“I’m Bored… And Drinking Gives Me Something To Do.”

“I’m Bored… And Drinking Gives Me Something To Do.”

Recently I spotted an interesting comment on my blog about feeling bored.

It said: “I’m finding it difficult to quit, because I’m so used to having a glass in my hand in the evening. It feels like it gives me something to do. I’m bored in the evening. Has anyone else experienced this?”

Boredom is a surprisingly common trigger in early sobriety.

Whilst many people love the extra time that sobriety frees up, others feel a bit lost without alcohol to fall back on in the evening. 

Today’s blog isn’t some patronising list of ideas for things you can do in the evening when you’re sober…

Instead I want to talk about what’s really going on for us when we’re bored – and what the real fear is…

Key points:

Feeling bored isn’t actually a bad thing

As humans, we’re meant to experience the full spectrum of positive and negative emotions – that’s how we’re designed. There can be a bit of stigma around boredom, but it can also fuel so much creativity.

 

Sobriety itself isn’t boring

Let’s get one thing straight: alcohol isn’t magic joy juice. Drinking until you pass out on the sofa at home, alone, isn’t fun or interesting. It just makes you numb enough not to care that you’re bored or unhappy.

 

You may need to make other changes

Most people drink in order to fill a void of some sort, e.g. an unhappy relationship, an unfulfilling job, loneliness or feeling bored with your daily routine. If you take alcohol away, but do nothing to change those other factors, you’re probably going to feel it. 

 

What really scares us?

When we feel bored, we notice our own thoughts. If those thoughts are very negative, then hanging out in your own brain isn’t going to be a great experience. This is where the real work of sobriety is – facing up to your own mind.

 

Choose your discomfort

What would you prefer: the discomfort that comes with drinking and all the negative side effects? Or the discomfort of stepping out of your comfort zone and making changes in your life? 

Alcohol free living is not as simple as just taking the alcohol away. It’s about creating a life you don’t want to escape or numb out from.

 

If you’d like some help and support to quit drinking – and create an alcohol-free life you love – click here for details of my online course.

 

Download your free Wine O'Clock Survival Guide!

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How To Deal With Cravings On Hot Sunny Days

How To Deal With Cravings On Hot Sunny Days

If you associate hot sunny days with beer gardens, boozy BBQs or drinks on the beach, you’re not alone. 

In the summer, many people find the warm weather triggers some cravings for alcohol. 

When you see other people outside, drinking together, you can easily start wondering what the harm would be in just one drink…

I want to help you stop that kind of thinking in its tracks, because this is actually a great time of year to be alcohol free!

Here are 5 tips for staying sober on hot sunny days:

Key points: 

Sober firsts often feel weird

Choosing not to drink on a hot sunny day – when you’ve always done the opposite – is bound to feel a bit strange. You’re breaking a pattern and choosing a different behaviour, so you’re going to feel the awkwardness. That’s ok. 

The first time is the hardest and it’s normal to have a bit of anxiety around these things. But the next time will feel a bit easier, and the time after that will be easier still. This is all part of you establishing a new normal. 

 

Give everything a fair chance

You can’t make a judgement or draw any conclusions based on one experience alone. So, that one time you went to a BBQ sober, or sat outside whilst your partner drank and you didn’t? That’s not enough.

You need to do something at least three times before having enough information. Give everything a fair shot by being enthusiastic and positive about it. Don’t decide in advance that it’s going to be awful… otherwise it probably will be!

 

Play the movie forward 

If drinking feels appealing right now, how are you going to feel in a few hours time? Or at the end of the evening? Or in the early hours of the morning? A hangover on a hot day is awful, and you’ll be so annoyed with yourself tomorrow.

 

What are you really craving?

On hot sunny days, often what we’re truly craving is time to relax – to do nothing but sit outside and chill, or connect with friends. This is very enjoyable (and totally doable) no matter what’s in your glass. Don’t be tricked into thinking you need alcohol for this.

 

Upgrade your AF drinks!

Stay hydrated and make sure you have something chilled and delicious close at hand. This is not the time to make do with lukewarm water or flat diet coke. The alcohol free drinks market is booming right now, so get experimenting! 

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The Alcohol Trap: Breaking Out Of The Wine Prison

The Alcohol Trap: Breaking Out Of The Wine Prison

When I’m helping women to escape the alcohol trap, I often use strange analogies. 

I do this to get people thinking about booze in a different way. A big part of successful sobriety is unlearning old thought habits and being open to the idea that some of your beliefs about alcohol are not true. 

But recently, one of the women I’m working with said something that made me think, “Doh – why didn’t I realise that before?”

It’s all to do with the alcohol trap, prison cells, life stress, lockdown and freedom…


The prison cell exercise

Imagine you’re locked in a prison cell. All you’ve got with you is your favourite wine or alcoholic drink. If you believe that drinking truly makes you happy and fulfilled – because alcohol really is joy in a bottle – then you’re all set for a good time, right? 

It’s obvious that drinking wouldn’t transform this situation into a happy one. And if alcohol can’t transform the prison cell into a pleasant experience, why do we expect booze to do exactly that in other, more realistic situations? 

 

The lockdown prison

Recently, we’ve all been through some kind of lockdown where we’ve been forced to stay at home, in a ‘prison’ of sorts (albeit with much nicer furnishings and Netflix).

Did alcohol turn lockdown into something wonderful? Did it bring the good vibes, 24/7? No! We are constantly giving alcohol credit for providing joy and pleasure in our lives, but look how often it doesn’t work.

 

The real alcohol trap

Perhaps you accept that alcohol doesn’t make you truly happy, but you feel that drinking helps you numb out and ignore problems in your life. If that sounds like you, here’s what I want to invite you to think about. 

What if drinking is making your problems worse, rather than relieving them? Could alcohol actually be causing some of your headaches and making existing issues harder to overcome? What if alcohol is keeping you stuck?

Think about it. When you drink, you start the next day feeling bad. This makes stress harder to cope with, and you’re unlikely to get round to dealing with the job / relationship / life situation that’s making you unhappy… and so the cycle continues. 

 

The real prison is caused by booze

Alcohol keeps you stuck in the same patterns, the same feelings and the same life. It’s like groundhog day, every day. It’s not really making your life better – it just temporarily covers the cracks, whilst keeping you stuck in a life you don’t like.

The good news? You’re not locked in this alcohol trap. You can leave this prison any time you like. You have the keys and the power to walk away. So go and enjoy the freedom that’s waiting for you outside. You’re going to love it. 

Download your free Wine O'Clock Survival Guide!

(It’ll help keep you on track tonight)

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When Is The Right Time To Quit Drinking?

When Is The Right Time To Quit Drinking?

How do you find the right time to quit drinking? 

Perhaps you’ve dabbled with alcohol-free living, on and off. 

Maybe you spend a lot of time thinking about stopping. 

You love the idea of waking up hangover free… and you know you’ll sleep better, look better, feel great and save tons of money.

You know you need to do something… and yet the moment never feels quite right.

This video is all about finding the right time to quit drinking:

Key points:

There is no such thing as the ‘right time’ to quit drinking

Logically, we all know this, because life is messy. But when we’re about to do something new and out of our comfort zone, it’s easy to drift back into waiting for the ‘right time’ to come along.

 

Perfect moment vs perfect perspective

We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our attitude, our actions and the perspective we choose. It’s the way you interpret what’s happening around you that really matters. 

For every person who thinks a global pandemic is a terrible time to quit drinking, someone else will look at the same situation and decide it’s the perfect moment. It’s all about perspective – so why not choose one that moves you forward?

 

There will always be a reason to delay

It’s easy to romanticise how things were before or how much easier things might be in the future. But the reality is that there will always be something. If you look for it, you’ll always be able to find a reason why now isn’t the right time.

Ultimately, if your drinking is making you miserable, or you’re worried about it, then this is the right time. And the secret to success? Start before you’re ready. 

 

If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.

 

Stay sober tonight - listen to my free pep talk!

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You Aren’t Weak, Broken Or Lacking Willpower

You Aren’t Weak, Broken Or Lacking Willpower

Many people mistakenly believe that sobriety is just about having tons of willpower.

Maybe you’re convinced that if you were stronger, you’d be able to ‘control’ alcohol a bit better.

Perhaps you’ve confided in someone about your drinking, only for them to turn round and say, “Well – why don’t you just stop at one?” 

This stuff can leave you feeling as if your drinking is a personal failing and weakness. 

I get it. It’s a horrible place to be. 

But you aren’t weak at all. I explain why in this video:

Key points:

You’re not weak

If you’re reading this, I’d put money on the fact that you are smart, motivated and driven. You’re juggling many competing demands, between family life, work and the fallout from the coronavirus.

You have to be a strong person to make all that stuff happen whilst feeling hungover and pretending everything’s absolutely fine. 

 

The real problem

Alcohol is a mind-altering, addictive drug which is normalised, glamorised and often presented as the solution to all your problems, and completely essential to a full and happy life. 

It’s completely normal – and predictable – to become dependent on an addictive drug that is repeatedly presented to you in the most flattering and appealing way.

 

Successful sobriety isn’t about willpower

Let’s be clear: grit and determination will only get you so far. Long term, happy sobriety is about much more than willpower – it’s about doing the right mindset work.

If you want sobriety to feel less like a punishing diet and more like an empowering way of life, you have to examine the benefits of drinking. Is alcohol genuinely providing everything you think it is? (Hint: it’s not).

 

Why do you really drink?

The real work of sobriety is looking at why you want to numb out in the first place. Why do you want to escape your life so often? 

Examining this is much more helpful than clinging on to a story (and it is just a story) that you are weak or broken and there’s something wrong with you.

 

If you’d love some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.

 

Download your free Wine O'Clock Survival Guide!

(It’ll help keep you on track tonight)

As well as the guide, we’ll also send you helpful and inspiring weekly emails with free resources, tips & advice, plus details of our awesome products and services. We’ll take care of your data in accordance with our privacy policy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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