Saturday, June 26, 2021

5 Unexpected Benefits Of Giving Up Alcohol

Have you ever considered giving up alcohol? Or even just taking a break?

I never expected to be a non-drinker. I fell into it, accidentally. It was only meant to be for 30 days, but here I am over four years later – happier, healthier, calmer, more productive – all thanks to not drinking.

I wasn’t a problem drinker. I wasn’t an alcoholic. I was like most people in Ireland who drink – it was just part of the lifestyle that we all partook in. A bottle of wine at home on a Friday night, dinner and drinks with friends (when we were allowed to do such things). A bottle of cold beer on a sunny day to enhance the moment, a glass of champagne to mark a celebration, something stronger to get through the tough days.

It was always there – good times, bad times, a social elixir, a stress reducer.

I thought giving up alcohol would be all about what I was losing out on – but in fact it turned out to be about what I gained. Here are just some of things giving up alcohol gifted me:

1. Energy

Within two weeks my energy levels soared. I painted the house, completed a diploma, ran my fastest 10k ever. I had so much extra energy, I didn’t know what to do with it all. In the past two years I have run a marathon and written two books – not drinking is a serious superpower!

2. Less anxiety

While many of us use alcohol to relieve stress and anxiety, it actually only works as a pause button. In fact, alcohol often increases the stress and anxiety the next day, leading to a vicious circle. Without alcohol in my system, my anxiety reduced and I was able to take on whatever life threw at me.

3. Better parenting

With more energy, added patience and no hangovers I was more able to dedicate more of myself to my kids. I became a calmer, more patient and more organised mum. Far from perfect, but definitely better!

4. Time

It’s surprising the amount of time we dedicate to drink – whether its hours in the pub (remember that?), nights in front of the TV, or mornings feeling the worse for wear – so many hours get lost to drinking that we don’t even notice. For someone who was constantly chasing their tail, this was a huge gift – time was given back to me in spades.

5. Confidence.

I thought not drinking would knock my confidence rather than increase it. But once I learned who I was in a social situation without a drink in my hand to boost me, a quiet confidence grew in me.

The same was true about life in general – I learned that I am able to take head on anything that life throws at me … and it’s a good feeling.

Other benefits included brighter eyes, better skin, deeper relationships, increased clarity of mind, more money and more excitement for the future.

Most of us spend almost all of our adult lives drinking without really questioning it. But what if giving up was the best thing you ever did? You won’t know until you try of course. Giving over just 30 days out of the 60+ years of our lives that we spend drinking seems like it’s worth a try to me. If you're sober curious or want to take a break from alcohol for awhile to see the impact it has on your life - The Accidental Soberista is a good place to start!

Pop over to Amazon see the rest of the reviews and grab yourself a copy! 

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