I have rediscovered and enjoyed 3 major things since I cut back on alcohol consumption and scrolling and trolling Instagram. There have definitely been more than 3 positive outcomes, but these are my current favorites.
This is at the top of the list. Nightly wine, hard seltzers, and even shots of the hard stuff during the week would lead to late and restless bedtime. Since I ditched those supposed sleep aids, my Z’s have been stronger and I’ve had so much more real energy for things throughout the day with way less irritability due to sleep deprivation.
More Confidence and Voice
The vicious cycle of taking a drink to take the edge off and then feeling completely anxious and self conscious at the end of an event (or the day after) is not a fun vortex to be in. Also, with little or no social media obligations for posting or scrolling, I am none the wiser about who I’m comparing myself to. After a lifetime of general shyness, and decades of masking it with alcohol, I finally learned to love my own voice and share it. I have also been relieved of all of the silly pressures of proving how cool I think I am while running the very high risk of being “cringe” as the young people would say.
More Time for EVERYTHING
My house is more clean and tidy, the real kind, not just things shoved in closets or drawers. I learned how to sit down and watch movies again. I make eye contact with my own children more often and genuinely laugh and enjoy them because I’m less distracted. Exercise has come back from the dead. Also, we have a dog now. The day that we rescued him was the day I deactivated my Instagram account. More minutes for him and everyone else in my life is what we all deserve.
Doing less of something that has been part of a ritual and routine for so long is a challenge. Rewiring the brain and letting go of habits has definitely been eye opening. Gaining 3 “new” things in life has been worth it so far, and I’m confident that there’s more to come.
■ Elementary Educator for Equity & Cultural Responsibility
■ Collector of Small Moments & Thrifty Finds
■ Wife & Mother
■ Bay Area, CA