I get it. I’ve been there. Alcohol was my go to when times got tough for years. And there was no pandemic and other madness going on like there is now. I mean... times are stressful for sure. Understatement of the year...nearly 2 years. 😭 But as someone who has been sober for over 15 years, I’ve worked hard to find healthier ways to cope. With alcoholic liver disease on the rise among women finding better ways to cope besides alcohol is essential to our health! Here’s a list of things that work for me. Hopefully they'll work for you too!
Know you're doing a good job.
Deep breath. Say it with me out loud, “I’m doing a good job.” Nobody’s perfect. We’re all way too talented at being our strongest critic. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s highly filtered lives on social media. Appreciate that we all have different "bests." Those bests can change over time, even by the day. Some days getting out of bed is a valid cause for celebration. Some days it's cooking a home-made meal, nailing that Zoom presentation and getting a couple loads of never-ending laundry done. (What is up with laundry?) But it’s also OK to microwave dinner or order take-out and let that laundry pile up for an extra day...or week...who’s counting? In fact, sometimes it’s absolutely essential. And yeah, it's OK if your kids are getting more screen time than usual or that you’ve worn nothing but sweat pants for over a year. These are unusual times. (See above understatement.) Regardless of what happens every day should be a day you pat yourself on the back. Because you did the best you could and that’s what matters. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
Go the f**k to sleep
It's tempting to stay up late. Especially when kids and everyone in the house is asleep. For a lot of us, it's the only time we have truly to ourselves. (I'm so guilty of this one myself.) And while it feels relaxing, we pay for it the next day. Oh jeeze do we pay for it. Without enough sleep your brain can't work like it's supposed to... (remember the new-born phase?) Lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to illness, feel depressed and even affect your ability to make decisions and remember things. So while it may seem like a good idea to stay up by yourself watching TikTok after TikTok, getting some sleep will make you feel better long-term and help you make better decisions for your long-term happiness and well-being.
Phone a friend
Or a professional. There are online counselors popping up all over the place now. And a solid heart-to-heart or bitch session with a good friend can increase that oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which will also help you cope with stress.
Find an alcohol replacement that works for you
When I first quit drinking over 15 years ago I would buy soda pop in glass bottles. There was something about the experience that really helped. I think my lizard brain was reacting to the packaging. There are alcohol alternatives out there now, with more popping up all the time. Shameless plug: If wine is your thing, you can try my product Jøyus. We have a Sparkling Wine and a Sparkling Rosé. They’re made from wine, so they taste like wine, just with the alcohol removed. Personally I’m also a big fan of Ritual. Their zero proof Tequila is pretty legit and even has little mimicked alcohol burn. But google around, try some things out and see what works for you. Just like regular alcohol, different people will find different products tasty. But I know you’ll find one that works for you!