How to take a break from alcohol so you’ll actually stick with it

November 16th, 2018

It’s been a while since I quit drinking (a choice I made mostly because alcohol plus a panic disorder and clinical depression either don’t mix at all, or mix all too well), but I still feel awkward sometimes at bars, and experience the occasional craving after a crummy day. Generally, I feel more secure and happier without alcohol – largely because I recall that my times with alcohol weren’t always merry, and I feel my health has improved without it.

But what if you want to take a break from or eliminate alcohol not because you have a drinking problem (in which case, mental health counseling and recovery programs like AA would be recommended), but because you’re concerned about the potential negative health effects? Or what if you just want to take a pause to reassess your relationship with alcohol? Or perhaps you’re abstaining just for the month or a diet plan like Whole30?

Quitting can still be tough. We compiled a list of mental health experts’ and registered dietitians’ tips for how the non-alcoholic can get started going sober.

Nicole Spector/NBC News