10 Ways To Cut Back On Drinking, Have A Detox Or Quit For Good
6 October, 2012
From a tender age when my responsible mother would send me off to high school parties with 2 or 3 sickly sweet RTD’s, I have been a consumer and occasional abuser of the bottle. Coming from New Zealand where the love of a good time & binge drinking is historically ingrained in the culture, this isn’t too surprising. However over the years my love of a few drinks has turned in to a sad tale of regret with disasters including losing valuable possessions, accident and emergency rooms, blacked out one night occasions, alter ego rampages, not to mention head wound hangovers and 100 McPilgrimages.
I completely understand that it is possible to enjoy alcohol responsibly, have a few wines and head home to bed (or so the liquor companies advertise.) Unfortunately for me my excessive drinking in the past has been all to often related with drinking to forget, rather than drinking for nourishment.
So recently while training to be a yoga teacher I decided my tapasya for six months would be to quit the booze, make space for the practice and reassess from the other side. Now 4 months in with many hurdles passed, including a business trip to Hong Kong and a milestone family birthday, I don’t remember ever feeling healthier or more confident in purpose.
Here are ten valuable tips I learnt along the way which might inspire you to enjoy a dry spell
Identify your mates. Without a doubt your greatest challenge will be the peer pressure from others for you to have a drink. Stand back and notice your lovers from your haters. People will often feel uncomfortable when you a hold a mirror up to their behaviour. If you become the butt of someone’s jokes, remind yourself that it’s ‘their shit’ not yours. Make more time for people who don’t care your sober and be grateful for them.
Live with purpose. Write a list of 3 or 4 or 20 reasons why it might be good for your well being to have a break from alcohol. These can be conservative like ‘training for a 10k run’ or grandiose like ‘starting my own business and earning a million dollars.’
Enjoy drinking. Invent, explore and research the wide variety of tasty non alcoholic beverages on offer in this universe including virgin mojitos, freshly squeezed juices or my fav muddled lime, mint and soda.
Revel gloatingly in a hangover free existence. Make use of weekend mornings by introducing more fun outdoor activities like marketing, cycling to the beach, kart wheels, a yoga class or chai with one of those lovers.
Create a ‘winners’ playlist. Put together a list of songs for your listening inspiration, which support and build you up. Queen’s ‘I want to break free’ or ‘We are the Champions’ are usually a good place to start.
Learn to meditate. Meditation is proven to help slow the functions of the mind, un colour your habits and free up new energy for you to play with.
Write it all down. Keep a journal of your ups and downs, the temptations, social situations that made you laugh, how you feel waking up on a Monday morning rested and focused.
Phone a friend. Choose an understanding friend as an emergency go to if you feel threatened to fall off the wagon. Educate them that if they get ‘the call’ they should remind you of your 3 – 4 reasons of why you’re doing this.
Treat yourself. With all those saved pennies normally peed down the drain shout yourself a new pair of shoes, a spot on a raw food course or the Grey’s Anatomy box set DVD’s.
The 3 month penny drop. If you’re successful in your sobriety for 3 months I can almost guarantee you will see through the hazy veil of expectations and realise deeply that you just don’t need to drink, least of all to fit in, & that there are vastly more intelligent and kind ways of dealing with ‘feelings’ than numbing them down with a few drinks.