How to stop drinking in five simple stages

How to stop drinking in five simple stages

Jo explains the process you go through when you stop drinking and learn to live life sober. Having an understanding of this process gives you more confidence, control and power which all helps you to manage things better and makes it less likely you'll slip up and revert back to old habits.
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a booted foot squelching into a muddy puddle to represent going the reward of going through struggle to get to happy sobriety

Struggling through mud

Sometimes we have to struggle through mud to get to dry land: Jo explains how life sober can be enhanced by the struggle with alcohol that's gone before. We don't have to regret our past when we can appreciate how it's contributed to a better quality present.
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diagram of a comfort circle showing the benefits of stepping outside it and socialising sober

How to socialise sober

I’ve just spent the last week going out and about in the daytimes and the evenings with friends, family and strangers. I’ve visited historic buildings, and restaurants. I’ve gone on mountain walks, treasure hunts and kayaked across lakes. Jo describes how you can do all these things sober, with a smile on your face and laughter in your ears.
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sandy feet on a beach to represent the freedom of stopping drinking

Sober in the beer garden

Jo explains how it's okay to be sober and feel unhappy and bored in certain situations - learning to live life without alcohol is also about learning to yes to the situations that are going to entertain, stimulate and be good for you and no to the ones that don't. Sometimes you just have to sit with boredom and discomfort and discover it's not the end of the world.
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view of spanish countryside representing sober holiday fun

Sober holiday fun

I’m coming to the end of a holiday with my partner and my son and have just been reflecting on what a wonderful time we’ve had and how much messier and traumatic it would have been if I’d been drinking: Jo describes how much better holidays are when you're enjoying them sober
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shopping trolley showing a week's shopping without alcohol

Smug shopping

Just returned home from the supermarket with three big bags full of shopping. Total cost was €120 and not a drop of alcohol anywhere.When I was drinking, this weekly shop would have included at least four bottles of wine and a bottle of gin: Jo describes the beauty of sober shopping.
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person at top of mountain with beautiful view of colourful sky to represent the rewards of stopping drinking

Shifting boxes

I remember the days when brushing my teeth in the morning was a massive chore I had to overcome. When preparing and eating a breakfast was a chore I had to overcome. When making a phone-call was a chore I had to overcome: Jo describes about how much easier life is when you've stopped drinking.
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woman smiling confidently at the camera with bright flowers in her hair to represent sober confidence

Stop drinking and reclaim your self-confidence

Amongst other things, by getting sober, you reclaim your self-confidence.So many people tell me that the biggest surprise about being sober is how much they enjoy socialising: Jo celebrates how much your self confidence returns when you've stopped drinking for long enough
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lamp with shoots of blue electric light to represent having power over alcohol

12 Step Programme Step 1: Are you Power LESS or Power FULL?

I woke up this morning with a clear head. With excitement and energy, looking forward to what the day was going to bring. I felt totally in control: Jo questions whether it's more helpful to consider yourself power-less or power-full in your relationship with alcohol.
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a woman relaxing on a duvet with cup of herbal tea to represent feeling good at the end of a sober day

There's no better feeling

Jo returns home, tired, achey and zonked from a super-active day out. A day out with anxiety, nerves, excitement, physical activity, fun, sight-seeing, walking, chatting, shopping and train journeys. She describes the joy of experiencing everything sober and being totally connected with your body and mind...
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the back of a woman in an art gallery looking at three paintings to show the importance of painting a positive picture of life sober

Here's how to make life easier if you want to stop drinking

So, you’ve decided you want to stop drinking. Or, you’ve recently stopped drinking and want to stay sober. Jo explains that the picture you paint or the story you tell yourself about what living life sober is like is the reality you'll bring to life...
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calendar with date circled to represent setting dates for stopping drinking

Taking a break vs stopping completely

Jo responds to a story about completing a 30 Day Sober Challenge and ending up on a 2 month binge afterwards. She offers some insights about what it's like to stop drinking completely and why you have to be careful if you set yourself sober time targets.
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spanish mountain view

Learning to speak Spanish

Jo describes how her confidence with speaking Spanish has grown in the last six months and points out the similarities between learning a new language and learning to live life sober. She explains the importance of practice when you're learning any new skill.
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male lion representing courage

Sobriety gives you courage

Jo describes how living life sober helps you to get in touch with the real, authentic you and helps you to find the courage to face your fears. It opens doors to your potential and possibility.
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table set for dinner with beautiful crockery to represent sober meals

Sober meal vs drunken meal

Jo describes some of the differences between going out for a meal when drinking and going out for a meal when sober and describes how much better an experience it is when you're sober.
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An umpire representing rules

A sign you have an unhealthy relationship with drink: you have RULES!

Jo suggests that one of the signs that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is that you have rules and patterns to your drinking. It doesn't have to be about the amount or regularity of your drinking, it can be about the energy, time and thought you give it.
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dramatic lightning in a stormy sky


Jo describes being caught in the eye of a storm and suggests that when we're putting something off, the idea of doing it is usually much worse than the reality of doing it. JFDI gives you permission to get on with things and make the changes you need to make.
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sheep in a field

Sheep at the bottom of the garden

Jo talks about the importance of noticing and celebrating the things that make you feel positive, the things that you're grateful for. Developing a gratitude habit helps you to stay happier, motivated and strong.
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person jumping joyfully on beach in sunset to represent relief and joy


Jo describes the relief you can feel, when you've been sober for a while, that you're no longer the person you used to be when you were drinking and offers reassurance that this is the stage you get to when you stick with it.
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lightbulb to represent how practice gives you power

It's not failure, it's practice

Jo advocates a healthy and more motivating way of approaching any occasions when you might slip up and reach for alcohol even though you've decided you want to stop drinking.
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crowd partying to represent not being alone

You are not alone

Jo reassures you that, if you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, you're not alone and explains that, the more you get chatting to other people about your story, you'd be surprised by the amount of people who are willing to open up and share their own stories about problems with alcohol.
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woman with hot water bottle representing comfort and wellbeing

Instant gratification vs wellbeing

Jo explains how you have a choice between instant gratification (with booze) or overall wellbeing further into the future and describes a situation where she chose instant gratification and booze and had to live with the consequences.
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man looking worried and deep in thought

How do I know if I have an unhealthy relationship with drink?

If you're not sure if you have a problem with drink or you want to reassure yourself that you don't or you want to confirm that you do, Jo gives you some signs to look out for and suggests some alternative ways of thinking about it.
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woman hiding under duvet

Hide if you have to

Jo shares some tips on how to cope with challenging days when you first stop drinking. She reassures you that it's okay to take time out and escape if you need to and stresses the importance of looking after your own needs.
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three trees representing three things to help you stop drinking

Get these three things in place and you'll be laughing

Jo shares three important things that need to be in place to make stopping drinking and staying sober a breeze.
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a glass of mint tea representing alcohol-free drink

How to explain why you're not drinking

Jo gives you some tips on how to explain why you're not drinking. Some people can worry when they first stop drinking that they don't know how to explain this to their friends and peers - they don't want to admit they have had a problem. Jo helps you get prepared and confident so you don't have to worry.
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Jo standing in sunshine having fun afternoon sober

Sober fun vs drunken fun

If you want to stop drinking or have stopped drinking recently, this is a reassuring and motivating video describing how much better social events can be when you're sober. When you're drinking it's easy to imagine that you can't have fun when you're drinking soft drinks. This video busts that myth!
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Jo wrapped in towel fresh out of the pool

Sobriety and courage

Jo describes taking a cold swim first thing in the morning and explains how stopping drinking and living life sober opens the door to rediscovering yourself, your strengths and infinite possibilities.
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placebo pills representing the power of belief

The power of belief

Having just watched a programme all about the power of belief and how the mind can cure the body, I feel excited because it seems like more research is being done into how powerful a tool the mind is. Jo talks about the power of belief and how you can stop drinking more easily when you harness the power of your mind.
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non-alcoholic beer bottle top

Non-alcoholic beers

I posted a pic on Instagram recently of my brother and I enjoying a non-alcoholic beer on a day out. The point of the post was that it feels great when you’re sober and the people around you also choose to go sober with you. Jo discusses the merits and pitfalls of non-alcoholic beers and lagers.
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