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?
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!
- 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.
- 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!