So, I’m five days into my Lent goal and already I feel as if it’s been 30. I definitely picked a difficult sacrifice.
I knew I enjoyed drinking, but I didn’t realize just how big a role alcohol played in my life until I decided to give it up.
I discovered that I drink when I come home to unwind, I drink to celebrate and socialize with friends, I drink to make chores seem more fun, and I drink to block out stress.
If I really was going to stay dry, I needed a plan. Here’s what I came up with:
4 Survival Strategies for a Successful Lent
- Keep a substitute on hand at all times.
- Keep busy.
- Stay extra diligent on healthy habits.
- Lean on family and friends.
By Thursday, I knew I was in trouble. I came home from an especially long day of work and all I wanted was to lounge on the couch with a glass of wine.
Obviously, this wasn’t an option, so I asked Mr. Man to please pick me up some sparkling cider. Just having something to sip on was enough to appease the part of my brain that wanted to drink.
This weekend when we were hanging out with friends, I brought my sparkling cider with me. When I ran out of that, I switched to Diet Coke. I discovered — that for me at least — what was in the glass was less important than the physical act of drinking.
I also found it surprising how easily I could forget my craving for a drink.
At different points when I found myself ready to cave, I went to work on the upcoming changes to the site, made the bed or scrubbed the shower. By the time I was finished, the craving had passed.
(Score on the unexpected side effect of increased productivity around the house!)
The less sleep I get, the more likely I am to skip exercising, which makes my stress build up, which makes me want to drink. It’s a vicious downward spiral that even pints of ice cream can’t fix.
Today, I went to yoga, I ate healthy meals (brunch: blueberry waffles and veggie sausage, vanilla chai and coffee; snack: a handful of pistachios; dinner: niçoise salad and more of my sparkling apple cider), and I got between eight and nine hours of sleep the previous night.
The healthier I feel, the easier it is for me to keep up my willpower. Conversely, the crappier I feel, the more difficult it is to maintain my willpower.
Mr. Man knew about my Lent goal, so he has been excellent about checking in on me to see if I need anything – namely more sparkling cider.
When I announced my goal to my friends over the weekend, they were really helpful and supportive. At one point when I was starting to fill my glass with alcohol without even realizing it, one of my friends pointed out what I was doing and asked if I was sure I wanted it. I thanked her and reached for my trusty cider.
Now, thanks to Kreddy, I learned that Lent is actually 46 days, not 40. That’s because it includes Sundays, which are cheat days where you can have whatever you’ve sacrificed.
I’m choosing to go the purist route because one, I’m not doing this based on any particular religion, and two, the more challenging it is, the sweeter the reward will be come Easter. Oh, I can taste the mimosas and bellinis now!
Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it with others and/or share your thoughts with me. Thanks!