Feb fast is beginning for many people today and I thought, with this in mind I would write an encouraging blog to get you and me through a month of no booze! I am proud to share that I have not had a drink for 2 weeks already… and my plan is to go 3 months with out drinking alcohol. So far so good!
I have had a few periods of my life where I go cold turkey and do not drink a thing. And I always feel SO GOOD for my healthy choices. I am so proud, I strut more, I hold my clear focussed head up high and feel like a superhero. My resolve is strong once I switch my mind onto the concept of no drinking, and I normally can stick to my guns. However, the bad drinking habits creep back in again stealth like, wearing black, and creep surreptitiously back to the bottle shop. All those healthy new routines fall apart, the headaches return, crazy drunk loud raucous nights return, and the budget blows out. This time I am determined to stick to my 3 month goal, and by doing so, writing here and committing is all very much a part of it. Plus, if I can help others with my determination and hot tips then all the better.
So what is the best way to give up drinking? JUST STOP. No just one more bottle, or I just have to finish what I have in the fridge, or the cupboard, or wherever you stash your supplies. Just stop. Stop it. Giving up anything I believe is 50% mental will power, 25% habitual, and 25% craving. It really is also about tricking your mind into healthier habits. So give away what you have in the cupboards, give it away! Or pour it down the sink, just get it the hell out of your new health kick home!
I come from a long line of drinkers, on both sides of my family tree. Alcoholism, such a dirty word, was never spoken out loud amongst my inner circle. As an adult I began to realise the fact each of my parents could not, or did not want to go a day without drinking, kind of meant they had a problem. Don’t get me wrong, they were the high functioning alchies. They were both super productive, worked every day, were always motivated and knew when to stop. I rarely saw either of them drunk, literally I can count on one hand for both of them. So that doesn’t seem so bad does it? Well they are both dead now, and I do believe alcohol kind of contributed in some way to their cancer demise. But they were happy drunks! Not bad gutter, paper bag drunks. Sophisticated, classy drunks. They did not vomit. (Okay Dad did once that I know of after a long boozy lunch with his best mate at the ripe age of 78. He totally power spewed that grog away. Kudos to you Dad! I do think he already had some cancer lurking in his system, so maybe it was the cancers fault, certainly not the 10 drinks…lol). My point is, I have a family history of very happy consistent drinking behaviour…therefore, it concerns me that I am possibly quite the same. And it appears that generally I am!
When I take all limits away, I like to drink most days. Not crazy amounts but sure 2 to 4 or so. Then there are Friday night drinks with my crazy colleagues. We knock back way more than our standard drink allocations, enough for 10 people probably! Anyhow, enough about me. All you need to know is there is certainly a need to take a break for the time being. And it so far feels great. Really fucking great. Way better than drunk ever feels.
So here are some hot tips to get you motivated and to stay off the booze for the coming month:
- Come up with a replacement non- alcoholic drink that you love. Right now my favourite is Bundaberg lemon lime and bitters, sugar free. It’s lovely! I also like soda water with lime, water with some cordial, then cups of tea. To get you through that peak drinking period, ‘its 5pm/6pm/ time for a drink time’ pour yourself one of these delicious new healthy drinks, even into a nice glass, with ice, and sit somewhere nice, preferably outside in your garden, and sip on your new healthy brew. This new replacement strategy is a good start. So go look for your new favourite drink. Trust me it will be a lot healthier and cheaper than an alcoholic beverage.
- Be firm in your mind that this is your decision to not drink. Willpower is very important in this early stage. You are in control of your actions, and know this is a healthy, good action for your health and wellbeing. Make up your mind and stick to it. You can do it! Make a clear goal of one month, one week, or one year or whatever time frame, and STICK TO IT! You owe this to yourself. And I promise you, the benefits in only a few days will start appearing and will make your resolve stronger. The hardest part is the first 3 days, breaking the habits, and starting new healthy routines.
- Avoid social occasions. Now ofcourse this does not have to be for the whole time, but if you are feeling weak, being around people who are drinking, especially in the first week, may break you. I went to a party recently and I nearly broke. My friend had made a delicious peach Bellini, ohhh it looked AMAZING! But I resisted, and trust me, I felt so much better for my choice. I was so responsible!
- Go to bed early. Go to bed by 9pm. Seriously, your body and mind will love you for the rest. Read a book, write in a journal have sex if you have a partner (lucky you), just go to bed and be done with the night and temptation.
- Wake up early and exercise. Now because you went to bed so darn early, it is easy to rise early and start a new exercise routine. Your choice, get into cycling, a beach walk, a walk in a local park, some stretches on a yoga mat, whatever, just move your body and get active. You will feel many benefits from this. And you won’t have a hangover, so that early morning movement will feel great.
I could write many more suggestions, but I will leave it there for now. I will write again in a few weeks and check in to see how you are going, and report my progress too. I hope you find these suggestions helpful! Good luck and stick to it! We are in this together! Feel free to message me in my comments and let me know if you are attempting Feb fast!