Sober October: Why and How to Give Up Alcohol for a Month
With Sober October upon is, it's a great time to think about why and how to give up alcohol for a month. For some people, swearing off tippling is easy but for many others, getting a handle on how to give up alcohol can be considerably more challenging.
This difficulty could stem from many reasons, including but not limiting to these:
- You are used to having a drink every day, and have created a habit.
- You use alcohol to cope with chronic stress and negative emotions.
- You have an alcohol dependency or rely on it for confidence in social situations
Alcohol has been established as a point of connection in relationships with family and friends; you don't know how to interact without it.
The good news is giving up alcohol will show you that your life isn't less enjoyable without your nightly glass (or five) of wine, but that it can be more enjoyable in many, wonderful ways.
Understand, I am not saying that you have to give up alcohol forever if you enjoy and can moderate your consumption: simply that by giving yourself a month off drinking, you can gain the perspective you need to frame your life without it--or with less of it.
Why You Should Give Up Drinking For A Month
Drinking has been linked to a host of health problems. The most cited is alcohol's negative effect on the liver. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause fatty liver disease, which can be reversed with abstaining from further drinking, and cirrhosis (permanent scarring of the liver) which cannot be reversed and can be fatal.
Alcohol can also cause weight gain, broken capillaries, hormonal imbalances and other issues such as mental and physical health problems.
Alcohol and Serotonin
While many people use alcohol to wash away negative emotions, the truth is it is a short-term solution that only compounds a long-term problem. Alcohol in your body mimics serotonin, a happy hormone usually produced by your body. So, when you drink, your body stops producing this chemical and when you stop drinking, your body takes a while to ramp back up production. This is why people experience anxiety and depression or a feeling of "flatness" when they are hungover: their body's natural medicine cabinet has been depleted.
Alcohol and Estrogen
What's more, alcohol increases your body's production of estrogen, which is why new studies are finding that people who drink regularly are at a greater risk of developing cancer. Notably, women are at a 15% greater risk of developing breast cancer thanks to this influx of estrogen. Even one drink a day (which is what, in the past, experts have considered moderate) can put you at greater risk. But just like the understanding of cigarettes impact on the body has developed since doctor's would recommend them for stress relief, as has our understanding of alcohol.
Turns out, the cons of regular alcohol consumption outweigh the benefits. While yes, the resveratrol found in red grapes and red wines can lower your risk of certain cancers and heart disease, the ethanol in the alcohol--which throws your hormones out of whack and pollutes your body--undoes all that good. You can get the unblemished benefits of resveratrol by eating resveratrol rich foods and drinks. Some of the best sources are grapes, pure grape juice, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, pistachios and dark chocolate.
You can also get the benefits of resveratrol by taking a high-quality resveratrol supplement, like our Perfect ResGrape. One dose of this has the power of 700 glasses of wine without any of the harmful consequences. It's made with organic Muscadine grapes, is GMO free and concentrated to make getting the perks of this polyphenol easy.
How to Give Up Alcohol for a Month
If you are addicted to alcohol, you should not try stopping by yourself. Alcohol is a drug that, if you are physically dependent on it, can kill you if you try to stop cold turkey. You should seek medical help to stop.
If you are not physically dependent on alcohol, however, stopping on your own should pose no medical problem. Speak to your doctor if you are unsure of whether you should try to stop without assistance.
For people who don't have a dependence on drinking, abstaining can still be mentally and emotionally uncomfortable. Habits, after all, are hard to break.
However, as mentioned, it is absolutely worth it. Here are some tips about how to give up alcohol for a month.
- Load up on alternative drinks. Whether it's herbal tea, sparkling water or fruit infused water or stevia-sweetened soda, it's important to be able to replace your usual tipple with another drink you enjoy.
Habits aren't necessarily broken; they are simply replaced.
- Exercise! The endorphin high you get from a run, bike or brisk walk can rival the booze buzz. Even lower impact forms of exercise that don't give you a hit of endorphins, like yoga or tai chi, can calm your mind and reduce stress so that you'll feel less compelled to self medicate.
- Prioritize sleep. Sleep is essential to your ability to make healthy decisions. When you're tired, you simply can't make the same quality choices you would with a well-rested brain.
- Eat well. Eating a diet rich in whole foods (and all the essential vitamins and minerals contained therein) is an excellent way to stave off cravings by providing your body with the micro and macronutrients it needs.
- Take some choice supplements. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on supplements, but a few supplements can go a long way to revitalize your body.
My top recommended supplements are:
ResGrape, which I have already talked about.
Liver Detox Support: Give your liver a break and help support it further in its detox efforts! Containing some of the very best liver herbs and other supportive ingredients, one may notice a massive difference with how they feel if they take for a month and give up the booze for that month too.
Organic 3 Grass Blend: alkalising and improving gut health has never been more simple! The Perfect 3 Grass blend contains 3 incredible organic super grasses for helping improve vitality, digestion, skin health, energy and much more! Organic wheatgrass, organic barley grass and organic and organic oat grass.
- Make time for self care--and lots of it! Make sure you take care of yourself while you form newer, healthier habits. There is perhaps no habit more important than self care. Replace wine 'o clock with a relaxing soak in an epsom salt bath, or a face mask or manicure or pedicure or massage.
- Hydrate. Drink water, and lots of it to flush your body of the boozy toxins. Aim or 8 glasses a day. Add a squeeze of lemon to your water in the morning to accelerate your detox.
Don't feel guilty about taking the time or spending the money you need to in order to take care of yourself. In the long run it's going to be better for your health (and your bank account) than regular drinking.
Disclaimer: the information in this article is purely informational and not health advice. Always speak to a health professional when embarking on any changes.