever imagine. There are now more free online resources to help you start and pursue your life’s work.

You can take your idea, business, or career, and turn it into something truly successful and amazing. It’s easier to transform your passion into your job than finding a job that matches your what you love to do.

What will you do with that?

What will your place be in this new, interesting world? Will you have a voice? Will you be a creator, or just a consumer?

You can do something.

Do something interesting, meaningful, different, amazing and truly remarkable. You have a choice. Choose to show your most amazing work to the world.

Inappropriate attention to detail is the reason why you have not launched your work. By all means, get it right but don’t aim for perfection.

Constantly push to evolve your ideas, even if you are not ready to launch your life’s work yet. Don’t get stuck!

“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”  Goethe

Be a part of the conversation, and say something remarkable. Create something unique, new, beautiful. Build upon the works of others and transform it into your own.

Don’t be subject to the tyranny of “how things have always been done”. Find your true north and push past the default.

Here is everything you can choose to do to build a life that matters to you

Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on You Tube.

Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.

Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.

Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.

Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.

Show up everyday and work on your most important life work. Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up.

By focusing on doing the one thing that excites you, you not only give yourself a shot at putting in the effort to become amazingly great at something, but you also make it easier for potential customers or employers to see you as “the guy who’s really great at that thing.”

If you pursue your dreams long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge. Don’t give up just yet.  Action begets outcome. Outcome begets action. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have momentum. You’ll become unstoppable.

Start. Move, make, create, ship, do. Just start. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They start. They start something. Sometimes it is something big. Sometimes it is a big failure. Either way, they got stuff done.

Don’t invest in a career. Build a life. Take your dreams seriously.

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