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Day 9 – Habit Change and Treat Management

“When I let go of what I am I become what I might be“
– Lao Tzu

Treat management has been a lifelong challenge for me. There are many foods, beverages, and activities that I love (e.g., chocolate, watching videos, margaritas). I’m very fussy about taste and texture, so only certain foods and beverages achieve treat status. Same with videos.

It’s not unusual to fall into periods where I indulge too much/often on a particular treat. Over time, I learned to start rotating them, so I don’t become obsessed with any particular treat.

This is one way you can look at Dryuary. Some of you might end up loving how you feel this month so much that you decide to give up drinking permanently/mostly. Increased productivity is a common motivator for this decision. Totally rational.

Many others will decide to resume moderate drinking — also a rational choice. For many people, knowing this break is temporary makes it easier to abstain in January. For others, thinking of it as permanent makes it easier. Go figure. Think whichever way works for you.

Many folks take on broader goals in January, abstaining not only from alcohol, but from sugar, meat, processed foods, etc. Hopefully, whatever your goals, there are still some treats that are not off limits this month. Ideally enough so that you can rotate them.

If you’re struggling with sticking to your decision to abstain, consider seeking support (e.g., online through the Forum or on one of the phone chats). Make a note of triggers as they arise. For example, a coworker gets promoted or fired; a group decides to go to happy hour after work to celebrate/commiserate; you’re not sure you can go without having a ‘real’ drink. Stuff like this happens all the time. Make a note of it. Surf the urge to drink for one hour, and see if the urge subsides. Seek support online.

Trouble sleeping is a common issue when taking a break from drinking. There are many things to try, not all of which work for everyone, every time (e.g., melatonin). Meditation, reading, watching Bob Ross videos, listening to nature sounds are things worth trying. Exercise definitely helps me sleep, but not too close to bedtime. Yoga is more relaxing and is less likely to keep you up; in fact, it will probably help you sleep.

Post submitted by:  Donna (MM Forum & MM Phone Chat)