In this episode, I talk about how alcohol has been negatively affecting my mental health and my decision to give it up for a month (and possibly longer). Being on a mental health journey is a constantly evolving process. The things that are serving you and helping you at one point on your journey might become an unhealthy coping mechanism or start holding you back at another point. It’s important to constantly evaluate your lifestyle choices and what is serving you and what it’s time to let go of. You can subscribe to the podcast on Podbean or iTunes if you’re interested in hearing more about info about managing mental health. Here are some of the things that helped me decide to give up alcohol for the month.
I Got Excited
Whenever I am trying to make a change in my life I try to get aligned and excited about my decision. Instead of focusing on how hard it is going to be and everything I am going to give up I get really excited about how the change is going to make my life better. I try to tap into the energy of excitement by making lists of how my decision will make my life better. I also spend a lot of time visualizing how my life will be if I commit to the change longterm. By picturing my life in a year or five years after implementing the change it gives me a really clear vision of how I want my life to look and what I’m working towards. Do whatever you need to do to get excited about making a change in your life and starting a new habit.
I Connected To My Purpose
I try to tap into a purpose or mission to help keep me motivated. This really helps me when I’m feeling depressed and don’t think I have the energy to make any kind of lifestyle changes. When my energy is low I am able to tap into my purpose in life and that helps keep me going. Spend some time writing out a mission or purpose statement for your life. What is the force in your life that motivates you? What do you feel like your purpose is on the planet?
I Channeled My Alter Ego
I try to picture the very best version of myself living my very best life. Then I ask myself what habits she has and what she is doing on a daily basis. Creating my lifestyle choices based on the person I want to be instead of the person I am helps me dream bigger and channel bigger possibilities for my life. Tapping into my alter ego actually gave me the strength and bravery I needed to finally launch this blog. I was able to picture my alter ego who wrote a blog about mental health and was able to help other people on their mental health journey. Once I pictured myself this way it was easier to start doing the behavior a successful blogger would do.
One Week Update
A lot of you have been asking how my first week sober has gone. I decided to do dry 30 and stop drinking for a month because I felt like alcohol was keeping me from being as productive and creative as I want to be. You can listen to my podcast episode about it here. I really didn’t like that almost all of my social interactions were focused around drinking plus I was spending way too much money going to happy hours and brunches. I am also on a fitness journey (you can join me if you’re looking for a great program and accountability check-ins). I had already cleaned up my diet and started doing regular workouts. My new healthy lifestyle was making me feel better and better and I started to play with the idea of giving up alcohol. A couple weeks ago one of my best friends graduated and my schedule was filled with dinner celebrations and lots of cocktails. The week was so fun but left me feeling exhausted and my anxiety was through the roof. I knew all of the alcohol I had drank was having a negative impact on my mental health and it wasn’t aligned with the healthy lifestyle I wanted to live. I was sick of feeling tired and crappy and I decided to give up alcohol and try to do dry 30. For daily updates be sure to follow my stories over on Instagram. Here’s how my first week went.
I have been working out a TON and it feels so good. I even started running again and jogged three miles the other day. That’s wayyyy further than I have jogged in a really long time. I’m really loving focusing on my workouts and making my body stronger. I already notice that I have way more energy now that I’m not going out to happy hour. It’s just easier to work out every day when I’m not going out and drinking alcohol at night.
Drinking really effs up my sleep schedule. Even though I don’t stay out late when I drink alcohol I just don’t get quality sleep. I’ve really been loving getting into bed early with a good book and a clear head. When I go to happy hour I tend to get in bed early but I just watch crap on Netflix. I love feeling like I am ending my day more intentionally. Even though I wasn’t drinking every single day before I was drinking a few times a week and it was enough to mess up my sleep schedule. I just feel way more rested overall and I’m not needing to take naps and I feel more energized in the morning.
I did a really good job of eating healthy all week. I had a small piece of cake at my Dad’s birthday party but other than that I have been sticking to super healthy food loaded with lots of veggies. You can check out the healthy veggie nachos I made the other day here. It’s a lot easier to cook when I’m not tired from having drinks the night before. I always find if I go out for drinks I just want to eat a lot of junk food the next day. Giving up alcohol has really helped me stay motivated and focused on getting healthier and I found it was a lot easier to stay committed to a healthy dieting this week. Plus I wasn’t trying to eat tons of pasta or chips when I got home from happy hour. I’ve also been drinking a morning protein shake that is also packed with nutrients/vitamins/minerals etc. It was recommended to me by a friend and at first, I was a little skeptical but now I am completely hooked. I wasn’t sure if I would order it again because it was on the pricier side but honestly I can’t be without it. Plus if you add up all the money I used to spend on alcohol without even thinking it probably comes out even cheaper.
I’ve been really enjoying spending a lot of time by myself and focusing my time on finishing projects for my blog, reading lots of books and writing in my journal. Spending my time this way has felt really aligned with my goals and values so far. It has been hard not seeing my friends but I really wanted to get through this first week sober before I tried to go out with my friends. All of my social interactions revolve around getting drinks so I’m still not really sure how often I will see my friends during my month of sobriety.
Overall I’m really happy with how this experiment is going so far. I have a lot of fun going to happy hour with my friends but it was really impacting my mental health and I definitely feel better without it. I’m still not sure if I would give up alcohol forever but I definitely think cutting way back is a good idea for me. Focusing on getting healthy, exercising and only eating healthy food feels really good to me right now. I’m excited to see how much I accomplish by the end of this experiment.
I hope this podcast episode helps inspire you to make some lifestyle changes in your own life. If you’re interested in following my 30-day sober journey be sure to check out my stories on Instagram.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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