I decided to quit drinking alcohol in May 2016 and haven’t looked back. It all started with my desire to practice ashtanga yoga every single day. I was moving from London to New York City and wanted to start a daily home yoga practice. Up until that point I practiced ashtanga yoga a couple of times a week at a local gym in London and I figured that while I was moving and getting settled in New York City, doing it at home may make things a little easier. At the time I was only drinking 1-2 beers every couple of weeks and I felt great about it. Unfortunately or luckily, whichever way you look at it, there’s no denying it that I am sensitive to alcohol. Even if I have one beer, I can feel it the next day. Along with that came late nights and long bus rides home. I was just over it. I wanted to get up early every morning to do yoga and this brought me to my decision to stop drinking – all in the name of a healthy, daily, ashtanga yoga practice.
Almost 2 years have gone by and I am so glad that I went with my gut and quit drinking. In today’s post I want to share with you 7 benefits of not drinking alcohol.
I am way closer to an introvert than an extrovert on the spectrum. Certain social settings make me a little anxious, I am nervous whenever I am meeting new people, I prefer one-on-ones over crowds and have grown to prefer quiet evenings over wild nights. Not drinking alcohol has helped me so much with being more at ease in social settings. I am a lot more comfortable in my own skin, enjoy meeting new people a lot more and I am able to be fully present.
2. Saving money
This is something I believe is worth mentioning. While I never spent a whole lot of money on alcohol, I did spend a decent amount on it whenever I was drinking. It was definitely something I needed to budget for and no longer needing to that feels so good. Plus, there’s traveling. Knowing that alcohol is not one of my expenses makes saving up for traveling and traveling itself a whole lot smoother.
I’ve definitely said and done things in the past while I was drinking that I probably wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for alcohol. While I don’t regret anything I said or did, in retrospect I would have probably done a couple of things differently. These days I am fully aware of my actions, the things that I say and where I am, at all times.
4. Recalling memories
This is embarrassing to admit, but it’s true: There were nights when I simply wasn’t able to recall having met certain people or having said and done certain things. Quitting alcohol has given me back my ability to remember every single moment and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. Great mornings
As I have mentioned earlier, I am sensitive to alcohol. Even if I just have one beer, I can feel it the next day. It wasn’t a great feeling – I felt tired and unwell the next day even if I just had one beer. I stopped drinking because I wanted to do yoga every single morning. It’s been a wonderful 1.5 years of early mornings filled with a healthy breakfast, lovely conversations, yoga and meditation.
6. Wonderful skin
My hormones are all messed up and have been so ever since I hit puberty. While I’ve never had any tests done, my dermatologist confirmed that my hormones are out of balance and that I may not be happy with the current treatment options available. That explains my pimples, cystic acne, greasy hair and extremely dry skin. However, ever since I stopped drinking, my skin looks and feels SO MUCH BETTER. A lot of nights were spent dancing till 4AM and my face looked tired and ashy whenever I rose at 2PM. No more of that. Along with my sanity I got back relatively healthy and glowing skin.
7. Healthier body and mind
I just feel so much healthier. There’s so much to it and it it’s difficult to put it into words. I’ve got more energy, more clarity and I feel a greater sense of ease. There’s more balance in my life, I no longer feel reliant on alcohol, I enjoy early mornings and I am just so much more aware of my likes and dislikes.
While I still enjoy dancing and goofing around with my friends, I no longer really enjoy doing any of that in a club. I can do without the crowds and way to loud music. I don’t feel like I had to give anything up, I just had to open myself to something a little different, something new. I’ve gotten so much out of those past few years, it’s been a truly wonderful journey.