The 30 Day Challenge

By Samoa Observer 10 May 2016, 12:00AM

“First, man takes a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes the man.” - Chinese Proverb

I recently ended a relationship where there was too much alcohol involved in our interactions, it wasn’t that we were blacking out in alley ways and waking the next afternoon looking for more drinks, but it was to the point where I didn’t feel like me and I wasn’t living my heart’s dream. – So no more of that person for now and no drinking for a month whilst I reassess my relationship with alcohol. I’m doing the 30 day challenge and I think you should do it too

There are many reasons why you might want to stop drinking alcohol, your reasons are yours and yours alone. One thing I can tell you is that you’ll become healthier and you’ll look at people who are drinking very differently. After all, what is this strange social phenomena where we sit around sipping on thirst-promoting drinks that make us fat and depressed?.

Yes alcohol is a depressant, this means it slows the function of the central nervous system. Alcohol actually blocks some of the messages trying to get to the brain. This alters a person’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision, and hearing. In the same way that alcohol has a depressive effect on higher cognition, it also wreaks havoc on a person’s mood and emotions. Emotions tend to be more “myopic” or extreme under the direct influence of alcohol, but even between drinking sessions there can be a distortion of feeling that leads to depression in some people (that’s what happened to me recently and what has lead me onto this challenge).

The numbness from drinking can alternate with bouts of anger, sadness, or regret, even in people who do not consider themselves alcoholics. For those with existing emotional management issues, the consequences of heavy drinking can be dramatic and even violent. For those in intimate relationships, the drama can even flow over into your romantic or family life.

Tell your friends and family you’re on the 30 day challenge

Tell your family and friends that you’re doing the 30 day challenge and explain why. This way, they’ll understand why you’ve started turning down drinks or trips to the pub and, if they’re awesome, they’ll join you.

Frequently reminding yourself and the people close to you why you’re on the 30 day challenge will help keep you on track, and may even encourage someone else to join you.

Be gentle with yourself

In the early stages, it might be a good idea to keep away from situations where you may be tempted to drink. This could mean opting out of the weekly Hash Harriers, or if you tend to drink when eating out, try going to restaurants that don’t sell alcohol or simply offering to drive. Similarly, try to identify the times when you would usually drink and have a niu instead (omg, so much better for you). So if you would usually head to the pub after work on a Friday evening, you could organise to meet friends at the Apollo Cinema instead., or if you’re giving up alcohol in pursuit of a new, healthier you, why not fill the gap with a weekly Yoga Class (I know a teacher who is doing the 30 day challenge!)  or go swimming to help you wind down?

Identifying your triggers is important, particularly if you’ve tried and struggled to stop drinking in the past. Try to identify why you were unsuccessful – did you still go to the pub most evenings? Did you explain your reasons for not drinking to your partner? Was alcohol still readily available at home?  

You’ll find the benefits start happening straight away. Even if you’re only a once a week drinker. The idea that you’re on a challenge is always exciting and it should be easy for you to reclaim your weekends. You’ll find you’ve more energy. Sex will be better. Your stamina will improve and you’ll have more cash.

Reward Yourself

An easy way to keep track of how you’re doing and keep your motivation up is to give yourself weekly rewards. After your first week plan a hike. I’m actually going for a hike today out to the Lalotalie waterfall walk today, this is a bit of a check it out mission because I’m soon to be offering yoga/hike tours where I’ll take people to the best spots on the island and we’ll do yoga overlooking the most beautiful vistas, gosh we have so many lovely places here!

So the 30 day challenge is something that’s been around for a while and I’m really happy to be doing it, knowing that I have extra cash, which I’ll probably spend at Value N Price makes me very happy indeed. If you’ve been contemplating getting back in shape, there has never been a better time to take the ”30 Day No Drinking Challenge’ than now, because I said so, and I’m awesome.

Nothing will whip you back into shape faster than a good fitness or yoga programme and a month off the booze.

So I hereby challenge you to take the ’30 Day No Drinking Challenge’. If alcohol doesn’t have control over your life, then surely you can survive without it for 30 days? If you can’t quit any vice in your life for 30 days, you need to reconsider who or what is really in control in your life. In fact, many people don’t realise they are addicted to something until they try to quit. 

Get on it.

By Samoa Observer 10 May 2016, 12:00AM

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