Modest amounts of alcohol can raise our mood but it’s easy to get caught in a vicious cycle where we drink because we are anxious, stressed or unhappy, and the alcohol makes us feel worse. DOSE writer Charlotte discusses how CBD helps her to stay sober and why it’s her secret to staying out, out…
My secret to staying sober
Throughout my adult years I have had a love hate relationship with alcohol. I love the relaxed feeling you get after drinking a glass of wine or a G&T. How easily it would take me from being pent up with work stress and on edge in social situations (cue trying to meet an online date teetotal – it’s not so easy to flirt and be that super relaxed version of yourself), to feeling super chilled vibes after a glass or two. I hated the fact that alcohol gave me hangovers, sleepless nights, anxiety, puffy dry skin and a lot less energy.
Was it the placebo effect I asked myself? Did alcohol really relax me and make me more fun?
As much as I’d like to say it’s a placebo effect, the hard science says otherwise. In fact, one of the biggest reasons we all say ‘yes, yes, yes’ to another glass of Sauvignon is due to the ability of the alcohol within that drink to calm the nervous system, (yes, that’s the warm and fuzzy, woozy, happy go lucky feeling setting in), as alcohol by nature acts as a relaxant in the body.
This ‘relaxing’ effect is why we sometimes wake up in the morning in a hot sweat wondering why on earth we revealed our greatest sexual fantasies to the new guy in accounts at the work Christmas party and ended up flashing a dodgy tattoo you got done on your seventeenth birthday to your new boss – cringe! I am pretty sure sipping on a lemonade would not have led me to either of the above, but I’d say we all have our moments one way or another.
Alcohol for me has always been a part of my life. From drinking cheap cider at parties in my teens, to sipping expensive glasses of Champagne in fancy London nightclubs – it has been part of my social scene for as long as I can remember.
So why did I give up? And how did I manage to go sober?
I am one of those typical ‘health conscious’ west London women who have a disciplined diet (mainly organic, no dairy, gluten and super healthy where possible), along with a rigorous exercise schedule of barre, Pilates and yoga and am on a first name basis with the staff at Whole Foods. Let’s just say, I take my health and fitness very seriously and invest a lot of time and money into looking and feeling good.
Hangovers became that elephant in the room that never seemed to go away. In fact it was glaring right at me and sometimes felt like it was about to charge at my head.
All week I would be drinking and eating well and by the weekend I would meet up with my boyfriend, friends or see family, and this occasion would most often result in me drinking a few too many glasses of wine, getting a bad nights sleep and waking up feeling groggy headed, anxious and out of sorts the next day.
After far too many Sundays wasted from having hangovers (despite trying every natural known hangover cure Whole Foods and my local pharmacy had available) and suffering with sleepless nights, it was plain obvious that I needed to go teetotal to avoid this.
Month 1 of staying sober
The first month was the hardest. This is when you literally have to feel like a total freak when your friends, work colleagues and boyfriend think you are going to be the ultimate boring person to hang out with.
Month 2 of staying sober
The second month, everyone starts to realise that you are actually still fun, you have more energy, money in your bank and your skin has a radiance to it that makes people ask you what face cream you are using.
Month 3 of staying sober
The third month is when you no longer feel a bit awkward in social situations without a drink in your hand, or feel odd not ordering a wine with dinner. And you love waking up feeling so fresh and full of life that you will be doing a yoga class at 9am on a Sunday, having brunch with friends by midday and will be able to watch a movie on Sunday night, without eating a whole tub of ice cream – you are winning at life!
So how did I manage to succeed?
My sobriety success is all down to three things.
1. Get to know about MEDA CBD drinks
This amazing range of CBD infused drinks were my absolute must-have go-to tipple for when I gave up booze. I took them to parties with me to enjoy throughout the night. I had them as a Friday drink to unwind after work and on many other occasions where I would have had an alcoholic drink to help me relax. Each drink has 15mg of liposomal organic CBD, which, like alcohol, will relax your nerves – without the unwanted side effects. It’s the only drink on the market I found that tasted good, was low in sugar and calories and actually gave you a super chilled/uplifted feeling that I felt I had missed from alcohol. It allowed me to enjoy being out without wanting to go home.
2. Choose a reason why you’re quitting and track your success
Mine was a list that outlined ten amazing reasons why I love not drinking alcohol and going over this list each day. It was things like ‘having lots more energy, a slimmer waistline, glowing skin’, etc. Then stick it somewhere you can see it daily (mine was on my kitchen cupboard just by the sink) and celebrate by marking off each day in your diary when you go without alcohol or weekend without a hangover – or use an app like Nomo to keep track.
3. Reward yourself
I rewarded myself with a super lush holiday to Mexico. I managed to save a fair bit of money from not drinking. It’s not just the £15 cocktails you are saving on, but the Uber journey home after as you were over the limit to drive. Having a reward is going to help you reach that goal and feel great about it when you’re soaking up the sun by the sea.
This is a partnership feature with MEDA.
MEDA is a brand that embodies balance and health throughout their range of premium CBD infused drinks; comprising of functional wellness drinks, mixers, alcoholic cocktails and cordials. Visit the website.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.