I do not drink on a regular basis and when I do I don’t usually drink much. However, as I have aged I have become much more aware of how alcohol affects me physically and emotionally. I have slowly began to cut out alcohol in my life and it really isn’t a big deal until I make social plans with friends. I have realized that a large part of my social connections involve having drinks. Bowling night with the girls often involves cheap beers at the bowling alley. Meeting up for brunch involves mimosa’s or a bloody mary, lunch at the winery includes a bottle of wine, dinner and drinks or girls night at someones house often involves a blender and frozen margaritas. It has become the social norm to automatically assume I will be drinking if I go out for the weekend or hang out with my friends. How do we adjust our social lives to no longer revolves around alcohol?
It has been my goal to steadily create the healthiest, happiest version of myself. So I ask myself, what would bring me joy and truly allow me to feel better at the end of each weekend after spending time with my friends? As I began to brainstorm I thought of many great ideas but the real challenge would be determining if my friends were up for it too. A spa day with facials, massages, manicures and pedicures. Meeting for breakfast and having a yummy flavored coffee or tea instead of an alcoholic drink. Working on our health by taking a yoga class or going for a hike. Getting cultured by planning a day of museums, the ballet or opera, a play or musical or just going to watch live music and order something fun to eat that you have never tried before. Be a kid again and go to the zoo or an amusement park and order the lemonade and eat a corn dog! A game or movie night with lots of good food and get creative with creating non-alcoholic punch or spritzers that feel like you are getting something special, just not the hangover the next morning! Build a bonfire and make apple cider, hot cocoa or special coffees to enjoy while talking about life. Make questions and put them in a bowl before the evening starts and then let each person draw from the bowl to stimulate the conversation. Put the phones away, the alcohol away and really engage in getting to know each other again on a personal level without anything standing in the way.
We self medicate and escape the stresses of life with alcohol or constantly reach for our phones in a moment of silence instead of just taking it all in and fully appreciating a moment. It is something special to be fully aware and clear minded, to see others and really want to connect. This world needs more of that and I hope to create more within my circle of friends. I find that technology and alcohol seem to be the common distractions or things that keep me from feeling my best. What do you need to remove from your life that is a distraction keeping you from connecting on a deeper level with yourself and others?
With love, health, and happiness,