Breaking the cycle of alcohol abuse and loneliness

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21066194 - young man with his yellow labrador retriever in nature - back litWe all feel lonely from time to time. It’s part of the human experience and it’s estimated that 3-in-10 U.S. adults are battling these feelings. The good news is coping mechanisms can help you feel more at ease and resist the urge to drink.

Just like committing to an exercise routine to improve your physical health, you can develop a routine to handle these challenges. In bolstering emotional strength and resilience, you will improve your quality of life at the same time. Below are 4 ways you can deal with loneliness without alcohol.

Get some vitamin D

Sunlight does a body good. It gives us a boost of energy in the mornings and alerts our body when it’s time to turn in.

What you might not know is that sunlight is vital to vitamin D production. Most people in the northern hemisphere are deficient in this hormone and that can spell trouble with our health. Conversely, a healthy dose of sunlight can help with everything from mental health, to weight loss to overall mood regulation.

In other words, vitamin D might be just what the doctor ordered! So, get outside for a few moments and you might be surprised by the change.

Take inventory of your relationships

Loneliness is sometimes due to a lack of meaningful relationships. Take a moment to consider your daily interactions with friends, work colleagues, and family. Are the majority of your relationships superficial or genuine? If you feel like they’re one-dimensional, consider deepening them or making new friends.

Channel your inner extrovert

Make a point to organize events, activities, or a party for friends, family, and coworkers. Make a list of your interests or hobbies and see where these overlap with your social circle. For instance, maybe you have several friends who enjoy hiking or knitting. You might consider organizing get-togethers and at the same time, you can meet your own emotional and social needs.

Volunteer

One of the best ways to make social connections and stave off loneliness is by becoming a volunteer. People who volunteer make a point to get out of their comfort zones. Their regular interactions help them develop a healthy support system.

Plus, volunteers are an essential part of society and tend to be adept in navigating social situations, skills anyone can benefit from. To start volunteering, reach out to food banks, animal shelters, or long-term care facilities.

Having strong social connections takes effort, practice and consistency but it’s worth the work in the end. Alcohol abuse, on the contrary, can lead to addiction and further loneliness. Instead, actively strengthen your relationships and you might be surprised how alcohol becomes less of a temptation.