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Is there anything that relaxes you in the way that alcohol does, but which doesn't have calories or negative effects to the health?  

 

I really feel like I need something to help me unwind other than alcohol.

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Regular exercise.  Seriously.  Find something that really captures your interest.  For me that was hoop dancing, for others it might be the gym, or yoga, or whatever.  Something that doesn't feel like exercise, or a chore.  Just fun.  But if you're having fun, plus working out, well I find it very relaxing, very soothing.  Good for me and helps me to sleep at night too.

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Leading a happy and fulfilling life - that probably helps though I have no idea how you get one of those. Someone once said to me that they don't need to be wasted to have a good time, my jaw hit my toes. Strange but true, some people can be happy when they're sober. My best and worst memories are the times when I was drunk. You should ignore me.

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I agree about the knitting. Really any calm soothing hobby like that.

I unwind by reading (when I'm able). Or knitting. Getting under a warm blanket and playing games on my phone. It may sound silly, but I love those mindless slot games or casino games. It's way more fun than wasting your own money in a real casino. Most of them are free games too.

I hope you are able to find something that works for you!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like to drink tea to relax. Herbal teas and caffeinated breakfast teas. I like to watch an episode of a sitcom or something too. Half an hour to twenty minutes taking my mind off other things and not too serious. If I'm not really tired, then going for walk (it can be half an hour or even less) works well too.

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Sometimes I put plain diet cranberry in a wine glass and try to sip like i would wine. I find this keeps my hand busy and that helps a lot.

This is an excellent suggestion. I'm going to try this. Doing this while listening to music is probably going to be as good as it gets for me.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Is there anything that relaxes you in the way that alcohol does, but which doesn't have calories or negative effects to the health?  

 

I really feel like I need something to help me unwind other than alcohol.

In my experience, there is nothing that comes even remotely close. Not Xanax, not Valium, not pot, nothing. As for activities, they are not even in the same orbit. That said, once you stop—and I'm having an unbelievably difficult time with this right now— for a while you can do without easily enuf. Problem is preventing yourself from starting up again. As for relaxation/unwinding: if that's all you need, the stuff other people here have suggested will work. Exercise and listening to music are good ones, as is meditation or even self-hypnosis. They have CDs with special sounds and/guided mediation that can be quite useful. A light and sound machine, like the David, can also be helpful. I should prolly note that my experiences may not be typical of most, as I'm a raging alcoholic (drink at least 30 a day).
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I've had the best success asking myself why I feel the need to consciously wind down, and what's stressing me out. Then, with that in mind, I take a situational approach to relaxation. For instance, maybe I'm stressed because I went into a busy store and there were a lot of people in my personal space. I take half an hour to sit alone and listen to some loud music, while maybe working on a current bead project or reading a couple chapters of my book. For family stress, I might write a blog, or even just sit and rant in my paper journal. So on. Sometimes just thinking about why I'm stressing is enough to start the process of winding down from it. Just having a name for what's going on can be helpful.

 

Chamomile tea helps me wind down, too. Having a hot drink is sometimes weirdly soothing.

Edited by Mim
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