The Australian culture has supported the ‘everything goes better with alcohol!’ for decades. But does it? From teenagers, young adults to pensioners we have developed a drinking problem!
Happy hours can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work. You can bond with your coworkers, talk about your day, and listen to some upbeat music. On the other hand, if you make such activities a regular routine, you could be taking in more alcohol than you realise.
Covid-19 appears to have made this problem worse. Being in ‘lockdown’ was not pleasant for anyone, but whether you were confined by yourself or with others, drinking alcohol seemed to be a ‘way’ to get through the long days. It is not surprising. Whether we realise it or not, most of our lives we have been training ourselves to think that drinking alcohol is the only way to relax.
Socially, many people feel embarrassed to not drink alcohol when they are out with their mates! Don’t be! Remember it is your health, your mind, your body that you owe the first loyalty to. But, look for alcohol alternatives. They look the same, almost taste the same. You can be the DD – designated driver – and still be part of the crowd but stay sober. Your liver and kidneys will thank you forever.
You can’t remove stress from daily life, but you can learn to deal with it without creating more trouble. Start with these ideas for relaxing without alcohol.
Ways to Relax on Your Own:
Pause and take a few calming breaths. Inhale from down in your diaphragm instead of up in your chest. Lengthen your exhalations to match your inhalations. Focus on the air as it moves in and out of your nostrils.
Sit for a few moments and connect with yourself. Observe your thoughts without judging them. Reflect with gratitude for your blessings.
Engage in visualization.
Close your eyes and imagine something that makes you feel happy and inspired. Picture yourself surrounded by family and friends or excelling at a task that you find fulfilling. Plan a holiday, give yourself something fun to focus on.
Draw a bath.
Fill your tub with warm water and enjoy a luxurious soak. Buy fragrant bath salts or make your own. Set out fluffy towels, candles, and other accessories of your choice.
Stretch your body.
Make it a habit to stand up about every half hour when you’re working at your desk. Place your hands on your lower spine for support, and do a slight backbend. Rise up tall, and reach your hands down to the floor, bending your knees if necessary.
Take a walk.
Stroll around the block or hike the trails at your local park. Pick a quiet time of day and explore new routes.
Scientific studies have proven that being in nature soothes and relaxes the mind and body. Head outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. If you cannot get outdoors watch videos on subjects such as wildlife, sea adventures, or movies set in the great outdoors.
Learn progressive relaxation.
Experiment with progressive muscle relaxation. Start with your hands, squeezing each muscle group as you breathe in, and releasing as you breathe out. Continue across the rest of your body.
Ways to Relax with Others:
Yoga cultivates community as well as stress relief and physical fitness. Bring a friend with you to your next class. Invite others to join you for breakfast afterward.
As long as you avoid extreme competition, sports can be relaxing. Schedule a game of tennis or darts. Join a ‘barefoot’ bowls group and enjoy the sport just simply for fun.
Take listening to music a step further by getting out on the dance floor. Sign up for rumba lessons or spend your next date night at a club with a live band.
Pet your dog.
Remember your animal companions. Studies show that talking to them actually tends to be less stressful than interacting with humans because we don’t worry about being judged.
Talk it over.
Your fellow humans are going to have more insights into how to deal with your life challenges or conflicts at work than your pet. Remember to Call a friend when you need to vent or find a different perspective on whatever is on your mind.
Join a Laughter Club.
Humor makes our struggles easier to bear, it really is the best medicine. Did you know you can only experience one emotion at a time? So, when you feel down, make yourself laugh. Watch a funny youtube; or spend time with others who encourage you to see the funny aspects of life. If all else fails, just start laughing, force it, just laugh…. it takes no time to stir up the ‘happy hormones’ in your brain. Laugh and laugh and laugh! You will feel like an idiot.. don’t worry, you will feel happier, I promise. Join a laughter club. They are in every city – or Google one of their videos! Laughter may seem the hardest thing when you feel stressed, angry, depressed, or anxious, but it is the fastest way to get back on an even keel and get a new perspective on what is bothering you.
Try Alcohol-free drinks.
If you are going out with friends, try some of the new ‘alcohol beverages’ available. There are some tasty drops out there.
Whether you’re on your own or surrounded by friends, you can banish stress safely and effectively. Learning to relax without alcohol will help you to stay slim and peaceful.
If you, or anyone you know are finding it difficult to cut down on your drinking, our Stop Alcohol hypnosis program can help you do this quickly and effectively. Give us a call.
If you need someone to talk to please Book a session with one of our consultants, we are more than happy to listen.