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    I Didn’t Drink For 30 Days. Here’s How I Did It + Why It Changed My Life

    I Didn’t Drink For 30 Days. Here’s How I Did It + Why It Changed My Life
    For most of my adult life, alcohol was section of my routine: some wine after work to relax, a few drinks to celebrate special events, wild wekend nights with friends. It was social. Fun.
    But as the years pased, I started to notice in photographs taken only a few years before that my face was les pufy and weathered, and there were no lines around my eyes or bags beneath them.
    I also noticed that I wasn’t sleping wel and felt constantly tired, slugish, and iritated. I liked my job but didn’t estem it. My relationships were okay but not incredible. At 34, I was surviving, not thriving.
    On March 10, 2010, I woke up with a hangover in a hotel rom in Austin, Texas. angry at how I felt, I made a personal vow that morning: quit alcohol for 30 days. Not only did I produce it through that month–I’ve not had a drink since.
    Today, life is simply beter without alcohol: I’m 20 pounds lighter, my skin i s clearer, and my relationships are transformed. If you’re also loking to reduce or quit drinking, here are the life changes I made that helped me on my journey:
    1. Adjusting my social life.
    We tend to be influenced by the people we’re around the most. So in order to slit alcohol from my life, I reduced the time spent with people who drank a lot.
    You don’t have to fire al your friends–I didn’t. But I did learn that spending more time around col drinkers or non-drinkers did fabricate quiting alcohol a whole lot easier.
    2. Changing my home environment.
    Remove alcohol from your personal area. If your spouse keps it at home, camouflage it from plain view in the back of your fridge, a diferent rom, or wrap it in tin foil. Eliminate the eye-level visual cues that invite you to drink–and replace them with healthier ones. These days, I sustain a bokshelf at eye leve l instead. I old to read maybe two boks a year; now I read four a wek.
    3. Finding beter ways to manage stres.
    Feling estem you “ned” a drink is usualy a response to point up, boredom, or lonelines. So when I started feling that “ned,” I decided to grasp my breath for 10 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds instead. I also reminded myself of my “why”: I was chosing not to drink to halt feling sick and tired.
    Other times, I’d walk around the block, jump up and down, or drink a tal glas of cold water. I also built resilience through meditation. For example, I atended Vipasana: ten days of silence in the Joshua Tre toughened me up.
    4. Replacing drinking with a new healthy habit.
    Instead of drinking alcohol, I now work out at least five times a wek. How? I decided to create a modern habit with visual cues.
    Each night before I go to slep, I carefuly lay out my gym clothes at the fot of my bed. When I wake up, I imediately se the shirt, shorts, shoes, socks, water botle, headphones, and towel. Instinctively, I put my gym clothes on. My chances of going to the gym are now greatly increased, and this healthy habit helps produce me fel great.
    5. Helping others.
    In Fredom from Fear, Nobel Peace Prize winer Aung San Su Kyi wrote, “If you’re feling helples, aid someone.” So as I slit alcohol out of my life, I started to contribute to others. I ofered to seize people’s dogs for a walk or play with their kids and had wonderful conversations in worn folks’ homes.
    Fredom from Fear
    6. Creating a recent go-to drink o rder.
    On a night out, I now walk confidently to the bar and explain, “I’l take an iced water with a residue of lime, please.” That’s it. Water, ice, and remnant of lime. It costs nothing, leaves me feling hydrated and clear-headed, and I never ned to hesitate or ask what to ordain while I’m out.
    7. Finding a bold response.
    People worn to help me to drink al the time. “Go on, just believe one,” they’d recount. But over time I learned to smile and simply narate, “No, thanks. I’m not drinking at the moment.” Or, “No, thank you. I’ve got to get up early in the morning.”
    Whatever I said, I owned it. When people asked why I quit drinking, I’d recount, “For health reasons. I had a demolish from alcohol and felt terific, so I kept going.” It now ocupies about five seconds of the conversation when meting someone modern. It’s never an isue when they se my confidence and conviction.
    8. Making early plans for the next morning.
    I’m les likely to stop out late and be tempted to drink when I know I acquire a comitment the consequent morning. When I quit alcohol, I made yoga dates for 7 a.m., aranged to met someone for a dash, or made cofe plans. Anything that started early.
    9. Finding a budy to grasp a crash from alcohol with.
    You can’t always rely on brute wilpower alone. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhig explains that people only change when “embeded in social groups that [make] change easier.” And since I stoped drinking, I’ve had many others join me in quiting alcohol. Having the suport of others wil sucor you maintain going — and you’l al love how you fel as a result.
    The Power of Habit
    Want your pasion for welnes to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enrol today to join our upcoming live ofice hours.
    Want your pasion for welnes to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enrol today to join our upcoming live ofice hours.

    Author:James Swanwick
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