Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, or pushing fifty and still club hopping, it is never too late to cut back on alcohol and recreational drug use. Ultimately, we should all listen to what our bodies tell us — even the morning after binging at the late-night taco truck after going to the bar. It seemed like a good idea at the time, right?
However, every now and then, a little voice inside you may ask if this is too much partying or try to convince you to forget about what happened the night before.
Either way, here are the most effective methods to help you reduce partying, focus on physical and mental health, and be aware of the signs of a substance use disorder.
The Most Effective Methods to Cut Back on Partying and Focus on Health
- Put everything in writing and set a goal
The four words “let’s make a list” should not fill you with dread. According to productivity coaches, writing things down enables a higher level of thinking.
Individuals can better focus their attention without wasting time struggling to remember everything they need to do.
When trying to cut back on partying, putting everything in writing will help you prioritize what must be focused on and acted upon. For example, you can make a list of all the reasons why you want to limit or stop alcohol and drug use.
Some good things to look forward to if you learn how to cut back on partying include;
- Feeling healthier
- Better sleep
- Better sexual function
- Being more productive
- Increased focus on physical health
- Improved mental health
- Improved cognitive abilities
- Saving money
Take the time to think about this and focus on your personal reasons for why you want to stop or cut back on partying. Go over the list more than once, read it aloud, and consider every facet of life.
Once you finalize the list (remember you can always add more things if need be), set goals. For instance, if you usually drink excessively, set a limit on how much you will drink or follow recommended drinking guidelines.
Choose alcohol and drug-free days and stick to them; fill those days with other activities or focus on other things. You could also become ambitious and set a goal not to keep alcohol or drugs in your home.
When in doubt, go back to your list and remind yourself why you want to cut back on partying; eventually, the results will speak for themselves.
- Seek support
Some people struggle with low self-esteem, too much pride, negative experiences, or the fear of rejection, which makes them reluctant to ask for help when they need it.
And sure, showing vulnerability is hard. But nothing terrible is going to happen from asking for help. So, if you genuinely find it difficult to cut back on drinking and drug use, getting some support is a good idea.
It should be said, though, that turning to the person or group of people you drink and do drugs with for support will likely not go the way you think.
It is not saying they are bad people; they only have different priorities than what you are currently focused on; cutting back on partying and your health.
“People in recovery from addiction, for example, go through different stages, and a successful action is surrounding yourself with like-minded people,” said the experts at addicted.org.
When trying to find ways to cut back on partying and focus on health, it is best to turn to friends or family who would understand. This could be a gym partner, a teammate, a work associate, a close friend, or a family member.
Take the following steps when seeking support;
- Explain the problem and what you need help with – The problem involves too much alcohol, for example, and you want to focus more on physical fitness.
- Express everything with confidence – You wrote a list, and it is clear what your goals are. Express these goals with confidence knowing you can accomplish them.
- Trust the people you are asking for help – Unless these individuals will take you on an all-night bender, topped off with poor life choices at Taco Bell, it is safe to say you can trust them to support you when you are trying to cut back on partying.
- Express gratitude – Appreciate the support or help for what it is, and even start a gratitude journal; yes, write things down…again. Journaling works and is therapeutic.
Everyone needs help now and then. Taking steps to improve one’s physical and mental health often requires help from others.
- Be aware of the signs of addiction
Now is the time to get honest and straight with yourself. If everything up to this point has not worked to help you cut back on partying, alcohol use, or recreational drug use, make yourself aware of the signs of dependence or addiction.
This is nothing to be ashamed of because it can happen to anyone. In 2020, 14.5% of the American population aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
If you are trying to find ways to cut back on partying and focus on health, it is a good idea to be aware of the signs of addiction, such as;
- Temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss.
- Increasing irritability and extreme mood swings.
- Choosing partying over other responsibilities.
- Finding excuses to use drugs or alcohol, such as to relax, feel normal, or deal with stress.
- Doing drugs or drinking alone.
- Becoming isolated from friends and family.
- Feeling hungover all the time.
When in doubt, take an assessment or use a screening tool. No matter how minor the problem may seem, it becomes pretty difficult to ignore the symptoms.
- Be persistent and do not give up
There is good persistence and bad persistence.
Being persistent about going to the gym, for example, and exercising regularly is great for your physical and mental health, and there is a significant long-term benefit.
On the other hand, being persistent about getting drunk or high and having random sexual encounters is not necessarily good for your physical or mental health.
What happens in a bar or club may likely stay there, but the STDs will follow you for life.
When looking for the most effective methods to cut back on partying, part of this will involve being persistent about reducing or stopping alcohol and drug use.
Overall, persistence pays off, whether the outcomes are positive or negative…hopefully, positive in this situation.
Do not make it an uphill battle. Consider the following tips if you want to learn how to cut back on partying and focus on health:
- Set realistic goals and take practical steps to achieve them.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people and individuals who support your choices.
- Do not stop learning from good or bad experiences. Suppose you slip up and spend the weekend partying, print off your bank statement, and tape it to the bathroom mirror as a reminder.
- Always make time for yourself and focus on the positive things that bring you happiness and joy.
Stopping or cutting back on partying will not be easy. It may take several attempts, and there will be days when you want to give up and cave to temptation. If this happens, remind yourself that it is a marathon, not a sprint.
Be patient, take the time needed, trust the process, and focus on the results. As you use the above methods to cut back on partying, celebrate all your wins along the way, no matter how small they may be.
About the Guest Author: Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with substance abuse for over 20 years. He started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. With drug and alcohol problems constantly increasing, he utilized his website, Addicted.org, and community outreach to spread awareness. His primary focus is threefold: education, prevention, and rehabilitation.
Read more articles from Aisles of Life here.