Lists

7 tips for a successful Dry January

tips for Dry January.jpg

Well happy New Year! Whew, where did 2018 go?

No matter, we’re moving onward and upwards to have the best year EVER. If you’re thinking of binning the booze during January - but not sure where to start, I have a few tips for you. These have helped me SO much over the last six months to develop good habits when it comes to navigating social situations, stressful days and everything in between.

  1. Be Prepared - behind every great goal there is a well, thought out plan that helps you stay on track. The best parallel I can think of is meal planning. If you’ve bought your groceries, downloaded your recipes and mapped out what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then you’re well on your way to following through on your goal of cooking more at home.

    In terms of Dry January, think about:

    • how you will tell others you are not drinking, and practice saying it out loud.

    • how you will handle a stressful day or celebration ahead of time - so you aren’t surprised when that day comes during your challenge

    • other things you enjoy for self-care and stress management. Alcohol is a huge reason to squash emotions and pass the time - so what will you replace that with?

  2. Research non-alcoholic drinks and have fun testing recipes. I’ve really enjoyed trying new teas, coffee drinks and experimenting with simple syrups and mineral water. There is no excuse for someone saying “I don’t know what I will drink” - there are plenty of options these days!

  3. Plan ahead when attending an event. Again, this goes back to being prepared and putting a lot of thought into how you will handle situations during the month of January.

    • Think about what you will order ahead of time (and practice saying it out loud)

    • Imagine who you are excited to see or what experience you will relish in as a sober, clear-minded individual

    • If you are going to a friend's house or hosting your own event, bring your own mixers or have ingredients on hand to create a fun drink.

  4. Visualize yourself succeeding and think about what that looks like.

    • What does success look like for you?

    • Imagine yourself enjoying your day will less anxiety, better health, making good decisions about food choices, waking up full of energy or improving the relationships around you - all with your new and sassy sober self!

  5. Change your perspective: Don't think of yourself as losing alcohol, but as gaining something else (energy, clear skin, clear mind, etc). Don’t think of Dry January as something you have to do, view it as a fun, adventurous journey where you are adding to your quality of life and learning new things about yourself along the way!

  6. Create distractions: If you're giving up alcohol for a month, use that time to do something new, like trying a new fitness class or cooking a new recipe. I cannot tell you how many books I’ve been able to read over the past few months, simply because I’m not passing out after a few glasses of wine at 8 p.m. (I even learned how to create an online course during this time!!!!)

  7. Find a support network or an accountability partner:

    • Instagram and Facebook offer a community of people sharing their own sober journeys.

    • Pinterest provides a lot of sober inspiration.

    • Check out a local meeting to connect with others in person.

    • Or write out what you're thinking and feeling. There is so much power in keeping a journal and getting those feelings out on paper!

Did I leave anything out? My wish for you in the New Year is that - if you are struggling with alcohol or if you are wanting to experience life without reaching for a glass of wine for every occasion - you find the support, encouragement, inspiration and motivation you need. All the best. xox Kim

Always Be Prepared - new motto!

Bare Organics (4).png I'm just going to take a page out of the Boy Scout handbook and need to come up with a game plan for being prepared. When I haven't been prepared, that is when I get caught off guard and end up drinking.

  • One of my triggers used to be stress with the kids. The kids whining - or an unexpected meltdown. Those still stress me out BUT I have learned to do some deep breathing, ask my husband for a time out or meditate for a bit. And sometimes I just have a non-alcoholic beer (and chug it like a normal beer!. I can move on past this trigger without thinking about drinking.
  • One of my triggers also used to be a nice, sunny day or event of some sort. The way I cope with this is to have a fancy coffee drink or just reflect on why a drink isn't a good idea - I'll get tired, lazy, irritable - I'll regret it later. So this used to sneak up on me but now I've got some sort of handle on it. I can also resort back to a non-alcoholic beer.

Now, this exercise will help me prepare for the unexpected moment of just being relaxed and content. The last time I stumbled, I was caught off guard eating dinner with my husband and just thought "oh one wont' hurt" - but it did. Even though I didn't have a hangover or anything the next day, I was really disappointed and pissed that I have to start all over again.

Here we go. Let's get prepared for some other instances:

  • Location - nice, relaxing setting outdoors or inside - during dinner or at home - where I am feeling content
  • Time - probably in the evening
  • Emotional state - content and happy
  • Other people - friends and family
  • Preceding action - Why don't you just have one?
  • What routine do you put in place? Imagine the disappointment of starting back to day 1, ask for a mocktail n/a beer or soda water.
  • Location - Beach trip
  • Time - daytime or evening
  • Emotional state - content and happy - the feeling of "deserving one" because I'm on vacation
  • Other people - friends and family
  • Preceding action - Why don't you just have one? It's vacation!
  • What routine do you put in place? Imagine the disappointment of starting back to day 1, ask for a mocktail n/a beer or soda water.

 

Day 9 - Raining cats and dogs and my list!

Ugh, it's literally been raining all day. Everyone has cabin fever and I would be lying if I said I wasn't craving a glass of wine. I want to cuddle in a blanket and enjoy that nice, warm feeling that the first glass provides. But I won't. I want to keep going. I want to be clearheaded and disciplined and remember why I'm doing this:

  • I can't control alcohol, alcohol controls me
  • I won't sleep well
  • I will snack like shit
  • I will be frustrated with myself tomorrow for not seeing through this challenge
  • I will be short with the boys because I will be tired and depleted of energy

I have already had two chai tea lattes today. I just need to picture myself going to bed sober.

O.K. so things I like more than a glass of wine:

  • Sleeping great
  • Meditating - I have been using Headspace for a while and it has been great to take a break and practice being in the moment
  • Exercising - I truly love to run and workout - and my workouts are so much better when I don't drink
  • Connecting with others on a deeper basis
  • Coffee and tea
  • Learning new things -books, music, history
  • My boys - watching them grow, playing with them, talking with them about their day and what interests them
  • My work - while it gets stressful, I truly love doing PR and social media
  • My husband - our relationship is so much better when I don't drink. We have been together for 13 years and it's nice to have so much history with someone even though he drives me bat shit crazy sometimes
  • My family - in all sorts of forms

O.K. there we go. Tomorrow we'll be in double digits. Just have to fight off those cravings for a few more hours!

Saying Goodbye to Alcohol

I'm saying goodbye to a habit that has held me back. It's given me anxiety, contributed to my depression and has prevented me from becoming the awesome mother I want to be.

I'm saying goodbye to the following. These are a few of my least favorite things:

Shitty workouts

Negative self talk

No energy weekends

Being anywhere but the present

Hangovers

Missing church because I'm too tired

Using my energy towards something that does nothing for me

Day 1 over and over and over again

Being weak