How to quit the ‘stress-relief’ glass of wine

Stressful day at work, fight with the partner, friends birthday, cousin’s wedding, school holidays, family vacation, date night, heart break, to feel happy, to feel relaxed, to calm down, to let loose, to have fun, no doubt about it, there’s lots of different reasons we choose to pick up a glass of wine. The consumption of alcohol is a love/hate relationship for a lot of women these days. It simultaneously makes us feel relaxed and energetic, happy and sad, calm and wired, hopeful and regretful. Drinking plays a role in most lives in this modern age, however, more and more often the love/hate relationship is becoming imbalanced. The main reason for this? Stress.

‘Physiologically, stress is defined as anything that challenges the body to function in its usual fashion.’ This can come in many different forms over the course of our lives, injury, illness, over exertion, depression, fear, even sexual activity or a change in extreme temperatures. So how do we cope with stress when it comes in so many different forms, in so many different ways and so often week to week? We drink. The link between stress and alcohol consumption is not new. Alcohol is a kind of sedative which affects our central nervous system and can trigger feelings of ‘relaxation’ as we ingest it. The trouble with this use of alcohol as ‘medication’ is that the feelings of relaxation are only temporary. More often than not, once these feelings wear off, the negative feelings we were originally trying to mask come back stronger and more intense. 

Most of us know drinking isn’t necessarily a good long term help with stress, however, usually once alcohol has become an issue it has also become a habit. We associate drinking with stress relief and rely on past experiences of relaxation to trigger the habit again and again. Breaking the chain between stress and drinking can be easier said than done but one thing’s for sure, the longer it’s left, the stronger the bond. So if you can resonate with this blog and are ready to cut the cord between your stress levels and glasses of wine, here are your four steps to success!

1: Write down what benefits you receive from drinking whilst stressed. 

Example: Relaxed, calm, sleepy.

2: Write down what other activities may give you those same benefits, as many as you can think of. 

Example: Yoga, meditation, walk, listen to music, read a book, listen to a podcast, call a friend.

*Hot tip – Even just having something in your hand can help curve the craving for a drink. Try sipping on a herbal tea on a cold night or some sparkling infused water on a summer’s day.

3: Choose one option to try this week when you feel stressed and tempted to have a drink.

Example: Listen to a podcast

4: If your first option doesn’t work first go, keep trying for the week knowing it takes time to build a habit. If it doesn’t feel right, try another option from step 2.

Example: I didn’t feel relaxed when listening to a podcast so I will try meditation this week.

Remember the 4 steps to success don’t work unless you do. Don’t keep telling yourself you won’t get the same feelings of relaxation as drinking from other means, try other means and then go from there. 

Last but not least, as always, if you are having trouble with any of your 4 steps to success, don’t hesitate to contact me through our contact page on this site or our socials. 

When women support each other, incredible things happen.

Jx

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