As described in the previous article, we have decided to prioritise the habit of a daily mediation practice in our lives to work through a sense of stress and reconnect with ourselves.
We have also decided to cut out alcohol during #MeditateInMarch. The primary reason for cutting out alcohol is to have deeper sleep cycles and bring more energy and concentration during meditation sessions.
Going Alcohol Free For #MeditateInMarch
We found that the clear decision to go alcohol free in March set a definite boundary on behaviour for the month. There was no ambiguity that would allow for “a quick drink with friends” or “a quiet drink at the end of a busy day”. This threw into light our habit of drinking, whether it is a social convention or a way of relaxing. In other words, it wasn’t easy and there were many challenging situations that we faced, some social and some personal.
Based on some research we thought about how this might not be a great way of relaxing. We found some interesting links along the way that provided inspiration:
- Giving up alcohol isn’t easy, but after 30 days I’m already reaping the benefits
- I’m having a sober summer this year. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far
The intention was to bring more clarity to our meditation sessions. It achieved this, deeper sleep cycles and bring more energy and concentration avoiding the fogginess or the lethergy associated with the morning after drinking. But there were other benefits,
- Better sleep: To have deeper sleep cycles, and more vivid dreams soon after we stopped drinking.
- More energy: Without the lethargy experienced after drinking.
- More concentration: Avoiding the mental fogginess experienced after drinking.
- More time: Without time being tied up drinking, there was extra time to pursue other activities like enjoying movies or reading.
- Introspection: Maybe it was going alcohol free, maybe it was the timing, but the extra sleep, energy, concentration, and time leant itself to invaluable reflection on our lives and how we are living them. One point was that our relationship with alcohol has changed over time. Where it has many touchpoints in our lives. This was highlighted by the temptation of drinking throughout the week.
- Health benefits: There are real health benefits associated with not drinking, including a stronger immune system.
- Weight loss: Alcohol is quite high in calories and carbohydrates. Simply put, with less calorie and carbohydrate intake meant that we lost weight. The table below provides some rough numbers for typical calorie intake:
|95 cal||8.5 g||120ml sparkling white wine|
|151 cal||11.6 g||375ml beer|
|165 cal||17 g||345ml cider|
|134 cal||0 g||double-shot of whisky|
Some of us at @happyops made it to 21 days and others made it through the full 31 days of March without alcohol. But we all felt the benefits described above to a greater or lesser degree. We warmly recommend our readers to challenge themselves to go alcohol free for a month.