Alcohol is ingrained in our culture as a way of relaxing, celebrating and having a good time. It can also become a crutch that we rely on to switch off and unwind or combat social anxiety. It wasn’t just toilet paper we hoarded at the onset of COVID-19 – sales of alcohol also went through the roof, suggesting that when times get tough we may lean a little too heavily on the comfort of a drink to numb stress and emotional pain.
Despite our love of a drink, there is also a growing movement of people choosing to have a break from alcohol in order to feel better. What about you? Have you ever considered having a break from alcohol? With Dry July kicking off for another year (also ‘dry-ish’ July for those wanting to just dip their toe in the water), now might be the time to reboot your relationship with alcohol.
Apart from not waking up with a hangover, what else might you notice if you have a break from alcohol?
More energy, better sleep
Alcohol interrupts the sleep cycle; it can help you fall asleep but then causes an interrupted sleep that’s of poor quality.
Better mental health
Whilst in the short-term you might notice you feel more relaxed after a drink, there is a clear link between long-term heavy drinking and increased prevalence of both anxiety and depression.
As alcohol dehydrates the body, it impacts every cell but is especially noticeable for making the skin and eyes look dull.
The empty calories in alcohol provide no nutritional value to your body but those calories do need to be burnt off. If you’re wanting to lose weight, then having a break from alcohol can really help.
Less inflammation and less pain
Removing alcohol from the diet is one of the keys to tackling chronic inflammation which is linked to myriad health issues including joint pain, gut irritation, poor immune health and more.
Many people who embark on an intended short break from alcohol report that it isn’t nearly as hard as they thought, and they even feel so much better that they make it a permanent choice. If you are sober curious, there are even zero-alcohol beers and even fancy alcohol-free ‘spirits’ to help you give it a try.