Saturday, 6 January 2018
5 Ways to Get Through Wine O'Clock
That's my actual kitchen clock.
I used to watch it tick, slowly slowly, towards that position, with the big hand on the twelve and the little hand on the six, when I could legitimately pour myself a (very large) glass of wine.
If you recently quit drinking (WELL DONE YOU!) you'll be finding that this is the very hardest part of the day. You're tired, stressed, fed up, and your go-to solution (possibly your only solution) to all of those feelings has, for many years, been booze.
You miss it! Of course you do! It leaves a big hole in your life.
But fret not, because over time you will find many better and healthier ways to fill that gap and to wind down at the end of the day - things that won't leave you feeling hungover, unhealthy and miserable.
The booze cravings don't last that long. You just need to find ways of getting through the next hour and then, if it's really hard still, go to bed early with a good book and a hot chocolate (hot chocolate has magical powers).
You'll wake up in the morning feeling AMAZING!
So, here are some great ways of getting through that witching hour. Do please add your own suggestions in the comments below!
1. Get Drinking
No, not booze, obviously!
I always, always pour myself a 'special' drink at wine o'clock.
There's no reason why you can't still relax in a great armchair with a yummy, adult drink and congratulate yourself on a day well done - just make sure it's alcohol free!
There are a HUGE range of great alcohol free beers now (Becks Blue was the only option when I first quit. As a result it still has a special place in my heart...).
My new favourite, however, is Seedlip - a fabulous alcohol-free distilled spirit, available from Amazon. It's not cheap, I'm afraid, but at least you won't be drinking the whole bottle in one sitting!
I even made a YouTube video (I know! I'm so trendy, right?) of how to make my favourite Seedlip mocktail. Click here.
A really good grown-up drink helps trick your brain into winding down. I sometimes think Becks Blue saved my life.
2. Get Distracted
Don't just sit there thinking about booze - get busy!
Exercise boosts your serotonin levels, giving you a natural high, as does getting outside, so go for a long dog walk, or a run - get away from the fridge with all its wine memories.
If you have young children at home and can't get out, then you could do what I did in the early days and get cleaning! Again, it's great exercise, it keeps your hands busy and your mind occupied, and you end up with a gleaming house. What's not to like?
3. Get Relaxed
If you can't face the physical exercise then try relaxation instead.
Why not just curl up in a good chair and read?
In the early days, I read everything I could get my hands on about booze. It fed the obsession, but also helped me realise that I was not alone and gave me knowledge, which is power.
If you haven't done so already, then read the Sober Diaries. Click here, and chose the 'look inside' feature to read the first few chapters for free!
Other recommendations are: Jason Vale's Kick the Drink, Easily - the book that changed my life. It will totally reprogram the way your brain sees alcohol.
My favourite memoirs are Caroline Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story and Sarah Hepola's Blackout.
I love a great page-turner novel based around a boozy heroine. Read Marian Keyes's Rachel's Holiday, Jane Green's Summer Secrets, and Paula Hawkin's The Girl on The Train.
There's also new inspiration and information about quitting booze posted every day at wine o'clock on the SoberMummy Facebook page. Click here to visit, 'like' page to stay updated.
A long, hot bath with bubbles, good music or an audio book, and low lighting is another great way of relaxing.
And here's a new trick I've discovered: SPACEMASKS.
They're awesome. They're funky eye masks that you pop over your eyes, then you lie back and chill as they heat up and release incredible aromatherapy stuff.
If you're having problems nodding off to sleep then this is your solution (along with a magnesium supplement at bedtime).
To find Spacemasks, click here.
You need to take time out and look after yourself. You are doing an incredible thing. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Let the kids play Minecraft for a bit.
4. Get Connected
In Johann Hari's incredible TED talk, he says that the opposite of addiction is connection, and it's true.
Find yourself a tribe - either online or in real life - who will give you love and support, and who you can help back.
My favourite online communities are Club Soda, Soberistas and Recovery Buddha (who you can find on Facebook), but there are many more.
5. Get Mindful
Mindfulness is a great way of relaxing and taking your mind off the whole booze thing.
You can us the Headspace App to guide you through ten minute mediations.
If, however, you're like me and meditating makes you feel like a bit of a pillock, then you can do anything that keeps you totally focused on the moment.
For some people that's yoga, or knitting, or gardening or art, or playing the piano - whatever floats your boat and keeps your mind and hands busy.
If you live in or near the Scottish Borders then you can keep yourself distracted at wine o'clock on January 31st by coming to meet me in St Boswells at the wonderful Mainstream Trading Company.
You can get tickets here. Please come! I'd love to meet you!
Love to you all,