Before Christmas, on one of my Instagram posts I asked if I could have any present it would be the gift of time.
Taking part in dry January has given me exactly what I asked for.
Ok, I do need to be totally honest, I did become slightly damp on 2 occasions; but only slightly and then got straight back on with being as dry as a bone!
I have gone “dry” many times before but not in January as it is such a grim month and had not felt the need! The longest I have gone without booze for was 2 years. The longer I did it the easier it was to stay dry; as when one is in that mindset it is easy to stay on track, it is a habit that is easy to keep too, family and friends also accepted it, which helps massively!
Why this January?
Basically, it was for my mental health.
In November I had many plates spinning; I was working away for 10 days, my usual routine went out of the window, my good food choices, exercise and mindfulness practice took a back seat for 10 days. I also identified my alcohol units went up.
I was distracted with this project, in those 10 days of not being on top of my health routine it had a profound effect on my mental health.
Then came Christmas, added stress and units.
My sleep suffered which had a domino effect on the rest of my life; more hot flushes, self-doubt, weight gain, I was less productive, and my positivity had defiantly left the building!
Menopause can be tough for many women; for me it hit me hard and I have struggled with many symptoms.
However; with the right HRT, exercise, eating well and practising mindfulness I can keep on top of my symptoms. November highlighted that I cannot take anything for granted.
I like to feel happy, in control and productive!
Alcohol and self-care
Alcohol It is a depressant; I work with many clients and notice when things are out of balance. What happens outside of the studio has a massive impact on their workouts. I notice an increase in their fatigue and a decline in their capacity to work as hard in sessions. When we go over their food and lifestyle diary, they tell me that they may have been using alcohol to decompress after a stressful day; it is a downward spiral that needs to be stopped.
The scenario; one has had a bad day and reaches for a glass of wine that might just turn into more, at the time seems fine but the affects can be extremely detrimental to not only physical health but to menopause symptoms; such as hot flushes, sleeplessness increased brain fog and anxiety.
It isn’t just about menopause management to limit our intake of alcohol intake it is for our overall health.
Other health positive benefits on reducing alcohol.
Lowered cholesterol and blood pressure
Decreased risk of heart disease and stroke
Decreased risk of breast cancer
Positive mental health
More energy – therefore able to exercise more!
The gift of time and a happy mind.
Not indulging in a glass here or there has given me exactly what I wanted in January; the gift of time. I now set my alarm 20 minutes earlier in the morning, I get up make my nettle tea pop back into bed and practice positive mindfulness. I drink my nettle tea, have breakfast that I have planned the night before and this sets me up for the day.
I have been more productive, exercised nearly every day and have felt so much happier.
Every so often we all need reminders and need to look at our triggers. My downward spiral of negative thoughts and emotions in November was the reminder I needed.
During January I wasn’t a fun sponge; I still went out and had fun and because I wasn’t in a menopause “fug” felt as if I was getting my old self back.
So, as we see February whiz past, I would like you to stop and think about your physical and mental health and what steps you can take to promote a more positive you.
Stay warm Meno’s and happy February!