I have not written about the alcohol topic for awhile, but feel compelled to share some pearls of wisdom I have learned along the way this year. Ideally it may help to inspire some of you, or help you through a difficult time, or simply motivate you to live life better.
By April or so this year my abstinence from alcohol came to an end. I made it through 1 year and 4 months, and for this mammoth effort I was super proud. But I was starting to feel hung up on not drinking, for some crazy reason. I felt like having some distracted fun again, loosening up again, and trying to not over think it all too much, again.
I had a friend come and stay, and he likes to drink. Stocking the fridge with beer and wine and expensive bottles of champagne, surprisingly it still wasn’t much of a distraction. I had grown used to not drinking, and enjoyed the many benefits it gave me. But a creeping doubt lurked in my mind. Why not just have one or two? I was invited to a dinner and an ensuing champagne toast. Not wanting to exclude myself from this social ceremony one more time, I decided to accept my first glass of bubbles in 16 months.
I did not turn into a raging crazy lady. I did not dance on the table, nor did I want to drink more and more, so that was a relief! But gradually over the coming months, alcohol insidiously crept back into my life. And I did kind of turn back into that crazy person again.
See the problem with drinking is it’s really fun. It’s fucking awesome. It is a great stress reliever, it is very social, it can taste good when you choose the right drinks, and it is a great way to completely numb yourself out of thinking about your problems, stress or challenges in your everyday life. That is why so many people love to drink. But like all drugs and poisons, it is not good for us. Consuming too much of anything is not good for us. And for me and I am sure maybe you reading this article right now, perhaps stopping at two is also hard for you too. Who the hell stops at two drinks? Who are these normal people?? Lol!
So in summary, the time has come again to stop drinking. My hiatus from drinking round two began at the start of September. Intentionally I planned to do sober September, that had a ring to it and I knew it was time for me to start cutting down or quite wildly cutting out all together. I am pretty wild like that. All or nothing baby.
This time around it was actually quite easy. It really is a mind shift, a clear decision, which does require some self discipline. For now I am happy not drinking and I have naturally returned to my excellent healthy routines again. Here are some of my new routines that have improved my lifestyle in the last couple of weeks:
- Going to bed early, and rise before your alarm. Boom. I had been trying to wake up at 6am for months, and now its easy. Especially when you go to bed before 930pm. You will wake refreshed, and ready for the day.
- Exercise is the key here to use up all the new energy you have. I have been cycling to work, a total of 30km in a day, swimming at my local pool, and taking lots of walks. It does not even matter what exercise you choose, just get your body moving again and it will love you for it. Oh I have also been playing tennis and golf, I really want to focus on becoming an awesome athlete, again! Oh and getting my body back into shape, that would be nice too.
- Get outside. I am a huge nature lover. The peace and serenity is amazing and it is fantastic to be offline, have some space to think and simply admire the beauty around you. Try going to some local parks, beach, river, or local lakes for a walk, or even go on a picnic! I love picnics!
- Eat healthy. Eat proper meals and aim to make them natural and colourful. Try and cut out the crap, you will feel better for it.
- Read. Reading is one of my favourite past times. Last week I was reading 3 books at once. It was fabulous. I am already feeling smarter as my brain cells rejuvenate again. My brain function is one main reason why I want to avoid drinking, I literally feel brain dead after a big night drinking; finding it hard to remember basic things, and talk intelligently. Go to your local library, peruse the shelves and find books of interest. Grab heaps and don’t feel pressured to read them all, you just have lots of options.
So there are five of my best new habits that have enabled me to stay off drinking quite easily in the last few weeks. I am on a roll now and it is easy. I am not thinking about drinking anymore nor do I even hesitate to swing in to the drive-thru* on the way home.
I hope my tips have helped you to re-think your drink this week. Do you have any sure fire stay off booze tips you would like to share too?
Thanks and have a great booze free week!
*In Australia we have this crazy concept where you can literally drive your car up to a bottle shop and someone will serve you. You do not have to leave your car! Just like buying fast food, except it is booze! I know this is a foreign concept for some people, but we also do not sell alcohol in supermarkets, like most of the world does. Weird Australian fact!