How Do You Live Alcohol-Free
I’m excited that you’ve decided to explore what it takes to live a non-drinking life. When you choose to live alcohol-free, it’s like coordinating some assault course.
I’ll be honest with you; a non-drinking life is different. It’s kind of weird. But it’s funny—a healthy weirdo.
Now, why is it weird?
Because I am not going to say hug a tree, and you get to dance with the flowers, sorry, but I wish to be a bit more accurate about it!
The hardest part is getting over what people think of you. And no, they do not feel better of you if you’re not drinking.
They will be so proud of me. Yes!
That is what I thought as well, but I was in for a shock!
How do you live an alcohol-free lifestyle?
Living an alcohol-free lifestyle is relatively easy if you decide 100 per cent that is what you want to do.
Now, if I am honest, my decision process was easy. Due to a terrible health reaction, I had to say stop drinking alcohol now!
And yes, I enjoyed alcohol, namely wine, but only socially, yet I was given 48 hours to live.
So I just had to say a big NO.
It was like if you drink, you will die.
I guess that is probably an easy decision in many ways.
In my experience, if you are passionate about doing something, you will do it. You also don’t need willpower either.
But I also understand it can be an addiction.
What about you?
Don’t think about giving up alcohol. It does not work.
But It would help if you had the passion and a motive plus imagination. Your goal has to be worth going for.
Ever heard of the phrase don’t think of a red boat.
Don’t bang the door on your way out.
You programme the brain to think about what you don’t want to do rather than what you want to do.
Yes, you will also need a carrot and stick, but if you think about giving up all the time, in most cases, it won’t get you very far.
In my case, it was a “want”, not a “should.”
I wanted to live, not a thought that said: “I should live”.
And before you say “but I don’t have a problem”, I did not either!
Remember, a maximum of 14 units as advised in the UK per week is just one standard drink.
That is a small glass of wine.
I was not on a park bench all day!
Instead, I had long lunches with wine at the weekend or a few wines after work.
As my consultant pointed out, they don’t make small glasses of wine every day anymore!
Know your limits with the drinkaware website.
No one can predict how alcohol will affect you.
Have you ever had one glass of wine and woken up with a hangover?
What is the hardest part of living alcohol -free life?
You may find this strange, but it’s the judgment!
It isn’t perfect. Some of the assumptions people make about you not drinking are made up, and I can’t tell you how much I have had to justify myself.
However, no more.
I have now become an advocate for alcohol-free drinks, and I am open about the reason for not drinking.
Could you become an advocate for going alcohol-free? I would love it if you did!
People don’t drink for various reasons, including driving for their job or being pregnant.
Heaven forbid you had a drinking problem.
And if you did, should that not be celebrated in the fact you are making a change?
You would have thought so?
Have some alcohol, even if it kills you! I have been offered alcohol even though people know my story.
The social pressure to drink alcohol is enormous.
Only on the news this morning I heard someone say this:
“The problem with lockdown was there was nothing to do as you could not go to the pub, so it was pointless!”
Now when you live alcohol-free, you start to come up with all sorts of things that don’t involve alcohol.
And, of course, alcohol-free drinking drinks’ comes into the mix.
It is my new hobby.
The fact is I don’t think as a social wine drinker, anyone judged me at all.
Yet when I am posting my latest alcohol-free drinks’ podcast on social media, it’s interesting to see who likes it and who doesn’t.
One of my friends shared one of my posts and got scolded for it.
The posts on his timeline included “Got a problem then?”
That is how embedded alcohol is in our culture. You are seen as the odd one.
That, for me, has been the most challenging part. Be prepared for it.
What do you think your challenges would be?
That may seem like a strange question.
When it comes down to being alcohol-free drinking, it turns out knowing your mind is critical.
It’s your life and your choice. However, when people make assumptions and have some fun with them.
I have learned the art of being direct.
It’s a valuable skill to have when it comes to not drinking alcohol.
Do something, anything
So you want to get fit?
One of the main reasons many people stop drinking alcohol is to feel better emotionally, physically and mentally.
I am not going to say go to the gym as it is one of the big myths that everyone uses their health club membership because they are not.
But walking if you are giving up or cutting back alcohol is critical.
A walk in the best medicine the Doctor can’t prescribe. It creates a physical reaction within you, and the chemicals in the brain make you feel good about not drinking.
The first 5 minutes are crap. However, after 30 minutes, you feel very proud of yourself.
And nothing makes you feel better than exercise. So giving up alcohol is the perfect opportunity to start walking.
You will have no hangover, for starters.
If you don’t want to walk, do more of something you enjoy.
Seriously stopping drinking is an ideal time to do anything.
Just take action!
Just explore alcohol-free drinks’ even if you heard they suck
Alcohol-free drinks’ used to suck, and I mean, they were the worst of the worst.
When I order an alcohol-free drink, I can’t tell if the server gives me that look because they think I am drinking it or a former alcoholic.
It might be both. You never know.
However, the world has changed, and the drinks’ industry has changed.
More marketing money, the better brands, clearly 0.0 abv so alcohol by volume.
Now alcohol-free drinks’ are not for everyone, and to be honest if it turns out to be a trigger for drinking more alcohol, stay away.
My favourite site for checking your alcohol limits is the drink aware website.
But if not, the quality of beer, wine and gin will transform the alcohol market for years to come.
More and more young people are supporting the market.
And if you care about the choice, I would give it a go.
The downside is that it’s still hard to get away from online. And no, it’s not alcohol, before you ask.
Alcohol-free drinks are meant to mimic, not be alcoholic drinks’.
Dump the drains in your life and find more radiators
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and find out that you feel like the blood is draining from your body and so quickly.
Your energy is zapped like superman or a woman with the kryptonite.
Yep me too.
When you start to live an alcohol-free life, you might have to dump some of the people you hang around with.
If they are not supportive, get rid. Seriously, why hang around people who are not supportive.
Now I am talking tough love, but if you are serious about not drinking alcohol again and decreasing alcohol intake, why do you need that in your life?
Nope, you don’t.
So are they radiators or a drain?
Be public but avoid dry January.
Sure shout about what you are doing!
Since I have given up alcohol, dry January social posts drive me insane.
I mean, do we have to live with your pain for a whole month only to go back to binge drinking on the 1st of February.
Then we have to listen to your take on hangovers in February.
Could you do me a favour? Please don’t do it in January; it’s depressing enough.
Secondly, could you do it for over a year? Every medical practitioner argues that balance over a year is far better.
So go alcohol-free but start when it is the least going to be painful for you.
Even better, if you are cutting back, be prepared for an onslaught of cheering for people in dry January while you post about your real alcohol-free life to the sound of science.
Being a non-drinker is weird.
But here is the thing, even if you get no immediate chewing from the sidelines, some people will cheer you on.
Me, for one!
What are the three benefits of living alcohol-free?
Health, Purpose and Achievement. Now that may sound and feel odd, but take a step back, and I’ll tell you why.
Health, of course, has to be up there, but a word of caution, when you are drinking even socially, it’s the last thing on your mind.
You get to live longer in most cases. Now while you’re supporting your large glass of red wine and then another, it may seem less relevant, but once you’re in a hospital ward to begin to hate the alcohol and wish you had drunk less.
I guess it is all about perspective.
Now I could also say money, hangovers, behaviour, embarrassing situations after drinking and they all count as benefits.
Sure, of course, they do!
But in reality, this is it!
Be selfish and know your mind. Secretly people will admire you for it but won’t tell you?
Seriously you got this; don’t expect cheering from the side. I won’t include myself in that.
Have you got experience of how to live an alcohol-free life? I would love to hear it!
How do you live alcohol-free?
Leave your comment below, and I always get back to you.