You might have recently reduced your alcohol intake, but what do you replace it with? Check out these suggestions for new ways to feel organised and motivated, to get out and about and meet others, while keeping your mind and body healthy and active.
1. Walk it off
Not only is walking a great activity to do instead of drinking, but it also comes with a host of health benefits. In fact, walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke by 35% percent and Type 2 diabetes by 40%.
Compose a list of local walks in your neighbourhood, or further afield. Find your state national parks, such as Victoria Walks and Visit NSW, see lists of walking tracks on their websites. Some even have themed walking tours too or share dog friendly on and off leash areas.
2. Make a List
Our brains love ordered tasks. Studies have actually shown that people perform better when they have written down what they need to do. Paula Rizzo is The List Producer. She says lists can help reduce anxiety, increase your self esteem and improve your focus amongst other great benefits. Your list might cover jobs you want to do around the house, or holiday destinations you are saving up for.
3. Suspend reality – escape into the arts
Grab tickets to the theatre, catch a movie with friends, take a wander through a gallery, or crack up laughing at a comedy club. You might even find discounted tickets on certain nights of the week. Ask a friend along, and schedule your time for the event only so you don’t feel uncomfortable about declining drinks afterwards.
4. Give to others
Volunteering your time and energy is such a rewarding gesture. Volunteering can help you expand your mindset, meet new people, contribute to community, and feel valued and vital. From annual events, to ongoing contributions making volunteering a part of your life has so many benefits. Check out Volunteering Australia for ideas on how to be involved in your community
5. Learn something new
Join a weekend workshop or an evening class to get yourself out of the house, try new things, take up new mindful habits, broaden your interest and social circle, and distract yourself from turning to drink. From sewing, cooking, music, workshop skills and learning a language – opening yourself up to like-minded people and new hobbies is a wonderful way to reinvent or reconnect with yourself.
Still searching for your thing? Try these suggestions to keep you moving towards your goals:
- Listen to a podcast (check out On the Road and Sober Awkward )
- Help a mate out with a project they’re struggling to get on top of
- Write a journal
- Spend time with an elderly relative and record their history
- Finish a DIY home project job
- Crack open a jigsaw puzzle
- Swim laps at the pool (or in the ocean)
- Bring out your favourite board games from when you were a kid
- Experiment cooking new dishes
- Experiment with non-alcoholic drinks
- Join a seed bank organisation and plant a veggie garden
- Take a bike ride along a path you’ve never explored before
- Take on an adrenalin challenge – ziplining or skydiving anyone?
- Organise your digital photos or print them and place into frames
- Head out to an exercise class, or meditation session
- Join a Tree Planting or Clean Up community day
- Join organisations like Men’s Shed or CWA or St John’s Ambulance and help with community events
- Hand-make thank you, greeting or special occasion cards
- Prep healthy lunches for your week
- Pay it forward by donating something to someone in your community
- Write your own relationship journey with alcohol and share it with HSM community