Alcohol Free = Happiest, Healthiest ME!
Updated: Jan 10, 2020
In my first blog entry about being vegan, I talk about making life changes when you travel that inspire you to be the healthiest version of yourself. For me, that meant cutting out both animal products and alcohol from my diet. Yes that's right, 24 year-old me, making the life-enhancing decision to be completely alcohol-free while traveling in order to achieve feeling my best physically and mentally.
Over the time span of the past two years, I started to slowly but surely see that drinking usually only brought me pain, grief, and miserable hangovers, resulting in the following day being entirely taken over by recovery. The inability to workout, eat the foods I loved, drink water, enjoy the outdoors, all of my favorite things soon had me questioning where I find value in drinking. Do I gain anything out of nights consumed with restless sleep, waking up suffocating from the low depressive feelings of emptiness? It was literally constraining me from doing the things I enjoyed out of life. While life is short, I realized I needed to spend my precious time here getting the most out of the things that bring me joy.
At first I'll admit I was a little worried about going through with this decision since drinking is such a sociable thing to do and can bring people together in an unknown environment. The first month without alcohol was really easy as I was on a remote resort island where all my attention was focused on improving my well-being through deepening my yoga practice. During my yoga teacher training course, I met individuals who were also living an alcohol-free lifestyle. I'll forever be so thankful I met the souls that I did there, because they inspired me to follow what intuitively I had been yearning to do all along.
It was rather easy for me to cut out alcohol, since I had been making this change back home naturally. I actually found it even easier to adapt to this lifestyle while traveling because no one knows me here. Going back to the feeling of reinventing yourself, that comes with the freedom of moving abroad, you can create whatever life you want for yourself. It pushes you to test your limits beyond your comfort zone. Something I had been struggling with back home was feeling constrained in speaking my truths. Alcohol helped me build the confidence to say whatever I felt in the moment, but it wouldn't always come across the best way when it took binge drinking to get there. I didn't want to use alcohol as a crutch to speak my mind, I wanted to, and am still always looking for ways to connect deeper with myself, finding my voice from within.
While drinking is not for me, I want to express that I would never judge anyone for drinking. If I did then how would I have any friends in this city? Judgment is not in my nature and I would never look down on people that drink leisurely. I've had plenty of fun with it in my past, but the longer I went without alcohol, reintroducing even just a glass of wine would feel physically toxic in what I'm putting my body through. Sometimes when I think I might just want to kick back and relax with some friends and a cold one in hand, I think back to how alcohol affects my body mentally, physically, and spiritually. Then I remind myself that I know I am better off without it.
While I was worried that cutting alcohol out from my life would pose challenges in the friendships I would make moving abroad, I've found the exact opposite to be true. The friendships I've found here are actually more genuine than ever, because I am living my truest self. We bond over similar passions, sharing things that go beyond the surface level. The absence of alcohol from my life has opened up conversations straight away that get deep and allow me to find connection in others. Everything I do comes from me living out my most authentic self. When you put out that kind of rawness and are un-apologetically the version of yourself that you love, it radiates and attracts the type of people you want to have in your circle.
Bottom line, you find what works for you and stick with it. Consistency is key for growth and by finding your balance, your grounding power, all other things align and start making sense. Even though it can be challenging, and there may be outside pressures you face, don't be discouraged from doing what at the end of day, will bring you meaning and purpose. Knowing that you did things for yourself is so rewarding in itself. Treat your body well by doing what you love, regardless of how others make you feel about them. Your body is your sacred temple, so find the self-care that you need and shower yourself with the love we are all so deserving of.