Willpower is a finite resource. When we lean on it repeatedly while breaking habits that no longer serve us and forming new ones, willpower eventually wears out and we cave in. Instead, make it easy on yourself by finding the right tools and planning ahead .
- Keep healthy snacks and meals at the ready and eat throughout the day to help regulate blood sugar. This helps with moods and cravings.
- Stay hydrated! This one is more important and helpful than we often realize.
- Find replacement drinks with flavors similar to your favorite alcoholic beverages. For example, club soda with bitters for lovers of an Aperol spritz, try some of the good alcohol free beers and zero proof spirits on the market now (if it isn’t a trigger for you), teas, flavored bubbly water and ingredients for yummy mocktails kept at arms length can give us what we want at a moment’s notice.
- Journal about your thoughts, feelings, triggers and witching hours to get your thoughts out of your head and better tune into patterns.
- Alternate activities like a walk, hot bath or meditation, listening, to a podcast, calling a friend, doing yoga, cooking or baking can all distract you just long enough for a craving or a bad mood (which often helps create the craving) to pass. Create a list of comforting activities and things you’ve been wanting to try and pick something off of the list. Knitting? Hiking? Painting? Gardening? Give it a whirl!
- Take a nap. Yep, sometimes we just need rest or to hit the reset button. Naps can accomplish both.
Tune into your body and emotions. Treat yourself with the same care and compassion you would treat a friend and fulfill those basic needs like rest, hydration, eating, sunshine, fresh air and fun.
Willpower will only get you so far, but if you have the right tools for the right job, you can cut down on the time and effort being expended on forming new habits. Be kind to yourself.