19 for 2019: mid-week 9 update

Week of 25 February

Whatever is the world coming to? A mid-week update? This never happens! Next thing you know I’ll be returning to blogging every day.

Maybe not.

This is an update about getting ready to take on thing 13 from my 19 for 2019 list, which is to go alcohol-free for a month.

I did a 30-day alcohol-free challenge in 2016.

I discovered that it wasn’t that difficult to do because I’m what Gretchen Rubin refers to as an “abstainer”, which means I find it easier to give up something entirely than to set limits on how much of it I can have.

This may sound extreme to those who push the “everything in moderation” barrow, as that obviously works for them. It does not work for me. Example: If I open a packet of chocolate, I can’t just have one or two pieces. I have it all. If I don’t open it, I won’t have any. If I don’t have it in the house, I don’t want it and I don’t go out and get it.

So back in 2016, once I’d made the decision not to drink for a month, I didn’t have to think about it again. I wasn’t going to drink. I would always refuse.

I noticed benefits in doing this. No seedy feeling in the morning from having one extra wine the night before. I felt like I had more energy and I felt less weighty. I also managed to get to bed earlier most nights because I wasn’t staying up having that last glass of wine that contributed to the morning seedy feeling.

And, for me, going to bed earlier is a good thing. I normally get up around 5 am to go for walk, so staying up past 11.00 or even until 10.30 (or 10.00 . . .  *squirms nervously* *emits small squeak* . . . let’s not go too far here . . .) means I don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours sleep or whatever it is. I’ve read different accounts, but none of them say that fewer than six hours sleep a night, which is what I do most nights, is okay.

Based on my experience last time, I think that alcohol-free March (no cool names like Dry July or Ocsober here) is the perfect time to start putting steps into place to get more sleep. So in March, my goal is to get my hours of sleep closer to seven hours a night than six. Normally, I wouldn’t try to do more than one 30-day challenge at a time. But if I look at getting more sleep as being my goal, then going without alcohol is one strategy I’m using to get to that goal. So yes, it’s a thing in itself, but it’s more than that so I don’t feel like I’m taking on two separate challenges.

Unfortunately, 1 March is a Friday, and starting this challenge on a weekend is probably not ideal. Also, there are actually five weekends in March so I really drew the short straw there!

I’ll be posting more than normal in March as I work through this. There are a couple of other experiments I’m going to try out at the same time that are also connected to getting more sleep and I want to keep myself accountable and have a record of how it’s all going. It all links back to thing 6, which is taking better care of myself so I have the energy to be able to do all the things on my list. I’m interested to see how it all pans out over the month.

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