Deciding to ditch alcohol can feel like a HUGE statement.
‘Oh God, everyone will think I’m a raging alcoholic’, or maybe ‘if I say I don’t drink, but then I start again, I’ll have failed’.
Those thoughts can be crippling.
But sometimes we set our goals too specifically, and in doing so we talk ourselves out of them before we’ve even got off the starting blocks.
What if the goal wasn’t to ditch the booze, but to find better ways to self-care, to self-soothe, to show yourself a whole heap of self-love?
Because, ultimately, it’s kinda the same thing.
Changing your relationship with alcohol doesn’t mean you have to tip everything down the sink in a blaze of ‘new me’ defiance (although you can if you want). It can just mean thinking, observing, nurturing, and then plotting a new path as all that understanding unfolds.
Big old lines in the sand can give us a tremendous kick when they work, but...
Stop ‘quitting’ alcohol
So often, when we think about how we want to enhance our lives, we start with all things we need to ‘stop’. We set about decluttering our inner workings like they’re an overstuffed wardrobe.
Energised and ruthless, we chuck out everything ugly and ill-fitting – all the things we no longer want to be part of who we are. Until, exhaustion hits. Then we look around at the mountains of odd socks and resistance bands, and – overwhelmed by fatigue and futility – we decide to come back to it tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow…
Because in picking that enormous battle, we had already lost.
Great ideas don’t become sticky changes through willpower – by bloody-mindedly ploughing through something awful – change happens when we set our sights on a new horizon. When we’re motivated by hope and optimism.
We have to believe with all our hearts that what’s on the other side is...
Mindful drinking can be an important tool for people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol. Research shows that awareness without judgement is the key to lasting habit change. As my friend and mentor Annie Grace would say, "all change happens on the other side of awareness".
When we have been trying to cut down or stop drinking for a long time we can end up losing our trust in ourselves. Through mindful drinking we can rebuild that trust with loving compassion. When you keep trying to unsuccessfully stop or cut down your drinking it can get really demotivating. Mindful drinking gives you the opportunity to celebrate your awareness as a tool to move towards your goals with alcohol. You can stop trying to stop drinking and start trying to understand why you drink.
Important to this is the understanding that alcohol is an addictive drug and the way it works on the brain means that we are programmed to want to drink more...