Changing Your Relationship with Alcohol: You Don't Need to Hit Rock Bottom to Start
Ange is the founder of Mind The Sip – an inclusive mindful drinking app for all genders and ages (18+) to help you reassess your relationship with alcohol. They provide you with the tools and resources to cement a lifestyle free from hangovers, regrets and excess expense. Their mission for all members is to drink mindfully and within the health guidelines, with it being your ultimate choice whether you wish to go all the way to zero.
This is Ange's story - #SundayGuestBlogs
It's a common misconception that you need to hit rock bottom before you can start making changes to your relationship with alcohol. In my case, it was waking up after one very "long lunch" to the crippling realisation that something needed to drastically change. Nothing untoward happened at that lunch - in fact, that, of itself, was almost the problem. It was yet another event where it was all fun and games with endless wines over a meal, followed by cocktails at the pub, roadies in the Uber home, and drinks back at someone's house. There wasn't a moment of great embarrassment, nor a familiar pit of regret for something I may have said or done. Instead, in its place was the overwhelming urge for change. I knew, in that moment, it was time to take a hard look at my drinking habits and gain back control. It had been a slow burn, but I'd arrived!
So, there and then, I started by reflecting on my drinking patterns. How often was I drinking? How much was I drinking? And why was I drinking? I discovered that I was a walking oxymoron. I would focus on all thing’s health midweek, working out, eating healthy, no alcohol. But come the weekend, I would "make up for it" and overindulge in alcohol . This cycle was not sustainable. I realised that my beliefs around alcohol were holding me back. I believed that alcohol was necessary for socialising and having fun, and that it was a way to cope with stress. But these beliefs were not serving me, and I knew I needed to challenge them.
I introduced alcohol-free alternatives and swapped out the real deal for their zero counterparts. I also immersed myself in “Quit-Lit” reading other people's stories of similar journeys helped me feel seen. I listened to podcasts whenever I could, and connected with the sober curious and mindful drinking communities online.
I would gear myself up ahead of social occasions and ensure I was entering into an environment to truly connect with others. I engaged in conversation and was present whilst they spoke, not thinking about whether I'd like a salted or a chili rim on my marg, or who was the designated driver that evening. I would enjoy the food, the music, the atmosphere and really soak up everything the environment was serving, instead of waking up the next day with fragmented memories and cringe-worthy flashbacks.
One of my biggest takeaways is that it takes time! I liken it to a gym membership. You don’t decide to join a gym to get in shape and the next day wake up with a six-pack or a tight little peach (if only). It takes time and work to get there. Changing your relationship with alcohol is the same deal. It takes time and practise to break the familiar habits and patterns that have been so deeply engrained.
Go to Ange's page to find out more about the Mind The Sip giveaway
I still enjoy a long lunch, but now, I wake the next day feeling refreshed and energised, ready to tackle the day ahead. I'm able to be more present with my loved ones, enjoy the little things I would have otherwise missed with my head under the doona, and take better care of myself and my family.
If you're looking to change your relationship with alcohol, my advice would be to start by reflecting on your drinking patterns and the reasons why you drink. Challenge any beliefs you have around alcohol that may be holding you back, and most importantly, be patient with yourself. You don't need to hit rock bottom to make a change - every small step counts. Remember, it's a journey, and every day is a new opportunity to make healthier choices.
Find me on the links below - Thanks for having me as part of this amazing community x
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