This is the perfect time to sober up.
Quarantine feels similar to the first months when I quit drinking.
My emotions were up, down and all over the place.
Anxiety and fear filled me.
Some days, I was too exhausted to even get out of bed.
My external life became very boring.
My inner life so confusing.
I highly recommend using this period of COVID-19 isolation, physical distancing, and staying at home to take a break from booze.
I know this is the opposite of what you are seeing in your newsfeed.
Many people are coping with the stress of COVID by drinking alcohol.
I know from experience, that after the initial 20 minutes of relief, alcohol ultimately creates more problems than it solves.
Even when alcohol is no real problem.
If you are looking to boost your immune system, gain resilience, learn healthy coping skills, and use this period of slow down to improve your overall well being, ditching the drink is the best thing you can do.
Wellness is a luxury that many don’t have.
If you are in a position to focus on your physical and mental health, you can use shelter in place, as an opportunity to get to know yourself and come out stronger.
Here are 6 reasons why I believe now is the best time to ditch the drink.
1 – FREE TO FEEL YOUR FEELINGS IN PRIVATE
Whether you drink a little or a lot, when you remove the booze, your body finally feels all the feelings you were numbing out with a drink. It’s a big thaw of emotions and it’s exhausting. The shelter in place orders, are forcing you to stay in the safety of your own home. You are in a safe place to tend to your intense emotions by crying, screaming, sobbing, whathaveyou all within your own 4 walls. You don’t need to put on a happy face during this time. You can let yourself be real. You can actually feel what you are feeling, without fearing the judgment of others. This is key to successfully living alcohol free and you have a perfect opportunity to practice.
2- BOREDOM IS THE NEW ADRENALINE RUSH
My life has become infinitely more interesting since I ditched the drink, but this did not happen in my first few months of getting sober. The truth is, your sobriety evolves with time, but at first, it is very boring. When I was newly sober, I didn’t want to put myself in situations where I might be triggered. Pretty much everything triggered me at first. This meant, most of the time, I stayed at home. Now that you are staying at home anyway, there is no FOMO (fear of missing out). People in the best situations, are living a boring life, right now. You can welcome the opportunity, and allow yourself to be bored. You don’t have to fix it with a drink. Out of boredom comes creativity. You have no expectations for big thrills right now, sometimes watching the news is more than enough. This is a great opportunity to pair going booze free with quarantine.
Alcohol likes to wind us up. The more we have to do, the more push-push thinking that alcohol gives our brains. If you are used to racing around, commuting, carpooling, volunteering, and drinking, you know that booze loves to keep you in an anxious, hurried state. It gives you a reason to want a drink. To wind down, wine down, and relax. The truth is the exact opposite. Alcohol adds fire to any anxious spark. A drinking mind tries to keep you busy, overwhelmed and overscheduled. A drinking mind does not want you to slow down or question a thing. A drinking mind doesn’t want you to stop at all. A drinking mind encourages you to keep going at a rapid pace. Since your busy schedule has been cleared for the next few weeks, it is a perfect time to question things. How is your relationship with alcohol helping you to meet your goals and dreams? Having a little extra time, gives you the space to be mindful and intentional about your habits. Use this time to be thoughtful about your automatic behaviors. You will come to your own conclusions about which ones are serving you and which ones are not.
The #1 thing any of us can do to help the world right now is to stay healthy if we are healthy and get healthy if we aren’t. With so many health factors out of our control, the very best thing to do, is to control what you can. Alcohol negatively affects the immune system. Alcohol disrupts sleep, messes with blood sugar, disturbs the hormones and gut health, and is linked to seven different types of cancers. If you want to heal the world, stay home and heal yourself. If you have more than one drink a day, you are putting yourself at risk. Those drinking memes that are hitting your Facebook feed might be funny, but the truth about over drinking is very serious. By taking a break from alcohol, even just for a month, you dramatically improve your overall health and wellbeing. Getting rid of one thing = alcohol, could add up to huge gains in your health.
5- SOCIAL LIFE
One of the biggest challenges most people have when ditching the drink is dealing with other people. Even well intentioned friends and family members can trigger someone trying to make a change with their drinking behavior. I made more friends since getting sober and I have 100% more fun, but this did not happen in the first month of sobriety. The truth is that once you go alcohol free, your idea of fun might change, and your idea of friendship too. The primary focus when taking a break from drinking needs to be on yourself. It is hard not to get caught up with others reactions. Shelter in place is an invitation to focus on you, without worrying about what other people might think. Getting sober was a private, inner experience for me. I didn’t always have words for it. I couldn’t always share what was going on. I didn’t have immediate understanding of my transformation, while it was happening. I wanted to cocoon alone and emerge as a butterfly. Only then could I offer my experience to others. I had to turn down invitations, leave parties early, and often I had no explanation for others or myself. You have an opportunity right now to take care of yourself first. There are limited expectations for a social life while we are distancing. This can be used to your advantage.
How much money are you spending on alcohol, alcohol delivery, and choices after you’ve imbibed? Chances are, it’s a lot. There is a ton of uncertainty with jobs and the economy right now. You are not doing yourself any favors by drinking and spending away your fear. The best way to prepare yourself for whatever is around the corner is to save what you can, and become your strongest, best, most resilient self. Whether that be used for job searching as the best candidate, or making tough financial decisions. You cannot take care of yourself, or prepare for a secure future if you are buzzed or hungover, and why would you want to? If you and your spouse split just one $30 bottle of wine a day, that adds to a lot over time. Add in online shopping, hangover brunch delivery, and other alcohol induced buying and you are spending more than you think.
I advise using the COVID-19 Shelter In Place, as a time to cocoon. Pay attention to your intuition, build consistent self care routines, and get to know yourself with a clear mind.
Alcohol takes you away from knowing yourself, leads to poor financial decisions, and takes away from physical and mental health.
You can emerge from this experience strong. With history in the making you will always remember this time as an uncertain time in the world, and a growth opportunity within. Not to mention if you have kids, they will benefit from your break from booze as well. You will be better equipped with anything that comes your way when you have a clear, sober mind.
If you want support in taking a break from drinking, I offer 1X1 coaching support. In addition I have an online, self paced, class you can do from the privacy of your own home. This course gives you a roadmap and all the tools you need to take a break from alcohol.
You can come out of quarantine your strongest, healthiest, and best self yet!