If you follow my other work at The Sober Club you will have heard my story, I’ve now been sober for 2 years and 4 months and just wish I’d known before just how freaking fantastic life without the booze is! I dread to think what I would have been like holed up if I had still be drinking. I don’t think it would have been pretty!
Sales of Alcohol have soared since lockdown kicked in. One report said they’re up by fifty per cent as celebs joke about being pissed every night at home, (Noel Gallagher) and social media images show the ‘hilarity’ of drinking from 10 am. Off licences remain open because alcohol is considered ‘essential, yet at the time of writing this, I can’t buy a flowering plant to cheer me up, or any paint to redecorate my kitchen.
You’ll have seen helpful suggestions for not overdoing it – Buy less, so that your aren’t ‘tempted’…Only drink with meals, …Try using a smaller glass. For people who drink regularly, those strategies are likely to make you more likely to ‘rebel’ and drink more than you usually do. Our unconscious minds don’t like to feel ‘deprived’ and so trying to use willpower to cut back is rather futile. Of course if you are someone who drinks one shandy every three months, you don’t need to worry, but if you are a ‘grey area’ drinker, as 90 per cent of drinkers are, that means you are not clinically dependent, you can stop, but it feels kinda impossible and over time you usually find the drinking gets more, not less. If you anything like I was, you will be waking up at 3am not liking yourself very much.
This is a great time to totally reframe your thinking, rather than hankering after alcohol and trying to limit it, make a decision to find out whether you feel better without any. Set yourself a challenge to do thirty days minimum, the good news is you won’t have to worry about what friends and colleagues may say in the pub, this is about you and a change of mindset. You’ve seen my TEDx talk Sobriety Rocks – Who Knew! (go watch it if not, only 12 mins and fun) My opening question for you to ask yourself is ‘Would my life be better physically and emotionally without alcohol?’
For many of us the true answer is YES! There has never been a better time to be sober!
Don’t forget Alcohol lowers your immunity, right now we all need to be boosting it! Alcohol also massively increases our anxiety levels, and for many people they have enough to be concerned about.
Of course it’s important to find another way to ‘switch’ off. When you would usually drink or if cravings come flying in, have a distraction planned. Go for a walk, or do some stretching, have a relaxing bath or bake a cake. Immerse yourself in ‘Quit lit’ – books about quitting, which inspire that life is so much better without the booze.
Keep the ritual – Change the Ingredients –
Choose a lovely glass and something lovely and grown up to drink. If you’re over twelve, you probably won’t want a fizzy soda so try Kombucha, an artisan tonic, an Alcohol free beer, or one of the amazing botanical alternatives to spirits.
Have fun mixing ‘mocktails’ and if you want the easy option try the amazing ‘pre-mixed’ mocktails from Sipling, created by a guy who was a ‘Dinner party Mixologist who just couldn’t find a great drink when he ditched the booze so he mixed these fabulous artisan mocktails www.siplingbeverages.com
Connection is critical too, its really important to find some likeminded people, so find an online meeting or social media group. If you’re committed to ditching the booze I run The Sober Club which includes an online course Get the buzz without the booze. We focus on the ‘whats next’ as so many people find that once they have ditched the booze they start to care about good nutrition, getting fit, meditation, mindfulness and a new sense of purpose Check it out, you can always cancel if its not for you www.thesoberclub.com
Janey also offers 1-1 Coaching for ‘Grey area drinkers’