I made a resolution earlier in the year to see major breakthroughs in my life.
For some, this might look like taking massive action and hustling harder, but that wasn’t going to work for me this time. I’d tried that before, and while I did get results, I had to make a lot of sacrifices that resulted in exhaustion, burnout, and being stretched way too thin.
This time, I was clear that something had to change. I had to let go and give up on things that I held onto for my own safety. I used to white-knuckle through my life.
I’m an achiever, by nature. I am someone who wants to make things happen, and who will go the extra mile with you in order to see that thing come to fruition.
However, when I looked at my own life, I realized that I was overworked and overcommitted. still It wasn’t where I wanted it to be. That is why this year, I’ve committed this year to fast from something every single month.
See my other “fasts” articles from the series here:
- My morning coffee is gone for a month
- As a business owner, you can take a social media vacation.
- Give up sweets for 30 Days
- 21 days without spending anything but essential money
This fast was not about depriving my body or myself of the things I need. It was also not a punishment for me to stay away from things that would benefit my life. It was more an experiment to see beneath the surface and to be able to truly tend to my business, my life and my heart.
My monthly fasts were not to achieve health goals. However, I did fast from alcohol for one month. What was one thing that I knew I needed for multiple reasons?
Through the holidays and a chaotic start of the month I used alcohol to make connections with people. I was able to get a drink every now and again with friends.
This fast wasn’t about being sober curious or totally sober for the rest of my life, however, there are incredible resources for both of those lifestyles, including Sober Stories.
This was a break that I needed to take not only for my body’s health, but for my mental health as well.
It is easy to fall into a comfort zone with alcohol in today’s culture. It’s well known that excessive alcohol consumption can have a profound effect on our lives. This was something I discovered too often in my personal life.
It was easy to check out and drink, but not to truly connect. After a month of abstaining, I was able reset my health and refocus my intention to connect with others.
Here are some things I learned while taking a month off from alcohol.
1. It was harder to get started than to keep it going.
It only took a few interactions with the friends that I see on a regular basis to let them know, “Hey, I’m not drinking right now.”
I accepted that as part of the dialogue and we moved on. I’ll admit I was hesitant to go to a couple social gatherings because I wasn’t drinking. Yet Not drinking alcohol allowed me to be present in a way that I hadn’t been able to before.
Now, I’m not someone that always drinks a lot at an event, however, I noticed that by removing it completely, I was able to enjoy the conversation. I wasn’t stopping mid-conversation to go refresh my beverage. I was talking about things Other We were more focused on what we were eating than what was being drunk. Alcohol wasn’t the center focus.
2. I had more energy
It didn’t take long for me to realize that by not drinking, I was a lot less tired. Even a small glass of wine can drag you down. If I wanted to achieve my goals this year, every moment should count.
I found myself reaching for something to help me relax most of the time. And by doing this, I had gotten into the habit of reaching for something that wasn’t actually going to help. It is up to you to decide whether to stop drinking alcohol or not. This was for me about understanding the root causes of my desire to have a drink.
3. Helpful alternatives to alcohol
It was a great treat to swap my alcoholic drink for something fun and non-alcoholic. Sure, maybe I didn’t want another glass of plain ice water, but I could try out a fun sparkling water that I didn’t drink during the day. I tried new non-alcoholic options while still enjoying an evening beverage that was just as good. Without All the trouble of not sleeping well and causing damage to my hormones.
Enjoy these warm mocktails
Do you think it is worth trying an alcohol-free period?
Since I concluded that month, I’ve really thought about where alcohol has a place in my life.
This is something I’m continually adjusting as needed. I know I want to be there for my daughters as long as I can. I want to be with my family and friends. I want to live a healthy lifestyle. This was one area that was so easy to identify as holding me back when it’s often framed as something that’s going to set us No cost.
If you’ve considered taking a break from alcohol, I want to encourage you to try it.
Be aware that people may be asking you why you made this choice. Know that it’s okay to respond with, “I’m taking a break for now”, “I’m hitting the reset button”, “I’m trying other options,” and “I’m letting my body reset”. These responses are fine and can often be used to shut down other probing questions from friends. Most people don’t care.
Another thing I noticed was the fact that many people responded to my comments from a place where they were judging themselves. If I shared that I wasn’t drinking, then They would have some reaction as if I had made some comment about the fact that they They opted for drinking.
This was something that I had to do as an Enneagram 9 because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about themselves. However, I realized that this wasn’t an issue I was responsible. I made my own decision, and they could draw their conclusions from it. Their response was not mine. It wasn’t an easy thing, but I did it.
After all, when I put it on paper, I’m not going to let peer pressure run my life, let alone get in the way of my major breakthrough. Is this why I allowed it to happen in this particular area?
I’d encourage you, if you’re considering taking an alcohol break, have a plan for the conversations that come up. They’re not hard but they do come up, and when they do, you’ll be glad you prepared for them!
Next: Why 2023 should have a dry January