This is me: I teach & practice yoga every day, I meditate every day. I was having a drink every day.
Now…that wasn’t supposed to sound so dramatic & the actual amount I drink is genuinely not that much but we all have different constitutions/doshas & for me it was just something that had to give.
A major factor in making this decision is my age & my hormones, whilst I love the majority of things about where I am in life & the wisdom that comes with life-experience - there is no sugar coating this – hormones are the game changer. I was feeling so so low, my mojo only appeared after teaching a yoga class & my brain fog was frustrating as my words felt muddled.
I have always become very tiddly very easily – 2 1/2 glasses of wine = room spin & bed & then in my 40’s losing the entire next day. A day?!
At the time of writing this, we are in the midst of the Covid pandemic & during the early weeks I was “treating” myself to a tipple most nights & feeling very proud of myself if I had an evening without. I didn’t depend on my tipple but it was deeply imbedded in my 9pm wind-down.
Pure habit. I considered my evening tipple as my “adult treat”.
So, going back to perimenopausal hormones, I knew, intuitively that most of the symptoms I was experiencing were enhanced by alcohol as I was so sensitive to it. I had reached that point when that 9pm drink was affecting my moods & my wellbeing & energy the following day.
So as 9pm drew closer I would start reminding myself of those small things that in fact, really affect you day:
Lack of energy, headaches, irritability, low patience, dark circles around my eyes.
So, I switched to a drink I really enjoyed – a lemon or a lemon & mint Sanpeligrino, with heaps of fresh lime (almost a mojito, right?)
Almost immediately I felt awake & less groggy in the morning. The “meh” feeling lifted, depression felt less intense, dark circles were improving, the tetchiness went & my patience levels increased.
I felt so damn good I do not plan on returning to that nightly habit.
Here are some tips that helped me.
- Find an alternative that you really enjoy
- Add fruit/ice & use a beautiful glass, the above both help with that crazy feeling of missing out
- Remind yourself of your reasons, especially in the evening when you get closer to your weak point, write them down.
- Recognise if it’s work-related stress you are trying to numb out & try 5/10 minutes of alternate nostril breathing (read my “work-related anxiety” blog for ways to help yourself in the day & at work)
- Notice the little stuff – make a note in a beautiful journal of the subtle but positive changes you’re experiencing.
- Reward yourself – with a kinder self-care ritual. Come in from work & run yourself an indulgent over-the-top-insta-worthy bath as soon as you can.
- Have a huge glass of water as very often we drink the first glass of alcohol so fast as we are thirsty.
- Treat yourself with flowers, book a facial, a yoga session with meeee
To tell or not to tell?
I’m all for being truthful & hopefully you have supportive family & friends that will respect your decision (believe me, when I told my husband I would be far less tetchy without drink he became VERY supportive )