Happy New Year!

Hi everyone!

I love New Year – somehow the idea of a “clean slate” and a whole clean shiny year ahead makes me happy.

I have always been a “goal setter” – it’s probably in my DNA after 30 years of corporate life! I still set goals but of course but now it’s all around the development of World Without Wine together with some personal goals.

Before I quit drinking I would always set a goal to “cut down” on alcohol – what a waste of time that was! Now that I have educated myself about alcohol I can see that it was rather a futile goal. Not only is alcohol chemically designed to be addictive but I am one of those people who don’t possess an “off” switch and will never be able to “drink responsibly”.

By using will power alone I would usually manage a dry (ish) January but inevitably come February I would be out of control again – and feeling miserable.

These days it gives me such a thrill to just jot down “maintain sobriety” and be fairly confident that it will happen. My life has changed so much since I stopped drinking on May 23rd 2015 that I agree 100% with sober celeb Matthew Perry who says:-

“The thing is if I don’t have my sobriety I don’t have anything”

 

Our Dry January Challenge is flying!  We have already raised R26,000 which is enough to provide yoga classes for more than 100 children in Khayelitsha and Lavender Hill schools.  I will be on the Eusebius McKaiser Show (Cape Talk/702) on Monday 8th January to talk more about Dry January so hopefully that will shake out a few more donations!

The Challenge is open until the end of January so you can even register on 31st January and do a “Dry February” – after all it is the shortest month 😉

All you need to do is to make a small donation to a good cause and we will send you an email every day full of tools, tips and motivation to get you through an alcohol free month.  If you have the slightest doubt that taking just one month off alcohol has significant health benefits then you need to read THIS.

If you are looking to make a permanent change and go for an Alcohol Free Life (spoiler alert:  it’s awesome) then this Challenge could give you just the start you need.  We are in touch with most of the people who have been through our workshops (that’s nearly 200 people) and I have come to an interesting conclusion recently.  A bit of an a-ha moment for me.

Of the people who want to quit completely most of them find:-

The first 30 days is the toughest time (so it makes sense to use the Dry January Challenge to get access some online support)

As people complete their first 100 days it gets easier as the brain gets “rewired”, the body begins to heal and not drinking becomes the new normal.  During this time people say that they get GLIMPSES of the benefits of alcohol free living – and they like what they see.

After 6 months people tend to be in a completely different place mentally and physically.  Anxiety levels have plummeted, energy is sky high, they have lost weight and no longer fear socialising without alcohol as they have learned the survival tricks.

The sad thing is that many people (and I was one) spend their lives getting on and off the wagon which means that they do those first few weeks over and over again – and of course those first few weeks are the hardest and you never get to experience any of the many benefits of sober living.  The result of wallowing in these dark days of trying and failing is that your subconscious mind picks up the idea that this is what sobriety is all about – and it sucks… – that could be why sobriety gets such a bad press and is labelled as boring and difficult.

So whether you want to use the Dry January Challenge to get you through those tough early days on the way to permanent sobriety, or whether you just fancy a 30 day “detox” please click HERE and register right now!

janet xxx

 

6 Reasons to do Dry January

1.To Reset

If you dropped a frog in a pan of boiling water he would use those strong legs to leap straight out again. Yet if you put that frog in a pan of cold water and gradually heated the water he would sit there until he was boiled alive.

Well it’s a bit like that with alcohol which can sneak up on you over the years.

What starts off as literally “a glass of wine” to unwind after a day at work can easily become several glasses or even a bottle.

Doing a Dry January gives your body (and more importantly your mind) a bit of space. Space to recover, space to think about your relationship with alcohol and to decide whether you want to make any permanent changes.

 

2. To Detox

 

If you have been drinking a glass (or two) of wine every evening for years then your body is permanently in a state of mild “withdrawal”, which feels a bit like mild anxiety.

This is because it can take between 7 – 10 days for all traces of the alcohol to leave your system.

This is why that first glass of wine in the evening tastes so good – it’s ending your state of withdrawal and feels like a massive “relief”

Doing a Dry January gives your body and mind a chance to heal, to feel less anxious as your system becomes alcohol free

 

3. To Reduce your Anxiety

If you are in the habit of drinking alcohol to make you less anxious then you should know that it has now been scientifically proved that alcohol actually increases your anxiety.

A batch of lab rats were injected with alcohol every day for a month. The control batch got to stay sober.

Then all the rats were put through a very stressful “obstacle race” and guess what – the control group way outperformed the rats with alcohol in their system.

Conclusion is that alcohol will actually reduce your ability to manage anxiety.

You can even test this for yourself:-

On Day One of your alcohol free month write a list of things in your life that are currently making you stressed or anxious.

On Day Thirty revisit that list and you may just find that you can deal with it!

 

4.  To Freshen up your Looks

This is Nicola who came to one of our workshops – before and after she stopped drinking for 100 days.

Even if you are not up for 100 days of sobriety you will notice some immediate changes – you will lose the puffy face and tired eyes within a few days.

Within a couple of weeks your skin will improve – no more dull and dry skin – and no more broken veins or red blotches.

We make bad food choices when we drink alcohol so the combination of no booze, healthy food and lots of water means you are bound to drop a couple of kilos!

Next time you are at a party check out the most fresh-faced person in the room – the one with a natural looking glow – she’s probably not drinking!

 

5.  To get some High Quality Sleep!

If you have been relying on a glass or two of wine to get you to sleep you should know this:-

Although you get a few hours of “deep sleep” you may find you are awake and feeling anxious in the early hours of the morning as the alcohol leaves your body. Alcohol also reduces your essential REM cycles from 5-7 to about 1 or 2.

Another interesting fact is that when a non-drinker starts getting ready for bed their brain will naturally start to “dampen things down” to get them feeling sleepy.

However if you are a regular drinker your body won’t do that because it will be used to depending on the artificial effect of alcohol to get you to sleep.

That’s why for the first few nights of your Dry January you might not sleep so well – your body is just not used to doing that natural “winding down” thing…

The good news is that after 4 or 5 nights your brain will re-adjust and the quality of your sleep will dramatically improve!

 

6. To help a Disadvantaged Child

For the third year WorldWithoutWine has teamed up with the fabulous Earthchild Project in a fundraising project to provide children in Khayelitsha and Lavender Hill with yoga and life-skills classes.

Over the past 12 years Earthchild have taught yoga to thousands of children in disadvantaged areas.

Yoga empowers vulnerable children to transform their lives and communities.

Just R250 provides a child with weekly yoga and life-skills classes for a year.

You can start your Dry January right now or anytime up to the end of January – just decide on your 30 day alcohol free window and we will send you a Daily Mail – full of tips, tools and motivation to get you through..

Click HERE to donate and help us to sponsor some more little yogis!

 

 

 

Dry February Anyone?

Loving this picture sent by one of the ladies on our second workshop last week-end.

As at the first workshop it was a humbling experience to hear so many people open their hearts about their relationship with alcohol and the damage it has done.  Although participants are under no pressure to “share” their stories it does seem to be an essential part of the journey as well as a start to the healing process and a new way of life.  I am convinced that for most of the people at the workshop this was the first time they had been able to recount their stories in such a safe and supportive space.

Interestingly we had three guys in the workshop this time – now that the UK has slashed “safe” drinking levels for men from 21 to 14 (as a result of latest research) perhaps we will see more men in our workshops – after all 14 units is just 6 pints of beer a week!

Next workshop already set for March 19th – more details HERE

One of the lovely things about building a community is receiving some great articles from our members:-

HERE is one on why its “hip to be sober” and

HERE is a another really good one on “how to stop drinking wine every day”

Many thanks for sending these articles – keep them coming!

We are thrilled with the response to our Dry January Challenge and have now passed the R26,000 mark!

On 17th February we are going to Khayelitsha to make a film about the Earthchild yoga project so that donors can see just what a great project they are supporting!

Dry January Challenge still open for 2 more days so register HERE and you will receive a motivational mail for the next 31 days – giving you a Dry February!

Am now more than 8 months sober but still have the odd struggle – celebrations seem to be my worst thing – still remember a miserable birthday last August, New Year’s Eve seemed to go on for ever and just last week felt very grumpy on my 15th Wedding Anniversary – poor Husband.  Looking forward to my Soberversary on 23rd May as then I will have been sober for all key dates in my year – hoping that the second time round will be easier!

Have just noticed that I have 99 subscribers to this blog – can somebody please get me to 100 😉

Cheers!