My Secret to Feeling Amazing.

Last night, I had two glasses of wine with my husband. Not because I deserved it, while surely I did by the standards of “mom culture,” but because we made a deliberate plan to have date night at home with a bottle of wine and some music. We sipped our yummy red wine, talked, listened to my latest Spotify playlist, Josh even pulled out his acoustic guitar for a few a songs and we stayed up past our bedtime. Which is usually 9:30.

A year ago, we finished a bottle of wine together a few times a week. And if I’m being totally honest, I easily finished a bottle by myself most of the time while Josh drank beer. But this year, we go weeks without drinking. And we only drink with a purpose. We don’t drink because we’ve earned it or deserve it or to make ourselves feel better. Because it doesn’t. Alcohol doesn’t ever make anyone feel better. Sure, it does for a few hours maybe but the next day, you inevitably wake up feeling at least a little slow if not fully awful and you still have that problem you had that made you feel like you needed to drink in the first place. You didn’t solve it, you just squashed it.

This year, I’ve completely changed my relationship with alcohol. Partly in support of someone I love and partly to cut down on sugar. The results have been farther reaching than I could have anticipated. Besides losing weight, I feel amazing. In my head. I have less anxiety. I’m able to think through things that would have scared me into avoidance in the past. I’m quicker, mentally, with clients and in life. I’m clear. I second guess myself less. I never wake up worried that I did or said something the night before that’s regrettable.

It was daunting to decide to stop drinking. Scary even. How would I relax? How would we connect? What would I do when I went out to eat with friends? Or to a family function? Would it even be fun to go to our beach house if we weren't going to start drinking double IPAs at noon?

And yet I don’t instinctively pull into the liquor store anymore. It’s not my go to. I can’t believe how much I did turn to alcohol before and can’t imagine that I ever will again. I love that drinking isn’t a part of my almost daily life. I go weeks without it and I’m okay with that. I go to social events and don’t drink just because it’s there. When I do drink, it’s rare and because I want to. Not because I feel like I need it, or deserve it or have earned it.

I don’t need alcohol to socialize. Or to loosen up. Or because I’m sad or stressed or want to celebrate. I don’t even need it to deal with a long day of tantrums and constant three year old questions without a moment to myself. Do I need to unwind on those long days, sure. But alcohol isn’t my answer anymore. And I had to give it up for awhile, to really re-asses my relationship with it.

We need to stop perpetuating the myth that drinking a neurotoxin will solve our problems. It’s not cute to drink because you “mom” or whatever the meme of the week says. Alcohol is not self care. Alcohol masks your problems and gives you more.

Im not trying to come off as judgey. I’m just talking about something that people don’t talk about. It’s scary to look at the implications of our alcohol infatuated society. And maybe a glass of wine a night or whatever works for you, then that’s cool. I just am hoping that maybe this will click with someone, someone who maybe feels like what they’re currently doing isn’t working. So if what you’re doing is working for you, cheers! And if it’s not, I’m here to chat. Really. I am.

Alcohol is not self care. For me, self care is water coloring, my bullet journal, a sweaty five mile walk pushing my babies, sometimes it even is my babies, music, my dog, texting my husband, looking at pictures, taking a hot shower and the list goes on.

What’s you’re go-to, non-alcoholic self care? Tell me in the comments!