SIX YEARS ALCOHOL FREE: thoughts, tips and suggestions

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Hi this is Didi, I am a co-founder here at Jus Jus and this February 2023 is the sixth year anniversary of me living an alcohol-free life.

I never had an alcohol dependency but I always did enjoy the daily glass of red wine at dinner, which often became two glasses or more. 

Mornings have always been my time to thrive, I love being active (exercising, cooking/prepping for dinner, answer emails) in the early hours but I noticed that it was costing me so much more to wake up energised and motivated.

So on February 2017, I decided to do a Dry February challenge to see how I felt. Back then, I was a new-ish mom (my first child, Max, was 9 months old) and I was still dealing with post-partum. I felt anxious, had multiple headaches and felt super moody and terribly exhausted.

 

I needed to do some changes and I knew that when I drank alcohol the night before, I struggled a lot more to function the next day and I absolutely hated that feeling!

I won’t lie and say here that stopping drinking my habitual wine was an easy breezy process. 

I missed the conviviality, the taste and the feeling of having that fun glass of wine with my dinner. And it was shocking to me how much I missed drinking those first 2 weeks, I actually had a dependency without realizing it! 

I made the transition easier by mixing easy “mocktails” of Jus Jus, like adding sparkling water and lemon to some of our juices.

New habits were introduced to keep me distracted and motivated, like trying a new herbal tea after dinner, drinking 3 liters of water, taking my dog for a long walk before bed and joining a fitness class 2 times a week

The month came and went and I felt extremely good! I was proud (I even lost 2 kilos) but most importantly I felt so energised.

Every morning I woke up sharp and clear and that feeling got me hooked, I wanted badly to feel that good every waking day!

I no longer hauled out of bed feeling exhausted and dehydrated.

I would wake up earlier and make time for myself before the kids would wake up. Time that I enjoyed exercising, getting ahead of work emails, getting ready without rush or tidying up the house.

And to my surprise, I didn’t miss alcohol, I was not wishing to hold again that wine glass. I tried it for the first time after the challenge and I could only enjoy a sip, the desire for it had vanished.

So I kept putting alcohol away and to this day, I have not looked back.

I have had some sips during New Years or at weddings but alcohol does not agree with my body and I suffer when I have the slightest sip, so I have decided to totally remove it out of my life.

My fundamental tips to anyone who wants to challenge themselves to an alcohol pause:

  • focus on why you're doing it rather than why it "sucks"
  • unlearn the idea that you need alcohol to have a good time.
  • surround yourself with people who support you
  • find alternative drink options that feel authentic to you.
  • remember that alcohol doesn't make you fun, you make you fun!

There are many resources out there to support your journey and there is more and more scientific evidence that alcohol is truly toxic to our bodies and brains, so why not be more intentional and cautious about it?!

Below some resources that I love and that I tap into again and again:

BOOKS:

"Quit Like a Woman" by Holly Whitaker

"Sober Curious" by Ruby Warrington

- "Atomic Habits" by James Clear

-“Drinking Games” by Sarah Levy

PODCASTS:

-Huberman Lab // alcohol episode in August 2022, he discusses at length the science behind the physiological effects that drinking alcohol has on the brain and body. Fascinating!

-The Blonde Files // Arielle Lorre, the host leads a sober life after suffering from addiction and she has many speakers around the issue. I find her very inspiring.

-Healthier Together // alcohol effects episodes 154-155 (really excellent episodes on women’s health and alcohol)

 

OTHER WAYS TO WIND DOWN:

  • learning a new sport or starting a new hobby
  • getting into journaling, meditation, &/or movement
  • having a mocktail, watching a show, reading a book
  • going on a walk and calling a friend

 

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES:

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