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HOW TO BOSS ‘ME TIME’ WITHOUT WINE- Nervous system hacks for a happier you.

Many of us start the day with good intentions, only to find that by the time midday hits the wine witch starts chatting and we start thinking about what a great idea a glass of wine is later. We might talk ourselves out of it, but then may have forgotten to eat lunch, an emergency doctor’s appointment because your child was running a fever, we could have received some bad news or heard something unkind and our mood & motivation starts to dip. By 5pm the wine-witch is yelling in our ears as we juggle homework, dinner prep and telling people 10,000 times the same thing without anyone taking any notice.

Our brain quite rightly searches for our precious Me Time, when we can finally breath, have a moment to ourselves and sit down. In our frazzled states this has the flashing neon sign ‘WINE” written all over it.

It’s not surprising, really. Alcohol is marketed as an essential part of fun, relaxation and connection with cultural associations of Mummy Wine Time everywhere from birthday cards, to mugs, to memes on social media. However your experience with alcohol is yours alone and if it doesn’t feel good to you, that is permission enough to stop. 

It’s an absolute power tool to be able to ask better questions about what we need from our Me Time at the end of the day, and get sustainable and healthy tools on board.

When we arrive at that precious Me Time moment, we arrive with the baggage of our day. It can take time to come down from the fast pace of the working part of the day and this transition can actually feel uncomfortable.

THE SCIENCE SECRET!!!! Did you know, this is your nervous system and your brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) trying to balance.

We have compiled some evidence -based tips and tools to help you  hack your brain and nervous system to transition smoothly to reclaim your ME TIME in a way that won’t come back to bite you tomorrow. If you boss the transition and the Me Time you are winning GF X

1) GET TO KNOW YOUR FEELINGS & NAME THEM

I feel sad, I feel stressed, I feel angry, I feel resentful, I feel lonely, I feel happy, I feel anxious.

Once you have identified the feeling you can trace it to the neurotransmitter that is out of whack.

 

2) Applying the right self-care and wellbeing strategies to really answer to your needs will redress the imbalance.

If you feel sad your serotonin levels are depleted. Fixes for sadness are:

  • Upping  your protein intake
  • Exercise: Jogging, Swimming, Cycling for example
  • Doing something you love: Crafting, Knitting, painting, writing
  • Walking in nature
  • Connecting with a like-minded friend
  • Watching a funny film

Do you feel stressed and need to dial it down? Your brain is probably flooded with cortisol so activities that balance this for example:

  • Don’t drink alcohol. You might think it relaxes you, but alcohol actually increases cortisol
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, and processed food.
  • Exercise. (But not cardio like running) Yoga, Pilates, or walking in nature helps relax your mind while exercising your body
  • Get a monthly massage to reduce stress and relax muscles – YASS to Sober treats
  • Try meditation to slow your mind down, reduce anxiety, and lower cortisol levels.  Even deep breathing can help.
  • Have a good sleep ritual. This creates a good circadian rhythm, which optimizes your hormone balance naturally.
  • Get out in the sunshine.

Are you angry? Maybe you are in adrenaline overload? Why not:

  • Go for a run
  • Do some star jumps
  • Dance it out
  • Journal and write it out
  • Do a sport where you can hit something (a ball preferably lols)
  • Distract and give yourself a moment to regulate your nervous system, take a time out – have a shower or walk round the block

Maybe you feel resentful and under-appreciated and are looking for a dopamine boost through a treat

  • Complete a task – do a ruthless deep clear out and then reward yourself with some fresh flowers
  • Focus on self-care activities, go to the spa, get your nails done
  • Celebrate your strengths and little wins, what did you do well?
  • Listen to music
  • Eat foods rich in Tyrosine. In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine which can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. Eat probiotics.
  • Learn meditation & Mindfulness

Is it a lonely feeling? Maybe you need to up your natural store of oxytocin?

  • Wrap yourself up in a cuddly blanket
  • Spend time with your pet or children
  • Give yourself a foot or hand massage with essential oils
  • Go to a meeting within a sober programme
  • Give yourself a hug

Are you happy and want to celebrate?

  • Don’t drink alcohol it is a depressant, it depletes our natural resources of dopamine
  • Get in lovely alcohol-free drinks (Keep the occasion, just change the drink)
  • Listen to uplifting music, dance
  • Up your endorphins, do a HIIT class or go for a run
  • Practice mindfulness know how much more you get out of experiences when they are not numbed with alcohol

Do you feel anxious? Want to feel grounded and to settle yourself? Your GABA levels are probably depleted. GABA normally inhibits brain activity, enabling you to relax. When you’re low in GABA, your mind gets stuck in the “on” position and you’ll find yourself anxious, overstimulated, and overwhelmed.

  • Practice breathing activities such as the somatic experiencing techniques of grounding, centring and orienting.
  • Lie on the ground and regulate your nervous system.
  • Do yoga or meditation
  • Take a bath and engage your senses with essential oils and binaural beats.
  • Turn off technology
  • Sing, dance, chant, meditate (tone the vagus nerve)

All these practices will boost our own ability to feel better balance and calm and happiness in our lives, add in that SOBER TREATS every day we can really boss our me time without wine and feel not deprived by our sobriety but revived by our choice to go alcohol-free HURRAH!

 

References:
https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/7-ways-to-balance-your-cortisol-stress-levels-naturally

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-serotonin
https://bebrainfit.com/vagus-nerve-stimulate/
https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/serotonin-and-other-happy-molecules-made-by-gut-bacteria/#what-is-serotonin
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/162035#controlling-anger
https://brainmd.com/blog/7-ways-to-boost-dopamine-focus-and-energy/

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