Wanting to change your relationship with alcohol doesn’t have to start with an almighty hangover. It does help though! For some time now I’ve been saying I wanted to cut down but for some reason it just wasn’t happening. Enter celebrations for my boyfriend’s 40th along with a rather bad head the next day and I had just the excuse I needed to give the booze a break.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a massive drinker, I don’t get drunk (ok occasionally tipsy) but I did grow up in that culture and I was a student in the nineties. I have realised in recent months though, that I’ve been drinking way more that I would like. Nothing major if you look at it day by day, but every day for a long time and it creeps up on you, until one day, you look at the recycling bag and realise just how much you are putting away each week. Oh dear!
I don’t want to give up drink. I enjoy tasting a new wine, sipping a G&T on a summer’s evening, drinking real ale in a country pub. But I do want to change my relationship with alcohol to make it an occasional pleasure and not an everyday need.
With that in mind I have compiled a list of 5 strategies that are helping me on my way. Why not join me and see if these strategies can work for you too?
- Decide what exactly it is you want. I want to remove alcohol from everyday life and reinstate it as a couple of drinks one or two evenings a week although longer periods of abstinence are fine by me.
- Find your own non alcoholic drink to have with dinner and in the evening. Try a gin-free tonic with lots of ice and lime as an aperitif and just plain water with a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint over dinner. Serving your drink in a nice glass makes it special and I love the thought that I’m rehydrating rather than dehydrating throughout the evening.
- Find a drink to help you sleep rather than keeping you awake. I’ve always been a bad sleeper after more than a couple of glasses of wine so it’s a pleasure to drink something good for me that will help me sleep. You could try herbal tea (try Neal’s Yard Organic Night Time Tea or YogiTea Bedtime), hot chocolate or warm milk and honey. Using either regular or almond milk and sweetening your drink with honey will increase the amount of tryptophan (the amino acid that helps us sleep) in your system.
- Get a new routine and make bedtime healthy “me time” with some gentle yoga or a hot bath. I find the essential oils of Lavender and Roman Chamomile work wonders for uplifting our mood and putting us in a gentle state of relaxation (mix 3 drops of each oil in a tablespoon of sea salt and add to your bath).
- Do something different. Instead of sitting in front of the tv after dinner, cracking open another beer or pouring another glass of wine I’ve taken to wandering outside in these light evenings. Now is the perfect time for getting out in the evening, exploring the local area or joining a club, so long as it’s not the real ale appreciation society!
So how has it been so far? Actually not as difficult as I anticipated. I’m enjoying being alcohol free and am feeling good about what I’m putting into my body. Of course today is only day 5 and we do have visitors coming soon so I may join in with the odd glass, but hopefully these simple strategies will allow me to re-evaluate my relationship with alcohol and get it back to the occasional pleasure it once was. I will keep you updated.
What about you? Are you happy in your relationship with alcohol? Or is it time to re-evaluate?
If you do want to change your relationship with alcohol then I’ve found Hello Sunday Morning to be full of inspiration and information.
Happy weekend everyone from this sober little corner of the world ♥