6 Steps to Handling a Breakup Without Booze

6 Steps to Handling a Breakup Without Booze

Staying sober during a breakup can be challenging for those who turn to alcohol, and feeling depressed or anxious about single life after a partnership is normal — especially if the split was volatile. Likewise, the pain can feel intense when you no longer have booze to soothe your broken heart.

Fortunately, sobriety is possible even during the most intense moments of your life. Here are six ways to handle a breakup and embrace the single life again without alcohol.

1.   Find Support

Turn to your support system when going through a breakup — they’ll help you get through the end of a relationship without turning to alcohol. Studies show that having little support or isolating yourself when you’re in distress risks worsening addictions and mental health conditions.

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In the United States, 30 years old is the average age people go through a divorce. Turn to your your best gal pals or your mom to pull you through. Make plans to go out and do fun activities together and know who you can count on to answer the phone when you need to cry or vent.

2.   Get Rid of the Reminders

Getting rid of your ex-partner’s belongings might seem harsh, but it could be the first essential step toward healing from your breakup. Reminders of your former flame, including betrayal and broken communication, can do more damage than good, especially if you’re trying to avoid drinking.

Delete their photos from your social media accounts and phone gallery and put their residual items in a box to send to them or throw away. You should also change your passwords to Netflix and Hulu and delete the ringtone of your mutual song with your ex-partner.

3.   Do Things You Enjoy

Finding a distraction from the breakup can help you to avoid turning to alcohol to cope. Take this time post-relationship to throw yourself back into things you enjoy doing alone. Is there a hobby you haven’t devoted time to in a while?

Art classes are excellent for tapping into your creativity for self-expression, helping to release some of the sad feelings or anger you may have around the breakup. Learn to paint, take an acting class or start sketching scenes from your daily life.

Days at the beach or going for a walk could also be the ticket for pulling yourself out of a slump. Activities don’t have to be expensive — they just need to distract you from your ex and provide a much-needed outlet.

4.   Prioritize Your Health With Exercise

Beat the breakup blues by prioritizing your health after a split. Exercise is as good for your mental health as it is for your body.

Experts point out that physical activities produce endorphins — stress-busting neurotransmitters that induce happy feelings and increased energy. Exercise is also something you can do alone or with a friend. For instance, unwind to your favorite jams during a jog or invite your best friend for a game of volleyball or tennis.

5.   Go to Therapy

Few breakup coping strategies are as beneficial as going to therapy. A therapist is a trustworthy outlet you can openly speak to about your feelings. They also have ample resources to help you through difficult times.

You can perceive therapy as an opportunity to learn about yourself and grow. Take the time for self-reflection and look inward to overcome your breakup without turning to booze. Focusing on self-care and self-improvement will help you avoid urges for alcohol.

If you’re worried about the stigma of seeking help from a therapist, remember nearly 4.7 million Americans sought counseling services in 2021. Going to therapy is widely accepted and respected worldwide.

6.   Attend a 12-Step Meeting or find community

Attending a 12-step meeting or finding a sober community encompasses all the strategies for handling a breakup without breaking sobriety. Meetings remind you of your strength, courage and commitment to staying alcohol-free and enable you to meet and find support from others in similar situations.

Attending a meeting isn’t a step backward in your recovery — it’s a step forward on your path toward healing after life’s ups and downs.

You Can Handle Anything Without Alcohol

Breakups are hard enough without prior alcohol addictions. Sobriety may prove to be even more challenging when you’re suffering a broken heart. However, with the proper support and coping tools, you can make it past a breakup booze-free.


Written by Mia Barnes

Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine

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