Taking the step to be alcohol-free is a difficult process for many. Millions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. just to reduce our dependence on it. However, there are so many positive life experiences that come from putting the bottle down for the last time. It may be hard to see this when a significant portion of events in your life are based around a social scene that partakes of alcohol, but it’s important to recognize that the good things that you experience are not due to alcohol, and can continue to be there when you stop drinking. Here are some of the benefits of being alcohol-free…
More energy every day
Nothing quite puts a damper on your day like waking up with a hangover. Hangovers have a knack of taking over your entire morning, and then making the entire day seem like it blew by without any productivity. For most people, these days happen on the weekend, when they have the luxury of not working the next day. Think about what this means, though: the only days that you don’t work are wasted away feeling the awful ramifications of the night before? This is no way to go through life (for more information about hangovers, check out this blog series). Giving up the alcohol means that you will have more energy every day, and will be able to finally start to use your time to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do, but always seem to slip away.
Friendships on firmer foundations
One of the biggest obstacles to giving up alcohol, many people find, is that so much of a person’s social circle can depend on a scene that frequently partakes in alcohol. Because of this, there is a false assumption that giving up alcohol will mean giving up their friends. However, this is certainly not true! Your friends are more than the nights out drinking. Setting aside alcohol, even for a while, means that you will get to explore more of the things that you are both passionate about together.
Things like hiking, book clubs, movie nights, competitive unicycling, and musical theater are all things that you might like to do with your friends, and you’ll find that you’ll get to explore them a lot more if your friendship is not based on alcohol. At events, you can also find fun beverages to enjoy that don’t require alcohol. Check out this nifty list of fun beverages you and your friends can make for a holiday dinner. On the chance that your friends stop wanting to be around you when you stop drinking, then it’s time to realize that they are not very good friends to have, anyways.
Lose the liquid calories
Alcoholic beverages may be tasty, they may help you relax, and they may have fun and exciting names. However, the one thing that they certainly are not is healthy. Even a light beer is usually going to cost you over 100 calories! After a few of those, you’ve practically had a meal. Alcohol can be a major obstacle for people who are trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. For many people who drink, regularly, they will be cutting down thousands of calories a week by simply cutting alcohol out of their diet. On top of that, most people do not make wise eating decisions when they are drunk. An entire pizza to yourself at 2 A.M. almost never sounds like a good idea. However, if you are drunk, then it seems to makes perfect sense! Having less of these instances in your life will make it easier to live a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Better sleep habits
Alcohol is a particularly unique substance in the sense that it is both a stimulant and a depressant; an upper and a downer. During a night out, however, the stimulant side of alcohol is in full effect. Alcohol can keep an individual partying through the night, and even well-past sunrise. When a person at this level of drunkenness gets home, it is likely they are going to sleep well past the roosters crowing, and still wake up with that hangover we talked about, earlier. Getting up at 3 P.M. means that you are probably going to stay up past a reasonable bedtime on the following evening, as well, and so the cycle continues. Putting your alcohol use to rest will help you create a healthier sleep schedule, and lead to a better lifestyle, in general