Are you about to complete FebFast? Or maybe you are planning to give Dry July a go.
If you’ve ever taken a break from drinking, how was the experience?
Was it a month of feeling like you were missing out or did you enjoy it?
When I was trying (unsuccessfully) to moderate my drinking, I would regularly take a break from drinking to prove to myself that I didn’t have a ‘problem’.
After all, if I could give up drinking for a month surely I didn’t have an issue with drinking. Right?
The fact that I was even thinking that way was a red flag that alcohol was becoming more of an issue in my life than I wanted it to be. But I ignored the big red flag!
When the enthusiasm starts to fade
At first I’d go into these month-long breaks with enthusiasm which would gradually wane as the days and weeks wore on.
The issue was that I was always looking at it in terms of giving up drinking (a deprivation mindset) rather than experiencing what I was gaining.
And, when I feel deprived, the rebel in me comes out so I knew that if I ever wanted to successfully take a break, I had to approach it with positivity rather than FOMO.
What we focus on is where our energy goes
If you approach a break from drinking by thinking about what you’ll gain, it can be quite a different experience.
When I took this approach I thought of all the things I wanted to gain from being alcohol free:
- I wanted to sleep better
- I wanted to be more energetic
- I wanted to see if my menopausal symptoms improved
- I didn’t want to wake up with hangovers
As I built up the days and weeks alcohol free, I realised there were more benefits:
- I had more time in my day as I wasn’t wasting so much time thinking about drinking – when I would drink, how much, beating myself up about drinking too much
- My moods were more stable and I felt more content
- The dark circles under my eyes were significantly reduced
- And so much more …
I took this approach for my last break from alcohol. I wanted to take a three-month break because I wanted to feel healthier and more energetic.
That three months has now become almost 18 months of living alcohol free and I don’t feel like I’m missing out at all.
That length of time may seem too much for you but I do promise that if you decide to take a month’s break and look at all the positives you’re gaining, you’ll have a very different experience.
If you want to chat to me to get advice on the strategies I used, you can schedule an obligation-free chat.