Thursday, July 19, 2012

Breaking up with booze

It’s Dry July this month and we’re almost three weeks in at the Urban Remedy HQ. Surprisingly enough, it hasn’t been that hard – okay, so we’re lucky enough to have lots of yummy juice at our disposal (that definitely helps) but interestingly the real challenge has been other people’s reactions. Ranging from “Really, no booze for a month?”, to “Kudos but I wouldn’t” or simply “Why?”, we had quite the range! On the whole though, friends and family have been very encouraging and the motivation of supporting such a worthy cause (adults living with cancer) has really kept us going.

This week, we wanted to share a few of our thoughts surrounding alcohol by asking 3 simple questions

1. How does booze affect you?

We all know that alcohol hits our livers hard. This poor overworked organ can only process ½ an ounce of ethanol in an hour – that’s one beer, one shot or a small glass of wine. Any more than that and it goes into overdrive, and you get… well, inebriated. What’s actually happening is the alcohol your liver can’t handle is circulating throughout your body; yes, we know… not the nicest of thoughts. It therefore makes sense that our other detoxification organs (namely the skin) feel the strain when our liver can’t keep up with our drinking. For a full breakdown of the physical effects, check out our blog on alcohol and the liver.

But the effects of booze are not just physical. Alcohol affects our mental state and mood as well. The immediate repercussions of drinking include increased confidence, elation and (cough cough) stupidity. Not to mention beer goggles. But what about the day after? When we’re hung over, we feel less than joyful and are definitely not functioning at full capacity. It’s not rocket science; our body is still playing catch up and trying to clear the toxins from the night before.

2. What place does alcohol occupy in your life?

When it comes to drinking, it’s pretty simple: most of us do too much of it too often. But why do we do it? We drink out of social custom, peer pressure, habit, boredom… We also drink to relieve stress and increase confidence. The problem is that alcohol is such an integral part of our social fabric that we sometimes fail to examine the place it occupies in our own lives, or whether our relationship with it could do with a little tune-up.

Are you drinking alone? Drinking too fast? Drinking too often? Drinking without thinking? Drinking to drown sorrows? Most of us are guilty of one of the aforementioned charges. Does that mean that we are all alcoholics? Probably not. What it does mean is that it may be time to look at the role alcohol plays in our lives…

3. How can you improve your relationship with alcohol?

There are many ways to improve your relationship with booze. If you’re already asking yourself this question, you’re on the right track. We’re not about extreme views at UR, so we’re not suggesting you never have a glass of wine or beer again. BUT… ask yourself how rich your life is without alcohol. If the canvas is looking rather blank, it could be time to add some other activities in! The best way to take stock of this is to have a mini-break from alcohol. Split up for a little while; you can always get back together, on your terms this time. There are so many organised ways to take a vacation from booze – FebFast, Dry July and Hello Sunday Morning are our faves.

So bottom’s up to Dry July! Green juice in hand of course.

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