ALCOHOL & MINDFUL DRINKING

I am a lady who thoroughly enjoys a drink from time to time. As I’ve gotten older, the guidelines around drinking have shifted. Throughout college & my early-twenties, social plans revolved around drinking. I was on auto-pilot; unaware of my consumption frequency. I never abused alcohol, but I was never conscious about it either.

Isn’t it crazy? It’s become the norm, even an expectation, in our society to drink every time alcohol is available. It can feel so easy to justify. But, do we need it?  

martini

In the last six months, I’ve cut back on drinking for a few reasons:

  • My willpower and awareness decreases when drinking in excess (hello, late night pizza)
  • A healthy lifestyle’s biggest rival can easily be alcohol. Since I live a Sugar & Flour Free lifestyle, I need significantly less to get drunk.
  • I HATE hangovers.

Nonetheless, I still like to enjoy a drink or two while I’m out! My biggest tip to making drinking less damaging to your lifestyle and health? Mindful Drinking: having a conscious approach to consuming alcohol. I’ve only seen benefits – realization that I don’t need to overindulge to have fun, decreased anxiety, improved sleep, spending less, saving time by not sleeping in, no regrets, and easier to make decisions.

The great news is Mindful Drinking doesn’t require a lot of time, change in routine, or any external awkward actions (like needing to journal, take a picture, or do something physical like some other mindfulness practices). You may find yourself contently declining that next drink or waking up Sunday morning clearheaded and ready to take on the day!

BEFORE DRINKING:

  • Visualize and Confront Any Unforeseen Sensitivities: Low Self-Esteem, Low Confidence
  • Next Day Self: How do you want to feel at the end of the night? If it’s a late night, how do you want to feel tomorrow morning?
  • The Purse Snack: If going out for a late night, I always throw a pack of almonds and Quest Bar in my purse. This prevents me from regrettably and unintentionally eating late night pizza.

WHILE DRINKING: 

  • Keep Track of the Frequency 
  • Engage Your Senses: Sip & Savor
    • How does it taste? Sour, Heavy, Spicy, Smooth.
    • What sensations has it brought up? Relaxed, Happy, Confidence, Calm, Energized
    • Let the bubbles and flavor sit on your tongue
  • Be Fully Present: In the conversation, atmosphere, your thoughts, making eye contact
  • Offer Gratitude: Being surrounded by friends, good conversation, happiness, and laughter.
  • Check Yourself: How is your mood, behavior, and thoughts? Has it shifted since you started drinking?

** Currently in Nashville at a Bachelorette Party putting Mindful Drinking to the test! 

One thought on “ALCOHOL & MINDFUL DRINKING

  1. You brought up a very, very, interesting point: before drinking, Visualize and Confront Any Unforeseen Sensitivities: Low Self-Esteem, Low Confidence. I can’t tell you how many times Friday rolls around and I feel like a mess! Running on low sleep, and operating on “high on anxiety” from the week….I want to fast-forward to the part where I am happy and fun to be around. Subsequently, I do not “mindfully’ enjoy the first drink or two. Consequently, I drink more than I require. Or, even if I do drink an appropriate amount- the alcohol hits me in an unpleasant way.

    Another interesting caveat to bring up: who are you drinking with? Sometimes, if one does not feel comfortable with the social situation, he or she might drink more to compensate. A false sense of bravado might appear in the beginning, however, this will ultimately lead to sloppy behavior…not sexy 🙂

    Like

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