(That don’t include dependence or health benefits)
I know we talk a lot about sobriety and the benefits of quitting drinking, but you don’t need to have an addiction or even a troubled relationship with alcohol to embrace drinking a little less. It’s not a choice between complete sobriety or binge-drinking blackouts for many of us. It’s just that nice little idea of moderation and mindfulness.
We’ve covered the health benefits of reduced alcohol consumption already in other videos and blogs. But often the benefits of not drinking aren’t enough for some of us to wind it back a little. I know I’ve been there. Then something happens, and life throws one at you, or some important life event happens that makes you take a harder look.
The mindful drinker includes everyone who is questioning their habits around alcohol and making intentional decisions about how often and how much they drink. For whatever reasons - no judgement. It’s not all or nothing for most of us, but here are my top 10 reasons to embrace mindful drinking.
1. Designated Driver
A night where you decide to drive instead of having a few bevies is a great example of mindful drinking. Either because you choose to, or because you might be on your P Plates. I know what you’re thinking, not everyone embraces being ‘Designated Dave’, but it can be quite liberating when you think about it. Arrive when you want, leave when you want, save some money and as a total bonus you’ll have authentic and considered conversations with people that you’ll remember the next day. Just leave before ‘Sweet Caroline’ comes on the music and everybody starts swaying.
2. Pregnant or Breastfeeding
This can be challenging for many. Let’s face it, not all pregnancies are planned and not all babies take bottles, so sometimes life throws a curve ball at you and you need to adapt quickly. It might not always be easy to go alcohol-free if you’re used to having a drink in hand when you socialise, but this is obviously one of the best reasons to leave the booze alone for a bit. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with great non-alcoholic alternatives.
3. Perimenopause and Menopause
We hear from so many of our beautiful female customers in their 40s, 50s and 60s that one of the things that they love about our non-alcoholic options is the fact that they don’t get hot flushes when they drink them. So if you’re finding that you’re in your late 30s or early 40s and alcohol just doesn’t feel as good anymore, just know that the body handles alcohol differently as we age and it’s perfectly OK to evaluate the changing place alcohol has in your life.
4. Getting Healthy
Liquid calories don’t make a whole lot of sense when you’re trying to get healthy or loose weight. Reducing alcohol is the easiest way to strip out some unnecessary calories from your diet and is definitely a good reason to evaluate how much you’re drinking. And if this is your reason for moderating your alcohol consumption and taking a more mindful approach, then just be aware that not all non-alcoholic options are your friend either so check the labels and shop in our ‘Healthy Range’ product lines. (Also, don’t be shy – ask me about our lower calorie non-alcoholic options as I’ve spent a fair bit of time digging through all the nutritional information of our products).
Sometimes the big kicker for evaluating your drinking habits is a health concern you need to take medication for. We hear this from our customers quite a bit, and it’s often one of the things they like about what we are doing. There are not too many medications that work better when you drink, so it’s always best to avoid alcohol when you’re on them (disclaimer: this is not medical advice, speak to your GP and ask if drinking alcohol will make any health issues go away).
6. You don’t feel like drinking
Yes! It’s perfectly OK to just simply take a break if you don’t feel like drinking. Even for a night or a week, or when out socialising. It’s perfectly acceptable to just say “I’m not drinking tonight’’. And that is a complete sentence. There are instances like Dry July, OcSober and FebFast where we might take a break with some real purpose, and of course it’s great to raise awareness for great causes, but you don’t actually need a reason.
7. Saving Money
Sometimes the kicker to rethink the amount and frequency we drink is due to being in some debt, or saving for something really fun and exciting like a house, car or a holiday. Cutting back on your boozing budget is a great way to save some cash. Because $15 for a glass of wine and $22 for a cocktail can add up quite quickly. Not to mention those generous shouts you might do after you’ve had a couple.
8. Athletic Pursuits
This is a really big one for our High Vibes Tribe. Being a PT, I also mingle in some pretty active circles and many of my friends are in training for ocean swims, half marathons, triathlons, CrossFit competitions, Spartans and other athletic pursuits. We don’t train, recover or perform our best when we drink, so if you’ve got something important that you’re striving for, it’s one of the best reasons to rethink your drinking. If you want to perform like an athlete, you’ve simply got to fuel your body like one, which means being mindful of alcohol consumption.
9. Get Shit Done
Sometimes life is just hectic. And while I’m not an advocate of being in the habit of busying myself unnecessarily, we all do go through busy patches where we need to accomplish a lot with our 24 hours per day. If you need to get shit done with increased stamina, energy, creativity and clarity – this is often the perfect time to rethink drinking habits and dial it back significantly. Our bodies are not infinite in capacity so we need to make sure we are treating our body well when we are going through those more demanding life phases. Laying off that nightly couple will certainly help you sleep better and produce productivity dividends.
10. Better Connections
We have more authentic connections with other people when we are completely sober. Perhaps it’s because we are more present, perhaps it’s because we can remember the discussion more completely the following day. Who knows? But while it may be tempting to loosen up with a drink or two, and it can certainly make kicking off the evening easier, it doesn’t always lead to quality interactions for many. Some people might get aggressive, or overexcited, or just not quite sharing themselves in their most authentic way. If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that we need to connect to be happy, and what could be better than having those deep and meaningful conversations with the people we choose to have in our lives.
Mindful drinking is for everyone
There you have it guys, 10 reasons that many people just like you and I embrace a more mindful approach to drinking. It’s not always about health or dependency, there are so many reasons. If I’ve left any out, just pop them in the comments below as I’m always happy to hear about peoples experiences with mindful drinking.
Keep vibrating at your highest.