At the end of a long day nothing seems better than drinking a cold beer, a glass of red wine or a whiskey on the rocks. Whatever the drink preference or time of day, the craving for alcohol and the mental association is there for many people. It’s a form of self-medicating.
There are other people that enjoy alcohol and may be dependent on drinking socially. Drinking helps remove the insecure barriers that feel as if a wall is around protecting you. Alcohol allows the feeling of releasing that wall, giving many a false sense of confidence and a belief that they are happier with more alcohol in their system. However, too much alcohol can be unhealthy for the body and the brain. It impairs judgment and cognitive ability. Many mistakes and feelings of guilt, shame and regret happen when intoxicated on alcohol. It disrupts the homeostasis in the body and leads to other issues with mood, trickling down into other areas of your life like, family and work life.
Reasons To Take a Break From Alcohol
- Sleep Disturbance
Many people believe that by drinking before bed they will sleep better. In fact the opposite is true. Research shows that alcohol may disrupt sleep homeostasis causing sleep disturbances.
- Mood Change
Many people experience changes in their mood while they are drinking but there are also changes in mood after drinking. There is much research about the link between alcohol abuse or dependence and major depression and anxiety.
- Skin Issues
Considering the skin is the largest organ of the body, you can imagine that the skin would shows signs of alcohol abuse. Signs such as skin dryness, redness, breakouts, and inflammation. Alcohol causes the body to be dehydrated making the skin look aged.
- Hormone Dysfunction
Since your hormones control most of the functions in the body, any substance that is a toxin is going to throw your body off balance. Even drinking in moderation can effect hormonal balance. Alcohol abuse has been shown to release an increased amount of stress hormones. So when you think that you are relaxing after your long day, you are actually causing your body to feel more stressed.
- Gut Health
Not only will taking a break from alcohol help you lose a few pounds, it will also help regulate your metabolism. Excess alcohol use can impact the bacteria in your gut often causing diarrhea and other digestion issues.
- Risk of Cancer
There have been many studies done that have confirmed that alcohol abuse has been linked to various types of cancers.
Taking a Break From Alcohol
Whether you believe you have a “problem” with alcohol or not, it is important to give your organs a chance to detox from alcohol. When you give yourself a break from alcohol, you give your brain a chance to find its natural chemical balance and your brain will be able to produce serotonin at healthy levels. Alcohol is harsh on other organs too, especially the liver. When you take a step away from drinking alcohol, you are giving your liver a chance to regenerate itself. Your body thinks that alcohol is basiclly a poison and the liver has to work overtime to metabolize this. The more you drink alcohol the harder your liver is working. The harder your whole body is working.
Abstaining from alcohol for a long duration, breaks any habits you have formed around it and allows you to become aware of any dependency you might have with the substance. The body will have a chance to balance out and reset. If you are used to having alcohol in your life take note of how you feel without alcohol in your life, especially in the morning when you wake up. You will most likely find that you are more awake and clear-headed. Your relationships and work life in all probability will improve and your focus on purpose will hopefully become clearer.
Some Alternatives to Alcohol
- Sparkling water with lemon
- Chilled Herbal Tea
- Fresh pressed juices
I am on an alcohol free challenge right now. I have gone through many times without drinking. In fact, every year in the Spring and Fall I do my 21 Day Cleanse where I eliminate alcohol. I have gone through pregnancies without alcohol. I have never just stopped drinking to stop drinking. I have a love/hate relationship with alcohol and I have recently realized that it is not a healthy relationship that I want to continue.
So… I am taking a break to step away and to gain a clearer perspective on my relationship with it. It’s a 90 day challenge. I will be posting about my discoveries on my blog, on instagram @earthie_mama and in my newsletter that you can subscribe to above right.
Thanks for joining me on my journey. I am always trying to learn, grow and thrive and share it all with you!!! <3
Cheers to health!
P.S. If you are someone who is dependent on alcohol and needs extra help there are plenty of resources. Please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org
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