28 December, 2021

Doing a month-long challenge such as Ditch the Drink can be a great starting point for creating a healthy habit that can lead to long-term benefits in your life.

We’ve created our Ditch the Drink Challenge to help you begin changing your relationship with alcohol. Drinking any amount of alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer. Over 4,400 breast cancer cases, each year are caused by drinking alcohol. But we all know that starting something and following it through can be hard.

So the BCUK team has put our heads together (virtually obviously) and come up with some top tips to help you get yourself into the right mindset to succeed.

Let’s get prepared.  As the saying goes, ‘if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’ and you don’t want that.

Make your list

Of the reasons why you don’t want to drink – may sound obvious but during a craving, you can forget why you started. Make a list. Pin it up where you will see it often. Every time you pass it, it will act as a reminder. A simple but effective trick to keep you on track.

Beware of triggers

Get rid of, or put away any alcohol in your house – if it’s not there, you can’t be so easily tempted. Think about what makes you want to drink. Try and create alternative routines. Do you drink when watching TV? – think of alternatives you can have ready.  Do you drink after work to unwind? swap the alcohol for exercise – so you get double the benefit, ditching alcohol and getting active!

Peer pressure can be hard to rebuff

Have some replies ready for when the pressure comes your way. “I’m taking a break from alcohol” / “The pros of staying sober outweigh the cons for me” /”I’m doing the Ditch the Drink Challenge and I’m being sponsored. Hey, would you like to sponsor me too?”!

Set yourself mini-milestones

You can pass along the way, and reward yourself when you do. Breaking a challenge down into easy steps will help keep you motivated. If you make it past the first weekend, treat yourself and get your nails done or your beard trimmed at the barbers. Make it past the halfway point, treat yourself to a spa day. Or set yourself a goal for every five days you manage to do you treat yourself to a bunch of flowers, or begin a collection (figurines, badges, shoes!) The choice is yours!

Keep Socialising

You don’t have to hide away this will just add to the pressure you feel. Instead, pick a venue or activity that can’t involve alcohol. A coffee house that only serves softies or a park outing that wouldn’t have involved booze even when you were drinking.

Pick up some ‘Quit Lit’

‘Quit Lit’ refers to books that help you quit. A quick search online will bring up a list of titles for you to choose from.  One that is highly recommended is The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray.  It made The Sunday Times’ top 10 bestseller list. Gray’s tale of going sober is motivational. Sure to help you stay the distance.

We have lots more tips and tricks over in our Ditch the Drink Facebook group – which you get access to when you sign up.

If you’re ready to test your motivation and take a decisive step to create a healthy habit, which if you continue long-term, will significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer and other diseases? Then go on join us.

Let’s make 2022 a year of feeling great and making healthy habits.

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