A drink here and there, a drink socially with friends, a drink to drown anxiety or sadness or a drink to calm the nerves – what is your relationship with alcohol? Starting Dry January is something that a total of 35% of adults participated in 2022. This year, the challenge is gaining momentum after many saw less anxiety and depression, better sleep and better cognitive brain function.
Stress and anxiety unfortunately play such a large role in life, especially today. A study in 2019 by the Nation Library of Medicine reported alcohol use in women has increased by 84% over the past 10 years. Why? The personal stress of keeping it all together, working, mothering, pandemic, body health, cooking, cleaning and keeping up with perfect social media squares, you fill in the blank! Those couple glasses of wine for "me time" have become a social norm as a way for moms to self medicate. But this particular medication has depressant effects causing a link between drinking and depression/anxiety. There can be a better approach than reaching for that glass of wine, or shot of whiskey.
As moms, we juggle a million things a day, ending the day sometimes tired, often turning to a glass of wine to “wind down”, and longing for some time to just be. The alcohol you reach for can interfere with a good nights sleep – something that we desperately need. Although alcohol has impressive sedating effects, it is quickly absorbed and can be cleared from the body within two to five hours. Once gone, your body can become hyper alert in the middle of the night. REM – or dream – sleep is suppressed when alcohol is present in the body. If deep sleep is inconsistent or non-existent we have trouble gaining enough energy to stay present during the next day.
Staying present is the best thing we can offer ourselves and our families. To boost energy and cognitive function, try no alcohol for a month! A recent study showed that 20,000 people who had 3.5 glasses of wine a week had higher levels of iron in the brain resulting in less cognitive function. That brain fog does not have to last ladies!
If you find yourself feeling overly anxious and depressed, waking up restless or feeling less energetic and foggy, try cutting out alcohol. Want the habit to stick? Trying going for 2 months. Keep a journal and record how you feel or how you are sleeping so you can look back and make a comparison for change. Stay focused on a healthier you to be the best you can be for yourself. If you need accountability, don't be afraid to reach out! Plug into a BodyWell Program to help you stay on your goals and see that your not the only one. Motherhood is hard, but it is SO rewarding. It helps to know your not alone and that's what this community of motherhood is for. So grab your water, your Noughty Chardonnay, your SeedLip and Lyre's and get crafty with the cocktails!