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A Sunday morning in December. I'm hungover. Hungover because I said "yes" to wine four times over last night. Not crazy hungover. Not I had a terrible night and want to run away and hide forever hungover. But a little bit fuzzy, a little bit raw around the edges hungover.
There I was, yet again, hungover even though I knew deep down I really didn't want to drink last night.
The same questions repeat and round my head on repeat that morning of my last hangover. Why do I drink something that makes my brain go fuzzy? When I get closer to myself, when I start feeling good and getting somewhere, why do I always run away from my feelings? The nights of drinking - are they worth it? They're fun. But I can have fun in other ways, and is life all about fun anyway?
Research tells us that fun is only one factor in life that contributes to our overall wheel of wellbeing. There's an entire conglomerate of factors that build us up to be happy, whole people. Money, relationships, work, spirituality, sex, stability. So why are we so inclined to choose short term satisfaction ahead of long term well being? Why does 'fun' stick out as the one thing that I am lacking when I decide not to drink?
There's this little voice in my head, it might sound familiar ... The voice says you are not fun, you need booze to interact, loads of booze, keep drinking it won't hurt, it is what everyone else does. Be the person you've always been, the girl who likes wine at dinner, prosecco with brunch, beer in the sunshine and champagne on special occasions.
Drinking is an ingrained part of our culture in Britain, amplified at the weekend, it is an essential part of our Saturday night. We drink to relax, to get the party started, to celebrate and to commiserate.
How can we - as individuals - start to wiggle our way away from this? A question not just for those who want to stop drinking completely, but also for the many who want to drink more mindfully, to do more and drink less?
Stop & notice. Question your yes:
1.Next time someone offers you a drink, or the voice in your head suggests you stop of at the supermarket to pick up a bottle or two of your favourite tipple, stop and notice your reaction. Do you instantly say yes? Do you feel initial resistance and then say yes anyway? Do you say no?
2.You don't have to change your behaviour, just take the time to notice how you feel. If you say yes, have a think as to why.
3.Bonus points if you write it down. Be kind to yourself when considering your answer. We don't change overnight (or at least I don't).
There are no rules here. No right answer. Taking the time to ask the question and noticing what comes up can be the prompt you need. Nothing is set in stone. We get to be whoever we want to be, to stop and notice, and make a decision (different or the same), time and time again.
Why do you say yes?
Inspired to Drink Less and Do More? Read my blog: Girl & Tonic