New year, New You?
Have you considered your relationship with alcohol?
As we head into a new decade, I’ve been reflecting on what has happened during the last decade.
We have celebrated some wonderful weddings of close friends and family. Sadly, a few funerals. We moved into our forever home. Me and my husband celebrated a significant wedding anniversary. Two of our children moved through high school, got their driving licences and navigated into the world of work, both celebrating milestone 18th and 21st birthdays along the way. We’ve had some wonderful holidays and a couple of bucket list adventures. And we’ve started up our own businesses.
When I look back at all the significant events and wonder at the amount we have managed to cram into 10 years, I also considered how many of these occasions included consuming copious amounts of alcohol and how affected my memory of these events is? The answer was all of them involved alcohol and some memories are really quite sketchy! Whether it was to celebrate, commiserate, deal with stress, augment the highs, cope with the lows; you name, it we drank to it!
Why do I tell you all this? Because as the decade was coming to a close my health was taking a gradual downturn. Nothing life threatening, just continuous niggly problems. Brain fog, low mood, difficulty concentrating, symptoms of early menopause, IBS, headaches, tiredness, feeling overwhelm and stress, the list goes on and on. Buzz words like sober curious and mindful drinking had caught my eye and so, in a bid to improve both my physical and mental health, in March I decided to experiment with a break from the booze.
Did you know £3.5 billion is the cost of alcohol to the NHS every year and in 2017, 7,327 people in the UK died as a direct result of their drinking. This is the equivalent of 20 people per day!
Here’s 5 things I learnt about myself when I gave up the booze
1. I’m not menopausal...Yay!! In fact ALL my pre menopausal symptoms have disappeared and my health has greatly improved!
2. I’m so much funnier when I have my wits about me, I’ve re-discovered my sense of humor.
3. You can lose weight just from cutting out alcohol.
4. My mental health is important to me, I don’t have to do anything that compromises that.
5. When I ask myself “What will matter most to me when I reflect back on these next 10 years?” The answer is very definitely, my physical and mental health and remembering the memories we’ve made, whole heartedly and fully.
How much did alcohol play a part in your story as you look back on the decade just gone?
As we consider January to be a month where we traditionally look to kick start a healthier outlook, jumpstart new exercise routines and eat a better diet, why not also consider whether taking a break from the booze could be something you consider to compliment the other health choices you’re making. Check out our free Curiosity Challenge to see what you can learn about your drinking habits.
Let this be the decade you take action to improve your mental health and wellbeing and discover the inner happiness you can find from being a more mindful drinker.
Ps… I’m still ‘experimenting’! The health changes have been so significant I haven’t gone back yet and I’m discovering a whole new world of alternatives out there! Take a look at our alcohol free page to see what we’ve been trying, maybe there’s something we’ve tried that you’d enjoy too!