dry july

31 things you can do during Dry July other than get boozed.

 

One of the scariest things about ‘not drinking; whether it be for a little while or forever, at first I must admit, is the thought of, ‘well what exactly am I going to do instead?’ I remember having this thought, let me be frank, it was a fear. Not only was I stressing out about what people would think of me, if I wasn’t drinking alcohol at every event, which for me at the time, was most of the time, I also had this added fear of not just missing out but confusion about what in fact one does with one’s time when one isn’t pissing the night away.

 

For days I drew a blank, and I honestly could not imagine what I would do when I wasn’t drinking, but I quickly learnt there is an entire world that opens to you when you put a cap on the bottle popping and start living your life rather than wasting it, by getting wasted. And even if you not a ‘I have a problem,’ type drinker, you’re more of a social drinker, or a wine with the girls drinker or a mummy needs her medicine drinker, either way, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish and experience when you don’t have a Savvy B under your belt.

 

Here is a list of 31 things you can do during Dry July other than drink alcohol.

 

1.     Swap your G&T for a Tea

Drink tea, I know this sounds boring to some people, but I find that conversations with my girlfriends are more enlightening, less bitchy and involve less ‘woooo-ing’ when I drink tea with my girlfriends instead of a G&T

 

2.     Walk It Off

Yes, that’s right nature fans, walking is the actual best, and we don’t do enough of it and walking to the bar to get another round of drinks doesn’t count. Going for a walk just for 20 mins (or for as long as your beer clanging sessions would last) will make you feel amazing. It will give you that ‘take the edge off’ feeling without the next day hangover and it will save you some pennies too

 

3.     Do something you haven’t done since you were a kid. Rock-climbing, dance class, trampolining, fancy dress, gymnastics, go on a swing, jump in a puddle. The possibilities are endless. Stuck in the mud is a great game to play with a group of friends.

 

4.     Crafternoon. Find anything creative that floats your boat, my personal fave is colouring in! I own a mindfulness adult colouring book (he only ‘adult’ book I own). Anything your nanna would do; cross stich, long stitch, knitting or the ironing (I think) can fall under this category.

 

5.     Bake something in your actual kitchen

Get out those pans and that lining paper and get baking Martha Stewart. Make a cake or something from that Paleo cookbook you got from the  in-laws (how lovely). Make a mess in the kitchen and come up with something yummy. I personally stay away from anything loaded with sugar and out of the packet, I try to create healthy and delicious treats like this rhubarb crumble with a twist (the twist is it’s good for you).

 

6.     Read that book your friend recommended. (The Social Rebellion or UnEdited are also great reads).

 

7.     Join a sport, my pick would be Ultimate Frisbee, but anything that involves you running around chasing something other than skirt will not only keep you otr of trouble but will give you a juicy endorphin rush at the end of the game.

 

8.     Binge listen to that podcast everyone’s talking about. I’d recommend Healthy-ish, hosted by yours truly but I have some other recommendations here.

 

9.     Puppy sit. Need I say anymore?

 

10.  If it’s warm, find a pool or the ocean and get wet rather than wetting your whistle. I always find a body of water resets me, this might be because I live close to the beach and am a Piscean, which apparently means I’m super creative and a water sign?! Either way, jumping in the ocean and washing the day away is one of my happy places, or a cold shower will the do the trick.

 

11.  Do your tax, let’s be real, it’s the start of a new financial year, you’re busy and you might be due a tax return, this is the ultimate time to get your tax in early nerd.

 

12.  Clean out your wardrobe, or tidy up your floor-drobe. You will find many items of clothing that you haven’t worn in ages, this might be a good time to give your fashion house an overhaul and get rid of the clutter. I advise doing this gradually but if you want a challenge, go for a capsule wardrobe.

 

13.  Take a friend to a new place to eat. Find out where all the cool kids are eating brunch and take a friend there for a meal. Hanging out with friends during the day, away from pubs and parks next to bottle shops, will become more normal to you the more you do it, so start with today and brunch in a new place.

 

14.  Hangout with some old(er) people. I love hanging out with my Mum and her friends, they give me such a sense of perspective. She lives next to some grandparent aged people who I often go and have a coffee with and hear about how life was for them. I find this a beautiful way to learn and connect to people who have fascinating stories and a lot of time on their hands (and if I time it right, fresh scones out of the oven).

 

15.  Volunteer with a local community aid project. The best way to stop obsessing over what you might be missing out on because you weren’t out last night, is to find something bigger than yourself and get committed. Giving back is one of the most instantly gratifying things we can do as human beings and I’d like to believe that being kind towards others will fill us up.

 

16.  Start a vertical garden, or a rooftop garden, or a community garden, or just any kind of garden. I used to roll my eyes when my parents would spend time in the garden, what a yawn fest. Well now, I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb (as most of the plants I have attempted o grow have died), but I am into it! And I am getting better at it.

 

17.  Wash your car or your cat if you have a cat and it needs a bath (I’m not a cat person so I’m just guessing they need the occasional bath?). You may as well save your sweet cash that you’d splurge on the hand wash and detail people up the road (while enduring a terrible coffee), and put your new-found freedom to good use. Wash your own car or your neighbours if you’re feeling extra generous.

 

18.  Make your own beauty products. In my quest to rid my life of as many toxins as possible (the first one being alcohol in January 2015), I also found it a natural step to start looking into what products I was smearing on my body. My quest to stick to natural has become a way of life and I find my skins glows when I use the homemade stuff on my face in the shower.

 

19.  Relax. Why not just have a night in and chill out!

 

20.  Plan a holiday. Get out a scrap book and start planning your next trip, it may only be a year away if you use all the money you are going to save by not drinking alcohol! Why not dream up your ultimate trip and then put a plan in place to get there. Life is for living.

 

21.  Research the KETO diet and then decide to just stick to what you are doing because it’s easier. To be fair I do try to stick to the KETO diet as much as possible, and I am a huge nerd, so anything that gets me onto a click hole about nutrition and the latest greatest life changing research will have me in an afternoon spin for hours.

 

22.  Use up that random Group On voucher your distant cousin gave you last Christmas. Have you ever gone through your wallet and found old vouchers or half used gift cards? Well spend up Sally! You may as well take a trip to the shops and buy yourself a treat (a non-alcoholic treat). Dust of that old Group On experience that was ridiculously discounted and go and enjoy it, even if it is a birdwatching weekend.

 

23.  Organise your utensils, or whichever draw in your house becomes the ‘oh I’ll just chuck that in there’ draw. Clean it out! You don’t need three whisks now do you?

 

24.  Figure out how to put that DIY project that’s been I the corner of the spare room together.

 

25.  Have an early night. It’s so underrated, but sleep is the number one thing you can do for your health. Get some shut-eye, don’t watch that next episode of whatever, wind down and crawl into bed. You’ll feel fresher and better in the morning. Try to get to bed by 10pm if you can, and then get up earlier!

 

 

26.  Get up and watch the sunrise (not the TV show, I mean the actual sun rising) Some really smart people know why this is of benefit to one’s health and mood, so you should read more about it in this article.  

 

27.  Go for a drive in a really rich area and look at the houses, or just a drive through the closest National Park will do the trick .I know this is not the more environmentally sound advice, but a long drive through some beautiful scenery take life the burden of modern-day dilemma’s. I also understand that sitting in traffic and being caught in School Zones can make even the most patient person want to snap, so try to get on the open road and out of the burbs. Unless you hate driving, then just see Point 2.

 

28.  Feed the birds. Make your own bird bath and leave some seed out on your porch, window sill or balcony. Before long you’ll have some fathered friends some to visit and you will more than likely end up talking to them. No judgement You do you.

 

29.  Get a massage. Go on. Book one in! If massages are usually a once a year splurge, remember all that cash you are saving by not going to the bar every afternoon?! Use that money and book in a 90-minute tension release. Drink plenty of water afterwards.

 

30.  Have a big ol’ nap. Unlike Point 25, having a nap is something you can do in the middle of the day and anywhere from 10-22 minutes. I’m not sure of the science behind 22 minutes being the ultimate time for a disco nap but it’ll sure stop you going to pub and smashing a champers. Here is the ultimate guide to napping. You’re welcome.

 

31.  Make your own Kombucha. You do need a ‘scoby’ to start, so you need to find someone who already does their own brew, but once you get going you’ll have endless supplies of a healthy drink you can take on picnics and parties or drop some off for your neighbours.

 

 

31 Benefits of Giving Up The Booze for 31 Days

 

1.   You will save a heap o’ cold hard cash. Not that anyone uses cash anymore - I mean, I rarely have cash in my wallet, it’s all tap this, tap that, PIN, swipe and away we go - BUT, there’ll be some extra fat in your piggy bank this month. I don’t know you, so I can’t take a guess at how much you guzzle on an average week, but let’s say you have a bottle of wine twice a week with friends for dinner, and half a dozen beers/ciders over the weekend. Again, all socially, all above board but that sounds like an average week, right? That’s around $20 a bottle of wine, and maybe $8 a beer/cider if it’s not in a can.

So that’s: $20 x 2 + $8 x 6 = $88 per week.

That’s about $350 this month that you will have saved by not drinking!

2.   Your brain will begin to heal. Once you go alcohol free that ‘foggy’ feeling in your brain will, slowly but surely, go away. If you have been heavily drinking for many years, as many of us have, you may have forgotten that wonderful feeling of being able to think clearly and deeply. It will take a little bit of time but soon enough you’ll start to feel clear in your mind. This is because you’ve stopped actively destroying your brain cells - yay, can we get up and do a happy dance or what!

 

3.   Your liver will begin to rejuvenate. is doesn’t seem like a sexy benefit, but your liver function is actually really important. Although this is an ‘inside’ bene t, the liver produces proteins that are important in blood clotting and is one of the organs that break down old or damaged blood cells. It plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body, it breaks down fats to produce energy.

 

4.   You don’t have to kid yourself or your friends anymore! No more sneaking around. I used to under estimate how many drinks I’d had, because the real number sounded bad, and I would always feel guilty about this. You too? Oh, glad it wasn’t just me. Well, you won’t have the drinkie guilt’s anymore, because you won’t need to downplay how many soda-streams

 

you’ve been through, will you?

 

5.   You’re glowing and gorgeous. Your skin will improve. Redness will disappear, dark circles will lift and the whites will make your eyes pop. Damn girl, you’re going to look good. Damn boy, you’ll be looking ne! Drinking less alcohol will have a positive impact on your appearance. And who doesn’t want to look better!?! Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it can make you pee more and cause you to become dehydrated. You know the ‘10pm rule’? I used to try not to go to the bathroom on a night out until after 10pm, because if one were to ‘break the seal’ before 10pm, it felt like you would need to go to the bathroom all the night long. Don’t know why that was, probably an urban myth; but a universal truth to all the clubbers nonetheless. In short, alcohol dehydrates you and depletes you of nutrients, which shows up on your face. Watch this space... rather, watch your face!

6.   You sleep like a baby. Because your body isn’t using all its function to rid itself of the poison you guzzled in the lead up to nigh-nighs, you will sleep better, and better and better. You’re welcome.

7.   You will experience the sheer joy of waking up sober. is feeling is surprisingly addictive, and will overshadow your desire to stay out, because waking up fresh, energized and with a smile, is the best.

8.   Dem feels. You just feel better. It only takes a couple of days and you feel better about yourself, about life in general - damn, you just feel good! You’ll feel like doing high kicks and handstands. Your natural energy will return and you’ll be peachy keen, and there ain’t nothing you can do about it. Except cartwheel through the lounge room and shock the kids!

9.   Your hair and nails with strengthen. I know the boys are like, ‘great, that’s awesome Maz, I really want long luscious locks and beautifully manicured tips’, but this is a plus for both men and women. Your hair and nail strength is a direct reflection of what’s going on internally. As your immune system builds, so does the strength in your hair and nails. And hey, they are called MANicures for a reason - ain’t no shame in a man who grooms. Just saying.

 

10.                 Look at all this free time you have. You used to spend a lot of time just hanging out at a bar talking nonsense, but these days you’ll finally have some extra time to learn a language, start cross stitching, take up a social sport, study that course you’ve always talked about, read a book... or write a book!

 

11.                 You might see dead people. Well, hopefully not, but your senses will heighten. is s is a fact. A fresh soda water with some lime in it will feel like angel tears on your tongue. You’ll literally be able to stop and smell the roses, think clearer, hear your kids whispering in the next room, and get your touchy feely on – oh yeah! Go you.

 

12.                 Wait, is it compliments week? It sure is. People will tell you how good you look. Family, friends, coworkers, they’ll all notice it and they’ll feel compelled to tell you that you look great. And when they ask what you’re doing differently, it’s up to you how you respond. You can tell them you’ve living alcohol free for a month, or you can say you’ve joined a secret fitness cult, up to you.

 

13.                 You’ll be super aware of things around you. It’s like you’ll have this new way of seeing things, you’ll notice the birds singing, the sun on your face, how angry everyone else is, how majestic parts of our world can be. You will be more aware, awake and conscious of your world.

14.                 New bestie! You’ll start to like yourself more. You might not have thought about it much, but would you want to hang out with you? Well you will now, because you are an enlightened, new being with a life ahead of you that is for living, not wasting. With less crappy choices to feel bad about, you’ll start to like yourself again.

15.                 You’re not just a goal setter, you are a goal doer. Setting a personal goal to live alcohol free for 31 days is a big ask, and completing that task puts you in the same league as Bradley Cooper, Jenny from e Block, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Eminem from 8 Mile and Blake Lively, who is married to Ryan Reynolds (not that that’s directly related to her not drinking, but she did score Hollywood’s biggest heartthrob). Being able to set a goal, and stay true to it, empowers you.

16.                 Mr. and Mrs. Optimism. As you begin to feel stronger and healthier, you will have a renewed sense of optimism for the days ahead of you. You’ll be able to see a world filled with endless possibilities, and that feels amazing.

17.                 You’ll see your friendships for what they represent and perhaps be emboldened do some friendship-garden pruning, which is perfect. If you want to fly with the eagles, surround yourself with eagles.

 

18.                 Hello Einstein. You’ll feel like a creative genius. It’s like someone switched on your brain, like an actual lightbulb flicked on inside your head. Maybe at some stage it flickered on and then dimmed; but after a while of living alcohol free, your brain becomes filled with dreams, plans and things you’ve never thought about before. No more coming up with great ideas that end up in the gutter with your evening.

19.                 Did you just become a scientist? Probably not, unless you are a scientist; in which case, can you please explain why we still tie up our shoes with shoelaces? Anyway, whether you are or aren’t - a scientist - you’ll feel like experimenting, maybe in the bedroom, maybe other place too. You will want to try new things and you’ll feel more adventurous. You might walk when it rains rather than run, you might order something totally new from a menu, book a spontaneous holiday to Japan. e adventurous side of you has always been there, you are just giving him or her permission to shine.

Musical Interlude

“I'm goanna give myself permission to shine I'm gonna shine so brightGonna make every head want to turn.”

Bachelor Girl

 

20.                 You won’t do any stupid things (most likely - or if you do, you’ll at least be 100 percent aware that you are doing a stupid thing).

 

21.                 You will become a nicer human and your future self will thank you for it - as will your barista - as will many other people you meet along the way.

22.                 You will smell better. No more next day wreak of booze, you smell as fresh as a flower in a flower pot.

23.                 e C-bomb. By not drinking from the bottle, you’ll reduce your risk of cancer by a decent percentage. ‘risk varies for each type of cancer and is influenced by how much you are drinking ... Heavy drinkers can have as much as a 10- 15 times higher risk of developing cancers than those who do not drink. Risk begins to increase after just 1 drink a day for women or 2 for men.’ - OncoLink.org, the first cancer information website available to the public cites. Consistent exposure to alcohol is proven to be a leading cause of many cancers, so I would say this is solid motivator. Avoiding the big C-bomb is a great reason to stop drinking for a bit. Note: Once you are aware of this fact however, you’ll always be aware. So, if you do start drinking like a madman again, and you know you are significantly increasing your chances of getting the C-bomb, you gotta sit with that choice. Sorry to burst your bubble.

24.                 Rather than being on the sauce, you will become the source. If you still go out with your friends - and you can - you will become a reliable source of the information you’re not-so-sober friends are blanking on; who said what, when they left where, and how they ended up there. Suddenly, your credibility is through the roof, and all you did was stay alcohol free. By default, you become everyone’s new best friend as you stop people from driving home drunk and remind them where their wallet is. You’re such a good friend. You’re guaranteed to be flooded with calls from friends you went out with the night before to help them make sense of their night. You are now a detective helping each friend piece together their embarrassing calamities from the last 12 hours.

25.                 No more hangovers. Bon voyage headaches. Au revoir queasy stomach. Goodbye regrets! No more trying to figure out what happened last night, no more 11am pizza binges, no more having to take four showers in one day, to wash away the sweat of a hangover. You’re o seizing the day instead – that’s cool!

26.                 Have you lost weight? Yes, you have. You aren’t guzzling empty calories on the weekend so you’re no longer storing them around your middle for a rainy day. Those who cut out alcohol can expect to lose on average 2kg-4kg over the course of one month without making any other changes. this is a significant amount, and can lead to improved self-esteem, improved energy levels, and reduce chronic disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Pay attention to your face Cheryl, it’s changing. Two words my friend – weight loss.

27.                 You will start to see life through a new lens. e reason why no one wants to be the sober person in the room, is because the sober person can clearly and fairly see what moronic things drunk people do.

28.                 Not only will you begin seeing things differently, you’ll find you’ll also develop an overwhelming sense of empathy for others. As your brain becomes rewired and you can better assess your behaviors; you’ll feel more tolerant, you’ll become more patient, and less angry. And, as you start to process your emotions, and get to know yourself better, you will develop a bigger capacity for those around you. And all the kids cheered “Way to go Dad!!”

29.                 Increased mental focus. You are better able to focus on the job (or thought) at hand (or in your head). A far cry from suffering chronic double vision after too many shandy’s in the sun. Your ability to take up tasks will improve; your productive output will increase and you will be able to concentrate and be less flighty with your thoughts. You can see clearly now the rain has gone.

30.                 You are a Daft Punk song; ‘Work it harder, make it better, do it faster, makes us stronger.’

31.                 You’re A Unicorn. Your non-drinking status has transformed you into a unicorn, and every single person within earshot wants to come over and ask questions. Magical.

 

Well Wellness, answer me this.

Well Wellness, answer me this.

Why a post on a womens wellness Instagram account deserves a rant.

This chick is kicking her diagnosis in the a**

Did you know many Epilepsy sufferers are non-drinkers? I didn’t. I fact, I didn’t know anybody who suffered from epilepsy until I met Malinda. And in my mind, I’m not sure what an epilepsy suffered ‘looked like’ but this chick is glam, gorge and super confident. She is totally ok with her diagnosis, she is vocal about bringing attention to her condition, to help anyone in her health predicament feel good about themselves despite a diagnosis. She uses #knowepilepsynofear on Instagram where she BLOGs about her adventures and helps to educate people.  So when it comes to epilepsy, apparently there are some people who are allowed to drink in moderation, all approved by the Dr of course! And the Neurologist and the other health care professionals with the authority to tell you so. However, it didn’t appear to work in Malinda’s favour.

 

Malinda Hayward was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with epilepsy and then spent the next ten years in denial about her condition. Not wanting to accept the diagnosis, she continued to drink as most 21 year olds do. ‘I drank alcohol and not just to enjoy the taste, I guess I didn’t want to miss out on anything that a regular healthy 20-something year olds would be able to try or do’ and on reflection she admits, ‘at times I also used it to self-medicate.’

 

Suffering from chronic depression and severe anxiety since the age of 15, ‘sometimes it was nice to feel good from the ‘high’ that being drunk provided,’ Malinda shares, and other times it was comforting for her to be able to forget about her impending health conditions or the latest break-up that was nursing a broken heart from.

 

It took her health to decline further for Malinda to understand that drinking was no helping. That feeling that so called ‘high’ was taking a huge toll on her mental health, her longevity, her daily life and her physical body. It just wasn’t working for her anymore.

 

So, what is Malinda doing?

 

She’s taking a cheeky three months alcohol-free from June 1st, 2018 and using The Social Rebellion as her guide to navigate this new territory. Malinda admits, ‘I know that I feel 1000 times better when I’ve abstained from alcohol for an extended period,’ and she is ready to find a more sustainably sober life. One that will see her health continually improve, and one you can read about as she shares her journey on Instagram @malindahayward When she is healthy in her mind and body, Malinda understands herself better and makes better choices.

 

During her three months alcohol-free, let’s call it a three-month social rebellion, Malinda is encouraging her friends and family to live alcohol-free her for one of the three months, she is also raising money during her journey for Epilepsy Action Australia.

 

Go girl! We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see how your life will transform in three months.

Exactly What To Say When You're Not Drinking.

Exactly What To Say When You're Not Drinking.

If you have decided to stop drinking for a little or a long time (good for you) here is a comprehensive list of exactly what to say to people who ask, ‘so why aren’t you drinking?’