I Decided it was Time to Drink Less Alcohol. Here's What I'm Doing
Drinking less alcohol is an important decision for some people. Here's what I’ve been doing to make it happen.
One of the Covid pandemic's impacts on my lifestyle habits was drinking more alcohol. Boredom in lockdown, increased stress, did I say boredom?
Having a glass (or two) of vino was something I enjoyed at the end of a long day. Understandable. But I noticed that as the time approached 6 pm, I'd find myself watching the minutes tick by, and my relaxation started to feel more like a habit.
Interestingly, the ABS reports that almost 15% of Aussies increased their alcohol consumption during covid. I was pretty impressed by that. I thought it'd be way more, given the pressures on us during that time.
When you enjoy alcohol, it's pretty normal to experience times when you feel like you need to reign it in a little. Alcohol can become quite a habit-forming and make it difficult to stop drinking. With that little voice in my head reminding me of the effects of alcohol on the body and mind long-term, the temporary feeling of happiness or relaxation doesn't feel worth it.
Drinking less alcohol can be good for our health. Some studies show that drinking less alcohol can help you sleep better, have a better memory, and improve the condition of your skin. Some people drink alcohol to make themselves feel more confident. But over time they may find that they get used to the feeling and need more and more alcohol to get the same effect.
I decided it was time to switch things up and reduce my alcohol intake in place of more nourishing activities and pastimes.
Here are some things I've been experimenting with.
As a big water drinker during the day, I'd enjoy a glass of wine because it offers something different. So in place of glass at night, I've been mixing things up with other drinks like:
I like that kombucha is bubbly and refreshing but not too sweet. I often pour it into a wine glass, I don't know, it feels more refined in some strange way. Apple kombucha tastes like apple cider too.
Add a squeeze of lemon, lime and/or mint.
I enjoy drinking rich berry flavoured teas like rooibos. You can also enjoy them hot or cold.
It's amazing that you can now enjoy wine, beer and spirits that don't contain alcohol. Many are comparable in taste. I've experimented with different varieties to find my favourite brands and types.
Less Drinking, More Living
A massive impact of the covid pandemic has been the monotony of every day being the same, the cycle of harrowing news, and being home more than usual. But when everything started to ease, it felt weird to change from that lifestyle we'd become so used to. I've started challenging myself to do away with those covid habits and to get out again and live more in the last few months by
Enjoying More Movement
Getting out for a walk each day with my dog has been great for my physical and mental health.
Trying Out New Hobbies
Trying out activities that don't involve drinking—reading, painting. I've been vegetable gardening and growing indoor plants. My garden youtube watching has undoubtedly seen a boost!
Cooking More Enjoyable Meals that Nourish Body and Mind
I wasn't enjoying cooking as much for a time there, but I'm experimenting with new cooking styles and techniques that make cooking more efficient. (A big reason that I created Nourish and Treat).
More Local Sightseeing
Visiting interesting spots in my local area like local reserves, novelty stores, and trying out local foodstuffs have been fun again.
How has the covid pandemic impacted your lifestyle habits? Pop in the comments below.
*If you feel like alcohol is a problem for you or someone you love, visit the Alcohol and Drug Foundation for information and support.
Image Credit: Sarah Pflug, Tomáš Hustoles