Before you start with the wine jokes for Mother’s Day.
Wine has been sold to women as the cure for parenting stress, and it’s a lie.
I know because I tried it.
I wanted relief during the nightly dinner time, bath time, bedtime routine.
I wanted something to take the edge off of me, being me.
I was anxious that our house was never clean enough for me.
I was worried that I was never good enough for my kids.
I was trying to keep up parenting and working.
I was always overwhelmed.
Often my schedule required me to be in two places at once.
I was not able to manage this impossible feat.
My attempts caused me so much stress.
That magic wine elixir did work at first.
It took the edge off.
It soothed my nerves and made me feel like everything was ok.
I started to look forward to my first evening sip.
Then, I started to depend on it.
Then, I started to panic when there was not enough of it.
Sobriety is a lifestyle and it’s the one I’ve always wanted.
Rosé all day is a lifestyle too and it made me miserable.
As a drinker, I loved any occasion to make my drinking feel normal.
I loved when other people drank with me.
I loved when other people started the drinking, so it didn’t have to be me.
I loved weekends, holidays, events and occasions where I could start drinking earlier in the day.
I drank fast and furious.
I always wanted more.
It didn’t hit fast enough and then it hit all at once.
I drank alone like this too, but it felt better when there were others doing it with me.
I could not hang, so I often passed out hours before the party ended.
The drinking lifestyle started out with all the best intentions.
Wine at playdates.
Day drinking by the pool on a holiday weekend.
A crisp glass of white in the sun chatting on the phone before the kids came home.
The drinking lifestyle ended with...
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.