It's only natural that your drinking habits change as your living conditions change. Anne Hathaway knows the feeling – now that she has a three-year-old son, she has been drinking for the foreseeable future.
"I stopped drinking in October," she recently said on ] The Ellen DeGeneres Show . When asked if this was her plan forever, she replied, "For 18 years, I will stop drinking while my son is in my house just because I do not totally love the way I do it. and he's getting to an age where he really needs me all the time in the morning. "Hathaway also told how she found it hard to drop her son at school after drinking the night before and not feeling well about it. "I did not drive, but I had a hangover ̵
Giving up alcohol (or just reducing it) for a period of time can have its benefits.  Hathaway is hardly the first to do so. For example, many people are currently at the end of Dry January (where they give alcohol for the month), and many others have given up alcohol for a moment when they start a new drug, start therapy, or try a new nutrition plan.
"Like any unhealthy habit, people find all sorts of positive effects if they stay away from it for a while," said David Streem, medical director of the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center at the Cleveland Clinic, says SELF.
You may notice that some health benefits such as sleep better since they are more hydrated and potential hangovers that you may have otherwise experienced, Jamie Alan are avoided, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Michigan State University, to SELF. And in the spirit, there is something to be said to prove to yourself that you can go without alcohol consumption and just be healthy, or learn to develop healthier coping mechanisms.
While you are trying sobriety, this can be helpful in evaluating things in real time.
Before you even begin, Dr. Streem, find out your motivation. Maybe you feel too little energy or mood swings that are related to your drinking. Or like Hathaway, you are not very happy with the way you drink. "Decide in advance, but be open to changes you might not have expected," he says. In other words, you may find that alcohol did not affect your energy as much as you expected. or maybe it has affected your energy even more than you realized when you restricted your drinking and you also found a number of other benefits.
Write down how you feel and how it compares to how you feel when you drink. You can be as detailed as you like, you may want to have a daily log of your energy and mood in your phone, or just write down how you feel on a Sunday morning when you know you usually drank the night before to have. "Tracking these changes on paper or on the computer – and not in your head – is more likely to lead to an assessment of actual improvement," says Dr. Streem. You can even ask the people who are near you, if they've noticed behavioral changes since you stopped drinking. Brad Lander, Ph.D., psychologist and clinical director of addiction medicine at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, tells SELBST. You may notice things you have not even thought of.
Remember, you may also notice some difficult changes.
For example, if you tend to use alcohol to cope with negative emotions, you may notice it. These feelings surface when you are not drinking. "It shows that you have areas of your life that you need to improve," says Lander. While that sounds awful, Lander says it's actually a good thing: knowing that you use alcohol as an unhealthy coping mechanism, you can work to develop some healthy habits that will help you cope with difficult things.  You may also find this a challenge if you are constantly in an alcohol-friendly environment, such as: For example, working in a bar or living with friends who often celebrate a lot. However, that does not mean that you should not take an alcohol break if you are interested. Just expect the change to be a little difficult for you, and try to think about ways to stick to your solution, Dr. Streem. That said, if you have a history of addiction or are a very heavy drinker, it's probably better to seek professional help than to try to tackle it yourself, as this has potential serious side effects can bring, says Alan.
When you reach the end of your set sobriety time, you have a few options.
You may decide that it was an entertaining experiment, but you prefer to drink your normal glass of wine – and that's okay too. But you might be surprised at how well it worked for you and change some longer-term changes.
When people decide that they feel better after a period of sobriety, they decide to give it up for even longer periods of time, Dr. Streem. Keep in mind that any health benefits that you have suffered during a dry spell will likely disappear as soon as you start drinking again, Alan notes.
The decision to take an alcohol break or not – and for how long – is personal. But if you have always been curious to lose alcohol, there's really no reason not to try.