One of the lifestyle changes I'm trying to make is not to use alcohol has a form of stress relief, having had a responsible and stressful job for 20 years I've always looked for ways to deal with this stress. For a long time I used excercise (specifically kick boxing) to combat stress and it worked an absolute charm. The problem is training 6+ hours when you are young and single is great but trying to maintain that level of commitment is quite tricky with a family and so I stopped.
I've never really managed to find an alternative that helps me manage stress and fits with my current lifestyle, sadly the only thing which did is alcohol, which didn't manage stress it just masked it. I'm more than happy to admit that I do like a drink and there's nothing better than that first glass of wine after a stressful day! Am I going to become teetotal? No. But I have already cut down the amount I'm drinking and trying to keep it for some weekends and special occasions. To say I'll never drink again is not going to happen and I'll just be setting myself up for failure.
I'd love to be one of those people who can just make major lifestyle changes, like the click of a button but I don't think I can be that person, the only time I did was when I found out I was carrying T and I wanted to give him the best start in life, unfortunately doing it for myself isn't a big enough motivator for me.
Since I stopped drinking nearly 3 weeks ago I've realised that there were side effects to drinking, not just the obvious health ones but simple ones which affected my productivity, which made me make decisions I wouldn't have otherwise and which did make me ill. I thought I'd list down my observances as a reminder why cutting down on drinking is necessary to my new lifestyle choices.
Without doubt, I'm so less productive and more likely to sit and watch drivel on the TV if I have a glass in my hand.
2. Empty calories
There are absolutely no health benefits from drinking alcohol, I know they say that red wine can help some people and Guinness can increase iron intake but they are not scientifically proven and personally I don't drink much of either!
3. Makes me make poor food choices
This is fundamental to my new lifestyle decision, I need to be in control when it comes to my eating habits and if I drink I lose that control.
4. Poorly tummy
This is a relatively new symptom I've noticed, I'm absolutely sure that I have a slight intolerance to white wine, I'm fine with red wine or spirits but a good old glass of Pinot Grigio or Prosecco really makes my tummy feel bad and gives me griping pains the whole of the next day.
6. Makes me lethargic
So similar to being lazy I guess although I find I want to fall asleep much earlier if I've been drinking which again makes me less productive in the day.
7. Even more disturbed sleep
Despite falling asleep earlier, I find myself unable to get back to sleep once I wake up in the night, this is definitely prolonged if I've been drinking.
8. Don't do my routines
This is one of my stress triggers!! One thing I've realised since the beginning of the year is that if I live in chaos my mind is chaos, so if I live in a tidy home, my mind is calmer. If I've been drinking, I'm far less likely to clear up before bedtime or remember to put the dishwasher one, take my make-up off etc, which leads to feeling a lack of control and anxiety for me.
9. Masks not deal with stress
I've really talked about this one above, whilst I've not yet found a way to deal with stress, I'm no longer kidding myself that I have it under control with a large glass in my hand!
10. Tired next day so no exercise
Although I don't suffer from hangovers, my body most definitely knows that I've been drinking, and like I explain above about my tummy problems, my energy levels are always seriously depletely if I drink which makes for not one but two unproductive days!
I'm kidding myself that this will permanently lead to anything else, I'm just glad that I've recognised this and am making changes, for me it's all about moderation and choices and this is what's working for me right now. I'm still on the lookout for that elusive way to deal with stress though!!!
Have you noticed how drinking affects you? How do you manage stress? Do you have a tried and tested way? Lx