In the United States, about 15 million people struggle with alcoholism. 

You may feel like you're alone in your recovery journey, but you're not. 

Healthy habits are key to your recovery. Read on for nine things to do instead of drinking when things get difficult in your life.

1. Read

One of the best things to do instead of drinking is to pick up a good book.

The best thing about reading is that you can open the pages and get sucked into a whole other world. You can forget about your world and just be absorbed into the words that are on the page.

2. Exercise

There are so many benefits to exercise, but one of the best is that it can greatly improve your mood. 

It can also be a great distraction. If you habitually do it, you will start to feel physically better which will also help you when you have the urge to drink again. 

3. Go Outside

If you just go to the gym to exercise, you should also consider making time to go outside. 

There are so many beautiful things outside, and nature is soothing. Go for a walk around a park and just take time to notice the flowers, the animals, and even the weather.

4. Call up a Friend

If you are feeling like you need to drink, you could also call up a friend.

Whether you call to catch up or just ask them if they want to plan a time to hang out, it can be nice to know someone is there for you.

That way you won't feel lonely, and being around someone you enjoy will also make you feel happier. It will also help you stop isolating yourself.  

5. Practice Some Self Care

Make sure that you take time to take care of yourself. That could be doing something relaxing, like taking a bath or going to get a massage. 

Relaxation is different for every person, so find something you enjoy doing that and make it a routine. 

6. Meditate

Meditation is helpful because it can help you gain control of your thoughts.

Spending a few minutes every day focusing on your thoughts and listening to your body can help you control the voices in your head that tell you that you need another drink. 

7. Cook or Bake

Some people enjoy cooking or baking. 

If you feel the need to pick up a bottle of alcohol, pick up a baking pan instead and start making something yummy. 

8. Channel Some Creativity

If you can't get the feelings out of you with words, maybe you can get them out by being creative in other ways.

Try painting what you feel. Or maybe you could try molding clay or taking photographs. 

9. Distract Yourself

The most important thing you should do is to try and distract yourself. 

Whether it's being aware of the surroundings around you or playing with your AA token, do something to take your mind off alcohol. 

Do These Things to Do Instead of Drinking

The ideas above are all great things to do instead of drinking.

It can be a difficult journey, but you can have different mementos to remind you of the path you're on.

To help remind you of your journey, shop for one of these recovery gifts