Going Alcohol-Free & Covid: What If Now is the Perfect Time?
Let me start out by stating something VERY clearly: however you’re responding emotionally to covid-19 and all the uncertainty of it all is exactly right. This is not a push to do things differently if you’re not feeling it nor is it a not-so-subtle guilt trip that’s pushing you to take on a massive lifestyle change. If existing in the world is already feeling like a lot for you, I hear ya. Keep doing what you’re doing, hopefully ensuring that you’re drinking lots of water, eating moderately well most of the time, getting enough sleep and making sure your basic needs are being met. This article might not be for you right now and that’s okay. Also know that it’ll be here if and when you decide to make change in this area.
This article is for the folx out there who know now that drinking their way through this thing isn’t supporting them in living their best lives. This is for the people who can see that the situation we find ourselves in can actually serve us, if we choose to see it that way. This is for the babes who aren't necessarily ready but are willing to try something different and see what happens because they know the outcome of continuing down the path they’re currently on and they know it’s not great.
While it may feel counterintuitive (but only if you continue believing what you’ve chosen to believe up to this point - and I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you’re ready to explore new ways of thinking), what if now is actually the best time to explore an alcohol-free lifestyle? To be clear, I’m not saying that the goal is lifelong sobriety but what if you could use this time well, try something you’ve been thinking about trying and come out a little bit better on the other side? Would you be open to it? Need a bit more convincing? Here are 5 reasons why now is the perfect time to explore an alcohol-free lifestyle.
1.) Take advantage of the fact that everything is closed! You no longer have to worry about receiving invites to parties, dinners and going out for drinks for the foreseeable future so why not take advantage of this by accumulating some sober days under your belt?
2.) By choosing to explore an AF lifestyle, you’ll be saving a lot of cash which is likely helpful especially if you’ve been impacted financially by covid.
3.) With our schedules and lives somewhat upended, now is a great time to figure out what you want your daily routines to look like and to start putting them into place. For example, I was unexpectedly laid off in 2017. During that time, I took advantage of the time and flexibility I had to my schedule and I really figured out what serves me and my wellness best. I re-committed to my very neglected sleep schedule as well as getting up early (which works well for me), started cooking more meals at home, found a solid and consistent workout schedule that I loved and re-focused on reading regularly. That was three years ago and all of the routines and habits have stuck! I’m so grateful that I used the gift of time to figure it out as these habits and routines have been serving me well for three years.
4.) Building on the previous point, this time serves as an opportunity for you to use the gift of time to build your healthy coping strategies. Yoga, journalling, meditation and mindfulness are all great options to explore. Take advantage of the time that you’ve got and explore new ways to cope with and manage the stress and anxiety that arise in your life. Really try to be present with what you’re feeling rather than distracting yourself with booze and see what happens. Check out my article on Coping Through Covid for a more in-depth conversation on healthy coping strategies. Also, if you’re interested in learning how to meditate and build a regular practice, check this out.
5.) Now is a great time to evaluate which habits are working for you, ditch the ones that aren’t and create new habits that support the life you want to live. With most of our regular habits and routines disrupted, now is a great time to tear it down and start anew! Check out the books in my “Habit Change” section to get you started.
For most people who drink, stressful times like what we’re collectively going through might typically prompt us to lean into our drinking but what would happen if you instead leaned out? What would it look like to simply explore what it means and looks like to be sober curious? I can tell you right now that what you have to look forward to* can include things like: blissfully restful sleep, boundless energy, glowy skin, greater focus and attention span, less anxiety, more balanced moods … and at a time like this, wouldn’t an increase in all those things be pretty damn amazing?
Instead of feeling trapped and immobilized by the current climate, let’s make the best of the situation and try to make it work to our advantage, shall we? If you’ve been thinking about cutting down on drinking or quitting all together, now could be the perfect time for you. If you’re looking for support beyond what’s offered in this article, reach out and I’d be happy to help get you set up on your AF journey. You can do this. Change is possible. You’re not alone.
If you’re a woman looking to pause or quit your drinking completely and would like hands-on support, accountability and tools to aid in this endeavour, I am currently accepting new clients and would happy to explore what working could look like. Read more about my coaching offerings here.
*If you are severely dependent on alcohol, abruptly quitting drinking can be dangerous and potentially fatal. If you believe you fall into this category or live in the neighbourhood of it, please consult with your physician before quitting drinking.