“I am not going to drink anything tonight!”
Before I got sober, I used to say that most mornings. I’d promise myself I was going to ‘be good’ and have the night off.
Yet when the clock hit 5pm, my motivation always faded. I’d tell myself it’d just be one glass… but you can guess how that worked out.
Navigating wine o’clock can be challenging at the best of times, but when we’re in lockdown – and life is strange and stressful – it can feel even harder.
I’m getting a lot of questions about this right now, so I wanted to share some tips for surviving wine o’clock in lockdown…
(You can download the wine o’clock survival guide I mention in the video at the end of this post)
Remember that wine o’clock is a reflection of your entire day
A common mistake is focusing solely on the moment you crave alcohol, e.g. wine o’clock. But when we do this, we forget to look at the big picture. The way you feel late afternoon will be influenced by everything else that happens earlier on.
If you’re flat out all day, you’re going to feel it later. So rather than seeing cravings as a weakness or something to be ignored, see them as a sign that something in your day isn’t quite right and needs to be changed.
Check your self talk
Do you spend all day judging yourself or being critical of the way you’re responding to the current situation? If your inner dialogue is a constant stream of negativity you’re bound to want to drown that out at night.
Using a drug like alcohol in order to escape yourself is a sign that something is off with your mindset during the day. Our thoughts are a choice and we can choose good ones that make us feel better. When you feel good, it’s easier to make the right choice at wine o’clock.
Identify what you’re really craving
This is where the real work of sobriety comes in. What is the real need underneath your craving? Hint: it’s never truly about booze. Cravings are nearly always a symptom of something else.
For example, if you’re spending a lot of time alone right now, you might be craving connection at the end of the day. Or if you’re in a busy household, you might need the opposite. It’s going to be different for all of us.
Underneath the craving for alcohol there’s often a need that isn’t being met. You can choose to smother it with booze, or take action and treat the need itself.