Whether you’re new to the booze-free lifestyle or you’ve been at it for a while, it can be tough to find ways to relax when you’re used to kicking back with a glass of pinot. If you think that your drinking may be hurting your well-being, you’re not alone — more than 5 million women in America drink in a way that threatens their health. If you’ve decided that your life might be better when you’re off the sauce, you’re likely looking for new ways to get the same stress relief you used to find at the bottom of a bottle.
Thankfully, there are quite a few ways that you can still relax and unwind after work — and none of our suggestions will make it harder to get out of bed the next morning.
1. Get outside.
Fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for the mind and body. It can be tough to get outside in the winter months, but doing so after work can help you disengage from the stress of the workday and shift into relaxation mode. You don’t have to spend a ton of time outdoors to reap the benefits — even 20 minutes a day can make a difference in your health and how you feel. You can also combine your exercise with your outdoor time — put on a favorite podcast and get a few laps around the block while you soak up the sun.
2. Engage your brain with whatever TV show or movie strikes your fancy.
There’s a reason that so many TV shows and movies are referred to as guilty pleasures, but there’s nothing wrong with curling up on the couch with a show that lets you forget the craziness of the world around you. Choosing a TV series that lets your mind relax can give you something to look forward to at the end of the workday. Don’t beat yourself up for spending some time lounging to unwind — relaxing on the couch is far more beneficial to your body than uncorking a bottle.
It sounds like something out of a self-help book, but there’s a reason that meditation is so popular with so many people around the world. While meditation can be as simple as sitting in a quiet room with your eyes closed, you can also create a meditation experience that’s a bit more extravagant. If you have the space, dedicate an area of your house to meditation. Set up a small area with nice pillows, plants, candles, and anything else that helps you get into a zone where your thoughts can flow out of your mind as easily as they flow in. If you have trouble sitting with your thoughts, don’t be afraid to use a guided meditation app or a timer that lets you know when your session is up. Extend the time you spend meditating by a few minutes each week, and notice how the practice of slowing down and listening to your mind and body affects your well-being.
4. Give CBD a try.
If you haven’t tried CBD oil yet, you may find that it gives you the pleasant relaxing feeling you used to get from booze — without the altered inhibitions, dehydration, foggy mind, and hangover symptoms. It may take some time to figure out what strength and type of CBD is the best fit for you. You’ve got plenty of options, from tinctures to gummies, and you don’t have to try to figure out CBD on your own. Reach out to your local Detroit dispensary to get more information on how CBD can help you relax — without making you feel like you’re out of it.
5. Connect with friends in a new way.
Many people who give up drinking struggle to maintain a social life without hitting the bar. Making plans to hang out with friends in a new way can help you maintain the social connections you need without the temptation to ask for a drink. If you feel comfortable, talk with your friends about your decision to give up alcohol, and ask them to engage in a booze-free activity. Trying something new together, seeing a movie, or just going out for a wine-free dinner can all be fun ways to catch up and relieve stress. Remember, if a friend isn’t supportive of your journey to get alcohol out of your life, they probably weren’t much of a friend in the first place.
As a mom, it can be tough to go against the grain and say no to alcohol, but stay strong if you’ve decided that the teetotaler lifestyle is the best fit for you. You’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better, and your kids will have a happier mom.