Tips from Lucy Quick - Thrivalist.
Taking a break from alcohol is a great idea for everyone, no matter how much or little you drink. So if you have committed to partaking in Dry July, well done you! If you’re feeling like you really need to take a break from booze for a month, it’s likely you will benefit from doing some of the deeper work to understand why you are drinking too much and to change your relationship with alcohol long-term.
Rather than only abstaining from drinking for a month, why not see this Dry July as an opportunity to do some of the deeper work, so that if or when you decide to start drinking again you have made some longer-term changes to your drinking behaviour? The first and most important step is to be prepared, which is why below I have outlined what to expect over the four week period, and tips for how to navigate any challenges. The less surprises you’re hit with, the greater your chance of success will be.
You may have alcohol withdrawals
Alcohol is an addictive substance that you need to physically detox from. The equilibrium your body created to adjust to alcohol in your system will no longer exist, which means you’re likely going to have some form of withdrawal and cravings.
Tip: Listen to your bidy and your mind. Every time you have a craving and don’t drink, you are retraining your subconscious mind to no longer associate alcohol with relieving triggering feelings. It gets easier and easier each time.
You’ll need to feel your feelings
If you are drinking to numb anything in your life, whether it’s from the past or happening now, without the anesthetising effects of alcohol, you are going to have to learn how to sit in discomfort, process your emotions and work through some issues.
Tip: A beautiful practice to support you with this is to hold space for yourself and journal what is coming up for you when you are triggered. You may also like to seek some coaching or therapy to help guide you.
You may not sleep well initially
Your body and brain may take some time to adjust to falling asleep on its own, without the anethesising effects of alcohol. It may take a few days, or a few weeks, but know that eventually, you will find yourself sleeping better than ever and getting the most beautiful, restorative sleep that you have been craving.
Tip: Create a new evening ritual that includes a relaxing hot bath, a chamomile tea and some meditation.
You might experience FOMO
Deep in your subconscious mind is an embedded belief that links alcohol and fun. For most of your life you have been conditioned to believe that alcohol is an important part of life and that you need it to unwind, to have fun, to connect with others and to celebrate. Now that you are taking a break from alcohol, it might feel like you’re missing out. But what if I told you that was all a big fat lie? And that in fact, it’s possible to have way more fun alcohol free – without any negative consequences! All you need to do is redefine what fun is to you, and disconnect that tightly held connection between alcohol and fun.
Tips: Start to experiment with alcohol-free drinks so you have something to hold in your hand at the parties. Start exploring activities that bring you REAL joy and get your dopamin hit without booze.
You’ll notice your eyes sparkling and your skin glowing
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates your skin and reduces elasticity. The process of alcohol metabolism in the body also results in facial redness caused by broken capillaries. After stopping, skin becomes more hydrated, collagen levels are slowly restored and facial redness improves so don’t be surprised when people start telling you how youthful and dewey your skin looks. Excessive drinking also swells the tiny blood vessels in the eye, enlarging their appearance and making the eyeball look red and can also cause a build-up of red blood cells in the liver, which causes the whites of the eyes to yellow.
Tip: Drinking plenty of water and getting lots of rest will help speed up the alcohol detoxification process.
You will gain hours of your life back
You may not realize it however you most likely spend at least 5+ hours every week drinking, drunk or hung over. I know when I was drinking, I would waste hours and hours every week in a fog, doing nothing with my life. How incredible that you have just gifted yourself back these precious hours!
Tip: Now is the time to pick up that hobby you have been fantasizing about! Join a choir, a tennis club – or even start that side hustle.
You may feel like giving up
At this stage, you might start to feel a bit of willpower fatigue as your wine-witch begins to tell you things like “You’ve done long enough, you deserve a drink, go on, just have one.” It might feel like a good time to just cave in and have a drink. But don’t! Know that your hard work is paying off, and if you can ride it out a little bit longer, you will feel so proud of yourself, and do yourself an enormous amount of good.
Tips: Talk back to your wine witch and remind her who’s boss, repeat your ‘WHY’ out loud, over and over and start to really educate yourself about alcohol, addiction and sobriety.
You’ll feel so much better with much more energy Now that you’re not drinking, you’re feeling better and more energetic, and you’re never hungover, you’ll find yourself able to get a lot more done. In fact it’s likely that your productivity will go through the roof. You’ll actually be amazed at how much you’re now able to achieve. So, bring on that passion project!
Tips: Put this high vibe energy and extra productivity to use by starting that passion project or even that side hustle you have always dreamt of.
You’ll have saved a bucket load of cash
It blows my mind that if I didn’t quit drinking in 2018, by now I would have wasted a further $29K on alcohol. Take a moment now to calculate your savings here for the Dry July period and also for the next 12 months.
Tips: A great motivational tool is to find something to put that money towards as a reward. That weekend away with your partner perhaps? Or the designer handbag you thought you could never afford (turns out you can afford it after all).
You’ll start to have amazing sleep
By now you should be experiencing very good quality sleep. The type of deep, uninterrupted sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and restored. This is one of the best benefits of sobriety that drinking alcohol starves us from!
Tip: Start to set your alarm to wake up a little bit earlier. You’ll be amazed by how much easier it is to jump out of bed and get your day started.
By the end of the four weeks off you will have given your body, mind and soul a beautiful break from alcohol. You’ll be in a much clearer state of mind and be feeling so much better. If you have enjoyed it so much, why go back to drinking right away? Why not set yourself another month as a goal to see how much better you feel by the end of two months? And don’t forget to join our Signature Sobriety Course on the www.cuppa.community then find the Thrivaist 8-week course that teaches you how to stay sober and never want to drink again.
Use your Cuppa member discount code CUPPA10 to get a discount today!