Meditation. Nutrition. Exercise. Sleep. Building relationships. When I think of self-care, all of these things come to mind. One thing is certain though – drinking alcohol isn’t self-care. So how do we learn to really treat ourselves well after drinking and shift the mindset of alcohol being part of our care routine?
Be gentle with yourself
Self-care is about being gentle with yourself. Pay attention to your self-talk and don’t try to take on too much at once. You’ve cut back or stopped drinking – that is amazing. Now isn’t the time to pile on losing 20 lbs, quitting smoking, cutting out sugar and writing that novel. You are adjusting to a new lifestyle. Be gentle by allowing this change to become a new normal and then introduce the next change you’d like to see in your life.
You need to nourish yourself now more than ever. That means making sure, you’re eating, sleeping and drinking enough water. Don’t skip meals, as hunger can be a huge trigger that we use to fill with alcohol. Choose foods that will replenish the damage alcohol has caused you – salmon, leafy greens, complex carbs, etc. Get as much sleep as your body is telling you it needs. Take that nap, sleep in, turn in early – your body is probably chronically sleep-deprived at this point. And HYDRATE! You have no idea how much water you actually need to feel good. I keep a full water bottle with me at all times. It’s my constant self-care routine!
Most of us had come to associate drinking alcohol as self-care because it was our way to wind down and relax. So when we stop drinking, we cut out that downtime we need during the day. BIG MISTAKE! You still need downtime. For me, that means either pouring a glass of kombucha or a cup of tea and spending 20-30 minutes reading, journaling, or just doing nothing. I thought I needed to fill every moment in order to not drink, but my best thoughts and restoration actually came from doing nothing at all.
Need a book suggestion now that you know drinking alcohol isn’t self-care? You can start reading This Naked Mind for free today!
Live A Little
They say that the opposite of addiction is connection. If you always drank while spending time with family and friends, it’s easy to associate those good feelings they gave you with alcohol. It only takes a few occasions of socializing without drinking to make you realize it’s the connection with those you love that was fulfilling you. Don’t eliminate that now that you’ve taken the ultimate act of self-care by cutting out alcohol. Go out and do all the things that you did before – you’ll enjoy them even more now that you’re present and engaged.
Drinking alcohol isn’t self-care
Self-care is the practice of taking action towards preserving or improving one’s health & well being. So once and for all – despite what society, media and all those memes tell you – drinking alcohol isn’t self-care. Never will ingesting a poison that makes you feel awful the next day be a form of self-care. It isn’t preserving or improving you – it’s a detriment to your health and well being.
Tell me what you’re doing to make self-care a priority now!