I am surprising myself with how well I am able to handle the current global crisis of COVID-19.
I feel perfectly prepared for this however, because I have increased my resiliency by getting sober two years ago.
I was a high functioning drinker who never hit a rock bottom, and still when I decided my nightly wine habit was hurting me more than it was helping me, I had to work hard to increase my coping skills, manage triggers and cravings, and learn how to handle uncomfortable emotions.
I learned to stay present and not overwhelm myself by winding myself up with false stories and fear.
I learned to prioritize my mental and physical health.
I learned to listen to what I need, which was often to move my body, to write out my feelings, and to simply come back to me, by listening to my breath.
My self care routines are now firmly in place.
I have set myself up for resilience on the inside, no matter what is happening on the outside.
I am not seeking happiness outside myself anymore.
When you first get getting sober, you are in the fight of your life everyday to remain alcohol free.
You make a thousand decisions a day, just to stay on this side of sober.
You fight your own mind.
You are forced to learn new coping skills.
You move way out of your comfort zone.
It’s excruciating work.
For people that have been able to come out on the other side of addiction, it is what they are, and will always be, The. Most. Proud. Of.
Anyone who has been through it knows the amount of courage it takes to fight your own demons.
Your sobriety is top of mind for you at all times.
It is not however, something others will praise you for.
It has been disappointing for me to see my hard work go mostly unacknowledged.
Unless you go to AA for your chips, there are no gold stars given for sobriety.
Your drinking may have been the center of conversation, but your sobriety is not.
This is the perfect time to sober up.
Quarantine feels similar to the first months when I quit drinking.
My emotions were up, down and all over the place.
Anxiety and fear filled me.
Some days, I was too exhausted to even get out of bed.
My external life became very boring.
My inner life so confusing.
I highly recommend using this period of COVID-19 isolation, physical distancing, and staying at home to take a break from booze.
I know this is the opposite of what you are seeing in your newsfeed.
Many people are coping with the stress of COVID by drinking alcohol.
I know from experience, that after the initial 20 minutes of relief, alcohol ultimately creates more problems than it solves.
Even when alcohol is no real problem.
If you are looking to boost your immune system, gain resilience, learn healthy coping skills, and use this period of slow down to improve your overall well being, ditching the drink is the...
How do you want to come out of this quarantine?
I think it is helpful to keep your end goal in mind.
You are presented with an opportunity to learn about yourself.
You can day drink, sleep in, get lazy at your job, neglect your parenting duties.
You can use this time as an excuse to skip workouts and eat what you want.
You can binge on Netflix.
You can soothe the discomfort of sitting in silence with online shopping, alcohol, porn, or whatever vice takes you away from the moment.
You can forego hygiene, beauty, and self care routines.
You can stay up late.
You can come out of quarantine more tired, sick, bloated, antsy, and wound up than before.
That is your choice.
Or you can use this time to take care of you.
You can spend time with yourself getting to know yourself.
You can find what is your energy calling for today, and then give yourself what you desire.
You can find new ways to move your body.
Alcohol; The Missing Link to Well-Being
When it comes to choosing a healthy beverage, wellness programs traditionally encourage drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugary drinks and limiting alcohol. As more wellness programs take a wider approach to improving well-being, it makes sense to shine a brighter spotlight on alcohol abuse and misuse as it relates to overall well-being, productivity and safety of employees. It’s a well-known fact that many people react to stress with alcohol. What is less well known is that alcohol exacerbates stress.
Drinking alcohol can have a domino effect on the life of the drinker and those around them.
While a company Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is one of the most efficient ways to help both employees and the families of people with alcohol and substance abuse problems to seek assistance and recovery, workplace wellness programs have an opportunity to inform even occasional drinkers about the consequences of using alcohol as...
I have worked from home for over 10 years.
I have been between jobs.
I have worked in toxic cultures for unqualified managers.
I have owned my own business.
I have worked for large corporations and small family run businesses.
I worked for beautiful companies and wise people.
I have worked for terribly unethical companies and evil people.
I have done it all.
This experience was painful as I was going through it, but now it has given me the necessary tools to help others.
Here’s some lessons learned from working from home.
1- Create Space
Make an office space and use it only for work. Create an inviting space. You can shop your house for a desk, plant, lighting, and whatever else inspires you. My husband and I both work from home now and he uses the home office. I have a desk in my bonus room, which is also my closet. So now I have a “cloffice”. I can shut the door and have privacy and also shut the door and leave my work outside my...
It’s no joke that we can turn to alcohol in times of stress, and for some it's a slippery slope.
With more people working remotely there is less separation, between work and home.
When telecommuting, there is no physical transition between work life and home life, and the lines between personal and professional, can get blurred.
You as an employee, have more freedoms and can more easily hide behind a computer screen. On the other hand, managers may reach out for assistance during non working hours, so you might feel like you are always on. This may stress you out, feeling the need to fight or flight all the time.
In addition, these uncertain times bring up feelings of loneliness, boredom, fear, depression and anxiety. Alcohol is often marketing as the cure to these emotions.
If you’ve already been overindulging in alcohol, you may be feeling the mental strain of consuming a depressant and the hangxiety that follows. This creates a...
“Building Resilience” is a popular term in the self help world.
I didn’t have a full understanding of what resiliency meant until COVID-19 happened, and social distancing was put in place.
You see, I’ve spent the past 2+ years building my resilience, by getting sober.
I basically trained for this.
I replaced drinking with new coping skills.
I put routines in place that strengthened my mental health.
I learned to care for my body by what I eat and how I move.
I listen to myself to tell me what I need, especially, in times of stress.
Building my resiliency looked like this:
Anxiety = walk with dog around the block/yoga
Angry = journal/ loud music in headphones/fast run.
Sad = cry/read
Irritable = alone time at gym/clean kitchen/donate stuff
Bored = coffee with friend/puzzle
Lonely = tell someone/letters to Grandma/volunteer
I pay attention to myself when things feel wonky, triggery, or a little off.
With the news of COVID-19 you might be tempted to stock up on alcohol along with toilet paper to survive the pandemic, potential lock down, and save your sanity.
If you are a drinker, one positive thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you, is ditch the drink.
Alcohol negatively affects your health.
To be your strongest and healthiest, being alcohol free, is the best line of defense.
Alcohol and Overall Health
Alcohol affects your health in many ways. Most people are aware that excessive drinking can damage your liver and cardiovascular system, but did you know that it can also damage your digestive system? This leads to malnutrition and even increases your risk of cancer. Many people see these conditions as problems for the distant future. You may be less aware that alcohol also damages your immune system, increasing your risk of potentially fatal illnesses such as pneumonia, the flu or even the recent health scare, COVID-19. There are a...
I wanted to be a normal drinker.
I really did.
I tried very hard to keep myself in check.
Sometimes I could even play by the rules I set up for myself.
You know the rules.
No more than 3 drinks.
One an hour, wait an hour.
Drink one glass of water for every glass of booze.
Only drink on the weekends.
Weekends can start on Thursday and officially end on Monday.
Don’t start drinking until 5 pm.
Maybe 4 pm.
Never drink before 3 pm.
Unless you are with someone else and they decide to drink before 3 pm.
Try to find someone who suggests you drink before 3 pm.
Never drink too much.
Don’t be hungover.
Don’t act drunk.
From my very first taste of alcohol, I knew I loved it.
It turned me into the person I wanted to be.
In high school, it gave me the courage to be bold.
It allowed me to be silly with friends.
It made for funny stories.
It gave me an identity as a fun loving party girl, which...