Do I Need To Quit Drinking? 6 Surprising Signs

Do I Need To Quit Drinking? 6 Surprising Signs

Do I need to quit drinking?

Years ago, when I was trying to decide what to do about my own drinking, I used to google this topic endlessly.

I was never sure if I was overreacting or not – I wasn’t a rock bottom drinker, but I didn’t feel like a ‘normal’ drinker either. I was somewhere in the middle, in the grey zone. 

If you can relate – or you’re trying to figure out what to do about your drinking – I made this week’s video for you.

I’m sharing 6 surprising signs you probably haven’t thought about before… these are the unexpected clues that it might be time to take a break:

 


.

A quick recap of the six signs:

 

1. You’ve always got one eye on the booze.

You know exactly how much is left in the bottle. You’re keeping an eye on what everyone else is drinking and wondering if there’s enough left; you often feel anxious about getting to the shops in time so you can buy more.

 

2. You’re very touchy about your drinking.

Perhaps a friend makes an offhand, jokey comment about your love of wine and you replay the remark over and over in your head. What did they really mean by it? You worry that other people think you drink too much.

 

3. You’re relieved when you know you’re going to be able to drink.

You often feel worried that you won’t be able to drink in the way you want, so it’s a relief when you can. You feel delighted when someone else volunteers to drive, or you get home early so you can have a few drinks alone.

 

4. You create lots of rules around your drinking.

Perhaps you make yourself wait until a certain time of day. Maybe you have rules about what you can drink or where. (If you want some more ideas for ineffective rules that rarely actually work, check out this old blog post of mine!)

 

5. There’s a lingering feeling of fear and unease.

You have this sense that something bad is about to happen, you’re just not sure what. Perhaps you’ve already had a few close calls or put yourself in situations that could’ve ended in disaster, with you seriously hurting yourself or someone else.

 

6. You’re here.

Asking yourself if you need to stop drinking is generally a sign in itself. If alcohol is making you unhappy, you have nothing to lose by experimenting with sobriety and taking some time off from drinking. (Need some help to do that? You can find more support here.)

 

Let me know…

How many of these signs feel familiar? Which ones resonate with you the most? Or perhaps there’s been something else entirely that’s made you question your drinking. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂

 

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.

Powered by ConvertKit
How Much You Drink Doesn’t Matter – Here’s Why

How Much You Drink Doesn’t Matter – Here’s Why

I get a lot of emails from people who want to know if I think they’re drinking too much.

They’ve added up their drinks, worked out the units… and they’re worried. Or confused.

After all, don’t most people drink more than the government guidelines? Doesn’t everyone have a raging hangover every now and then?

And just to make things even more confusing, we all handle alcohol differently! What might seem a lot to one person may not be that much to another.

So how do you assess your drinking and figure out what to do?

Personally, I think that how much you drink doesn’t really matter. Seriously – there’s a much better question you could be asking instead. I explain all in this week’s video:

 

.

The breakdown – why focusing on ‘how much’ isn’t a great idea:

 

It can lead to a false sense of security

When you’re just focusing on quantities, you’re always able to find someone who’s drinking more than you. It’s easy to find books or blogs about heavy drinkers and convince yourself that you aren’t ‘that bad’ – even though you know alcohol is making you miserable.

 

How much you drink might vary a lot

If you’re like most people, your drinking changes day by day. Sometimes you might have a lot and feel relatively ok afterwards; other times you might have less, but still wake up with regrets. How do you decide what an ‘average’ night is?

 

It reinforces the idea that sobriety is a last resort

When we’re focused on how much is too much, what we’re really saying is that sobriety is only for people who are ‘bad enough’. You don’t need to be anywhere near rock bottom in order to decide that you’re going to change or raise your standards. (I wrote more about rock bottom here).

 

So what should you do instead?

Rather than focusing on how much you drink, ask: how is alcohol making me feel? Keep a diary, so you have a record of your mood and general wellbeing when you’re drinking compared to sober periods.

When you keep a proper record of this, you will notice patterns. You’ll start to see whether alcohol deserves a place in your one and only life. If you decide it’s time to stop (or take a break) you can find more help here.

 

Struggling? Listen to my free pep talk 🎧

As well as the audio, 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.

Powered by ConvertKit
Don’t Let Your Excuses Hold You Back!

Don’t Let Your Excuses Hold You Back!

Do you keep promising yourself you’ll do something about your drinking – only it never seems like quite the right time?

Back when I was thinking about quitting (but not actually doing anything about it) my thoughts went like this:

– I’m too busy to figure this out right now
– I need to wait until that party / birthday / holiday is over
– I’m probably overreacting anyway…
– My friends won’t want me to quit
– I never stick at things like this, so what’s the point?

Those issues felt so real, genuine and true at the time, it was hard to see them for what they really were: excuses!

If you’re worried about your drinking – but you’re struggling to actually do anything about it – check out my video below. 

I’m sharing two tips to help you move forward and stick to your sober goals!

 


.

Make a list of all the reasons why you can’t tackle your drinking right now

Write down everything you can think of and take your time over this. Next, analyse whether these reasons are genuinely true or not.

For example, you might well feel too busy to tackle this right now, but just think about how much time you’re losing when you’re drunk or hungover and feeling sluggish. Alcohol is a massive time thief!

Imagine if you had to stop drinking because your life depended on it, or you were being paid to do it. Would you let your excuses hold you back? Or would you push yourself to find a way through?

 

Reframe discomfort

Change makes us feel uncomfortable. Trying new things and stepping into the unknown is tough, so it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone… right?

Wrong! Drinking might be what you know – and it might feel safe and familiar – but it’s also causing you quite a bit of discomfort right now. Hangovers, shame and regrets are NOT comfy or pleasant.

You are going to experience some discomfort if you stay stuck and carry on drinking. And you’re probably going to feel some discomfort if you take the leap and give sobriety a whirl.

So… if you’re going to be uncomfortable no matter what you do, why not take a risk and try something different? You might just stumble across a new way of living that makes you feel really good 🙂

 

Let me know…

What’s been holding you back from taking action? Is there an excuse you’re committed to letting go of? I’d love to hear about it 🙂

 

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.

Powered by ConvertKit
Why I Love Being Sober In France

Why I Love Being Sober In France

I’m on holiday in France, a country often associated with wine.

When I first quit drinking, the idea of staying alcohol-free during trips like this seemed crazy. In early sobriety, it was so hard to get my head around the idea of being sober in France! I worried I’d always feel as if I was missing out.

Fortunately, a LOT has changed since then.

Nowadays, I couldn’t care less about the romanticised, rotting fruit juice they love so much in this country. I can see through the marketing hype! Alcohol-free living is awesome no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

This week’s video is about why I particularly love being sober in France. I hope it inspires you!

 

.

The breakdown:

 

Not drinking means you’re more flexible and open to new experiences

Travel is expensive and it’s important to make the most of every minute. When you’ve travelled hundreds of miles, you don’t want to waste time being hungover or being preoccupied by where your next drink is coming from.

 

Being sober in France means you can really appreciate your food

Alcohol numbs and dulls your taste buds, so if you love food, you’ll love sobriety! Don’t fall for any of that ‘you must drink wine with your food’ nonsense. Giles Coren (a food critic) has written a brilliant article about that here.

 

You have so much more energy!

When I’m travelling, I like getting up early to beat the crowds. And I love exploring new areas on bike tours or walking tours. Last week I did a running tour of Paris (it was amazing – I posted a pic here.)

 

Church bells

What can I say about this… they love church bells in France! They seem to ring out several times a day and often early in the morning. I know if I was drinking, I’d be so irritated by something like that! Sober, it just seems a quaint part of the travelling experience.

 

Better memories

Holidays are supposed to be about making memories – but sadly, alcohol robs you of them. When you’re using booze to blur the edges of life, you blur a lot of other stuff as well. You dull the highs as well as the lows, so you can’t truly appreciate the good times in life.

 

Let me know…

Would you consider leaving booze behind on your next trip? Perhaps you’ve done that already – what were your experiences? If you need any help to make sobriety stick (and actually feel good about your decision) check out my online coaching programme here.

 

Struggling? Listen to my free pep talk 🎧

As well as the audio, 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.

Powered by ConvertKit
How To Have Fun Without Drinking

How To Have Fun Without Drinking

Have you ever wondered how to have fun without drinking?

When I was thinking about quitting alcohol I worried about this a lot.

Back then, my entire social life revolved around booze. I couldn’t imagine not drinking – it was what I did for fun. Sober, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do the same things, hang out with the same people or ever have a really good night out again.

If you’ve been worrying about this exact same thing, today’s video is going to be perfect for you:

 

.
My key tips:

 

Focus on the facts

When you’re wondering how to have fun without drinking, it’s really easy to make generalisations. We often look back on drinking episodes through rose-tinted glasses, or say things like ‘it must’ve been a good night if I can’t remember it!’ Now’s the time to stop doing that.

Start challenging the assumptions you’ve made about alcohol. We’ve all been to bad parties where it didn’t matter how much we drank, it still wasn’t fun. Or perhaps we drank too much and ended up missing out.

If alcohol was the secret to having a good time, surely it should work no matter what? Don’t fall for these myths and illusions. If you need any help separating fact from fiction, check out my online course here.

 

Be aware of the brainwashing

Alcohol companies often sponsor things that make us feel good, so we start to make the link between watching football and drinking beer – or watching a comedy show and drinking wine. You’re being trained to think the two must go together, when they absolutely don’t!

Why is it that we think we need to drink in order to have a good time, when some of the funniest – and most entertaining – people don’t drink? There are tons of sober comedians:

E.g: Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Rob Delaney, Jim Carrey, David Walliams, Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Frankie Boyle, David Letterman, Simon Amstell, Ross Noble, Daniel Kitson, Frankie Boyle, Frank Skinner, Jimmy Carr, Elf Lyons, Eleanor Conway, Eddie Murphy.

 

Be positive and look at what you might gain

I’ve always loved going to the theatre and seeing live music and comedy. When I first quit drinking, I had no idea that these events would actually be better sober.

When you’re fully present and engaged (rather than thinking about your next drink!) you’ll actually have MORE fun.

Sobriety is an excellent truth filter for your life. There will probably be things that you don’t enjoy quite so much when you go alcohol-free. And that’s ok. It’s all good information about what the real you enjoys.

Sobriety isn’t just a matter of quitting drinking; it’s about figuring out who you really are and creating a life that’s genuinely fun and happy – one that you don’t need to numb out from.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you…

Let me know about the amazing, fun experiences you’ve had stone cold sober. Help me prove this ‘fun = drinking’ myth to be complete nonsense!

 

Struggling? Listen to my free pep talk 🎧

As well as the audio, 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.

Powered by ConvertKit
A Lesson In Sobriety From The Movie Groundhog Day

A Lesson In Sobriety From The Movie Groundhog Day

I watched a movie over the weekend that I hadn’t seen for ages: Groundhog Day. Do you remember it?

The basic premise is, the hero (played by Bill Murray) keeps making mistakes that result in some sort of disaster… and so he keeps living the same day over and over again.

It’s a feel-good Hollywood film, so in the end he figures out what he’s doing wrong, gets the girl and breaks the cycle.

Now you may be wondering… what has Groundhog Day got to do with alcohol-free living?!

Well, it got me thinking about habits. When it comes to sobriety, there’s a pretty valuable takeaway from Bill Murray’s struggle that we could all learn from…

 

Key points

 

We are creatures of habit!

Most of us live the same day over and over. We go through similar routines, day in, day out, often on autopilot. When it comes to sobriety, your habits and routines throughout the day can set you up for failure or set you up for success.

Now’s the time to get clear on whether your day-to-day habits are helping or hindering your chances of staying alcohol-free.

 

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
John Maxwell

 

What habits could you programme into your day to make sobriety easier?

Think about the reasons why you drink. What triggers you? What could you do to either a) reduce that trigger in the first place or b) help yourself to deal with it better?

Here are some examples of healthy habits that will help you stay sober:

  • Don’t check your email first thing. If you’re reading work emails whilst lying in bed, you’re going to get stressed out quickly. When you’re feeling overwhelmed before your feet even touch the floor, you’re more likely to ditch your alcohol free goals later on.
  • Take a lunch break. Get some fresh air and go for a walk. Do not eat lunch over your desk.
  • Set a reminder on your phone so you remember to drink plenty of water late afternoon and have a small snack. Don’t let yourself get hungry or thirsty as this makes cravings worse.
  • Rethink your commute. Rather than viewing it as a necessary evil, turn it into something useful. Enjoy the time to yourself and make the most of the headspace. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Keep a gratitude diary. Could you walk part of it? Do something that makes you feel good, so you start to decompress before you get home.

 

Let me know…

Is there a part of your daily routine that you’ve changed to make sobriety easier or your life better? What are you working on right now? Let us know in the comments 🙂

 

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.

Powered by ConvertKit