If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 988 and press 1, or Text 838255. You can also call 911.

Alcohol-Free Stress Management Strategies

Alcohol can be a tempting choice if you are feeling a bit stressed and want to unwind. It can be easy to get, and you may be able to feel its effects immediately. But continuing to reach for alcohol in times of stress can lead to dependence and can negatively affect your brain and mental health. That is why it’s important to find alcohol-free ways to manage your stress. Keep reading for some ways to reduce your stress that don’t involve drinking alcohol.

Alcohol-free Stress Management Options and Suggestions

Take breaks from news stories, including those on social media

  • It’s good to be informed, but constant information about negative events can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple times a day and disconnecting from your phone, TV and computer screens for a while

Take care of your body
Staying physically healthy can improve your emotional well-being. Here are some ways to improve your health:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Have fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat or no-fat dairy. Limit foods with unhealthy fats, salt and added sugars
  • Get enough sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to help you sleep better. Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night
  • Move more and sit less. Every little bit of physical activity helps. Start small and build up to 2.5 hours (or more) a week. You can break it into smaller amounts such as 20 to 30 minutes a day

Continue with regular health appointments, tests, screenings and vaccinations

Make time to unwind

  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate
  • Try to do – or do more of – some activities you enjoy
  • Take up a new hobby

Connect with others

  • Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • Connect with your community-based or faith-based organizations

Consider preparing and drinking “mocktails”

  • If you’re searching for alcohol-free alternatives to your favorite cocktails – commonly known as “mocktails” – there are plenty of tasty mocktail recipe options that people have created and made available on the internet that are delicious and won’t leave you feeling buzzed

Avoid using products that can be harmful to your health like

  • Illegal drugs or prescription drugs in ways other than prescribed
  • Tobacco products like cigarettes and electronic cigarettes
If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line at 988 and press 1, or Text 838255. You can also call 911.