Wellness Wednesday - My thoughts on...alcohol & drinking.
Happy Wednesday friends! I think (knocking on wood) that Spring is here to stay - it's rainy but still WARM, and I'm so grateful.
Today I wanted to touch on a subject that is definitely more of sensitive topic, but also something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. And you know me - the best way for me to process how I'm feeling is by writing it all out. So let's go - let's talk about alcohol and drinking.
First let's back it wayyy up. Growing up, I pretty much never drank. I didn't even drink in high school - to be honest, I just really didn't have much interest. I was way more focused on tennis and staying active, school, my family, and my friends. I certainly had friends who drank, but I never felt the pressure to participate, and I felt good about my decision.
Let's get into my college experience. I went to a liberal arts school with a really strong Greek life on campus. In this very small college town in PA, I ended up drinking more than I ever had in the past. I was in a sorority (which I absolutely loved) and made some of my happiest memories. Drinking never interfered with my grades/classes, but let's just say that I didn't typically feel my best on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Fast forward to my senior year though, and I was pretty DONE with drinking at parties and going out. And as silly as it sounds, I didn't really know what other activities to do with my friends, so I continued to go out even though it wasn't necessarily serving me by the end of my college experience. In my heart, I knew that I wanted to treat my body and mind better, but I just felt stuck.
After graduating, I lived at home for a couple of years while I started my new job. During this time, I didn't really drink much and it felt really good to detox after college. I passed my CPA exam, went through my first busy season, and went out occasionally. And as a self-proclaimed extroverted introvert, it felt amazing to take a little breather.
When I moved to Boston, my lifestyle changed. I was living in a new city with my boyfriend, and trying to make new friends while finding my place personally and professionally. I said heck yes to everything, which included going out a lot of weekends (and weekdays!). I had a lot of fun, and met and bonded with a lot of new people. My job at the time definitely had a "work-hard, play-hard mentality," and I felt like I also needed the release of going out while consistently working extremely long hours. I think that this is where things started to get a little bit out of balance for me.
As I felt progressively unhappier and burnt out at work, I started to get into the habit of drinking a glass of wine or two during the week after getting home late and working long hours. It almost felt like I was using wine to tap-out and cope in the evenings. No bueno.
When I started my new job this past October (and more importantly, started this blog/Instagram), I began to connect with more like-minded individuals. I found myself wanting to drink less and less. I started craving clarity and focus on the weekends so that I could pursue my true passion. There wasn't much room for drinking during the week, or have crazy nights out on the weekends.
So what am I doing now? I don't have strict rules, but in general, I'm not drinking during the week unless it's at an event, dinner or special occasion with a friend. And on the weekends, I'm also trying to be more deliberate with my choices. This isn't to say that for a special occasion I won't loosen up a bit more, but in general, a less-is-more mindset is really resonating with me right now. I feel more connected and grounded, less anxious, and more clear. I feel like I can hustle for what I want, and not drift through my days. I've definitely traded my glass of wine for a green smoothie or juice nowadays. And man, it feels great!
That being said, I truly don't judge other peoples' decisions. You know yourself best, not me! You do you, and if that includes crazy weekends out and drinking during the week, DO IT and more power to you! I just personally felt like my mid-week glasses of wine were not accompanied with a healthy mindset. I will say though, it's been surprising to me though how uncomfortable it seems to make other people when I choose not to drink. So at events where I'm not necessarily feeling like having a cocktail, I'll usually grab a soda water with lime just to avoid the comments/attempts to persuade. Does this ever happen to you, if you have a similar mindset? Would love to know!
I'm curious if any of you have been on a similar journey? What are your thoughts and approaches to drinking nowadays as compared to the past?