So I'm not a big drinker, but I enjoy a yummy glass of Spanish vino after a long day, a glass of bubbly for celebrations and after traveling in Cuba Mojitos became my favourite cocktail for sundowners- I find it is very much a 'social' activity that's hard to turn down.
This January I decided to join the masses and give up alcohol for the whole month...
The first two weeks were really easy, then as the weeks got colder, I was craving a deep red wine by the roaring fire moment, but I resisted temptation!
It was tricky for me too as there was lots of catching up with friends and meals out etc this month and that made me realise how 'normal' and complimentary alcohol has become for me to enjoy with friends. In a nice way, it made me realise we always have something to 'cheers' and celebrate be it a productive day at work, someone's birthday or just a nice reunion, it made me realise alcohol like cake is linked in my mind as celebrations and positiveity!
I realised that I still really enjoyed my evenings out and soon not drinking just became the habit. The biggest change that I noticed was that I felt that my mood levels felt really balanced. Alcohol drains the adrenal glands, which can make you feel tired and down. Also like many other people I have spoken to about it, my sleep felt really solid. It's easy to fall asleep after drinking alcohol, but the closer you drink it to bedtime, the more it increases your rapid eye movement (REM). A REM sleep is much easier to wake from, thus a much lighter sleep, this can make you feel exhausted when you wake up.
The final cherry on the cake was my skin, I normally suffer with a little dehydration on my forehead area, this became much less noticeable, makes sense seeing as alcohol is a diuretic, also Chinese medicine link the forehead to liver and bladder function so also quite an interesting result!
Now that it is February I am introducing the odd glass of wine back into my life as and when, but I think having a month off has been a great way to help you become more mindful in how it effects the body. My motto is everything in moderation, not to deny yourself of things that make you happy, as those happy hormones you release can have equally positive effects on your wellbeing.
I just met someone that said he had, had a 'damp' January, which apparently means cutting down on alcohol, but not stopping completely, I think that's me now for the rest if the year now- 'damp' 2017! - bring on the half a glass of Rioja, cheers! X