Kickstart the New Year on the right foot and aim to eliminate, or at a minimum, limit your alcohol consumption this month! While it is important to honor and satisfy our cravings to "take the edge off," especially after a long, stressful week, there are healthier alternatives to get this same fix we desire. Exercise is my personal favorite alternative. Go to gym and hit the weights, go for a run outside or on the treadmill, go for walk, take a dance or fitness class, practice yoga, and watch your mood improve. If exercise is not your thing, perhaps, watch a good Netflix show with some friends/family, cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and a good book, take a painting or pottery class, buy an adult coloring book, have a self-care night, or order your favorite food in. All of these and more are great activities you can opt to engage in instead of drinking this month.
Should you find yourself at a restaurant/bar where drinking is involved, challenge yourself to opt for a mocktail instead of a cocktail, a beer, or a glass of wine. Mocktails are just as delicious and aesthetically pleasing (for that Instagram story you will post) as a cocktail! Plus, you can feel as though you are drinking alcohol with your peers but you are not. What a way to observe the placebo effect at work in your own life! Making efforts to reach for kombucha, flavored waters (Hint is currently one of my favorite brands!), sparkling waters, teas and juices are all ways to stay committed to this challenge.
As you may or may not know, alcohol is a depressant and while your lowered inhibitions may convince you that you are relaxed during its consumption, the hangover that subsequently follows is typically unenjoyable. In addition to the myriad of physical symptoms you may display as a result of this hangover, your mental health may suffer as well. This month, say goodbye to "hangxiety." Eliminating or limiting your alcohol consumption will have a positive effect on your mental health by reducing your anxiety/sadness and calming your nervous system.
After eliminating or limiting your alcohol consumption, you may also lose weight/experience less inflammation. Alcohol has a rather high caloric and sugar content, therefore, limiting these “empty calories” will likely help shed some unhealthy body fat and bloating.
Look forward to increased energy levels and spending more time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep this month. Alcohol causes the body to spend less time in REM sleep which is vital for our memory consolidation, bodily healing and contributes to our feeling rested.
If all of above benefits still leave you unconvinced to reduce your alcohol consumption this month, perhaps think of the financial power you will tap into this month. Imagine how satisfying it will be to watch your bank account balance increase with all the money you will save each weekend by not drinking.
Happy New Year! You got this!