Being more mindful to keep mental health in check in times of stress.

mindful drinking, stress,

Everyone has different ideas about how they want to challenge themselves when it comes to taking a break from the booze and this Dry January is definitely very different to any we have experienced before.

With the health challenges of 2020, a lot of women I spoke to decided to go all in and commit to the full month for this dry spell. A lengthily reset for our bodies and a chance to completely detox and reboot the immune system.  But then Lockdown #3 happened in the UK and many plans went a bit haywire!
So what can we do to be more mindful about our drinking to help keep our mental health in check in times of stress?

Here’s the Mindful Sips top 5 tips!

Get some alcohol free alternatives in your shopping - Drinking during lockdown has been amplified by boredom and anxiety with many of us still feeling like we don’t know if we’re coming or going! But there’s never been a better time to try alcohol free drinks! 

With a boom in the marketplace as demand for being hangover free has increased there’s an element of sober curiosity in the air and an abundance of new things to try.

Check out Dry Drinker and Wise Bartender for a fantastic selection; from beer and wine to spirits and stouts they’re all delivered direct to your door.

Set some boundaries - we're not talking about ditching the booze entirely, we're just thinking about making mindful choices. During times of stress it’s easy to let the lines blur while one day rolls into another and we can let drinking alcohol creep into our daily routine. So how can we differentiate our week from our weekend?

  • Have clear boundaries about when you allow yourself to drink and save your 'I deserve it' drink for the weekend. Not only does it protect your health but it also gives you something to look forward to.
  • Think of ways to switch off from work when home has become your office that doesn’t include alcohol. Having an alternative drink in your fridge ready to go will help reset those boundaries. 
  • Eat well and differently at the weekend. Treat yourself to a takeaway or bake something nice.
  • Plan zoom activities with friends or fun stuff to do with the children.  If they’ve been doing school work all week this will help them to differentiate too.
  • Read our blog How to Separate your Week from your Weekend for more info on this.

Re-think Wine O’Clock - That time of day when you reach for the wine bottle or pour yourself your favourite tipple….because it’s what you’ve become used to doing! More often than not we don’t really appreciate the drink we pour as we rush around stirring the dinner, putting the kids to bed or sending those last couple of work emails. Doing last minute bits and bobs before we actually sit down for the evening means the drink doesn’t actually do what you wanted it to do in the first place, whether that’s take the edge off your anxiety, signify the start of your evening, to help you relax or simply out of boredom.

It’s time to rethink that habit drink! Replacing wine o’clock with something else doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to nudge the habit out of its time slot so you start making conscious decisions around how much you drink.

Listening to your body - We’re all guilty of rushing around like busy bees squeezing everything we can into our day and often don’t stop to think about how our body is actually feeling. We’re used to using words like tired and hungry, as a ‘catch all’ for general health but what if we stop and dig a bit deeper? What if you asked yourself

  • Am I taking care of myself right now?
  • Can I make an easy switch so I don’t feel so sluggish or tired?
  • Am I grabbing a glass of wine out of habit?
  • Do I really want to drink that tonight or is there something more refreshing I could have instead?
  • Am I feeling overwhelmed? Do I need to pause and think about the things I can control, then take action on those rather than letting the things I can’t control take over my brain chatter which makes me reach for a drink?

Have fun, there’s a wealth of recipes online - Check out Pinterest for some fab mocktail recipes that look special and you can enjoy at home! Maybe choose some that also have healing ingredients like ginger, mint, turmeric or rosemary. How can you make the drink work in your favour, helping to boost the immune system or your mood. Read our blog 5 Ways to Pimp your Prosecco  for some fun ways to make drinks more interesting.

We’ve tried lots of drinks at Mindful Sips. These are our 5 favourite small businesses that offer some amazing alcohol free alternatives. Their websites offer great advice as well as recipes to make at home.

  • Calenco, Light and Zesty as a Gin alternative or Dark and Spicy as a rum alternative
  • Boucha Kombucha is a wonderful white wine alternative.
  • Savyll have 6 amazing pre-made cocktails that you just pop and pour
  • Jumpship have a great alcohol free lager and a pale ale.
  • Wild Life Botanicals, describe themselves as Bubbles with Benefits and it tastes delicious too!

It’s never too late to start rethinking your drinking. Whether you choose a weekend, a week, a month or a year your body and mind will benefit from the break. And if you’ve managed to stick to your Dry January Challenges, Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back and think of all the money you’ve saved. How are you going to reward yourself? New handbag? New shoes? Spa day?

With love x

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