Happy Almost New Year! I've been quiet over here for the last couple of weeks due to the holiday craze (oh, and spraining my ankle falling down five stairs!). But it's been a good craze. This year has felt so festive now that my husband and I live in our new house. Decorating for the holidays is much more fun now that we have more than one room to decorate!
Plus, the holidays have given me time to really think about what my future goals are for this blog, and come up with a new series I'd like to call: My Attack on Anxiety. Since embarking on this new winding road of discovery, research, and self-acceptance regarding my anxiety disorder, I've realized a few things that have helped me along the way.
These discoveries are not rocket science. They are very simple things I've tried that make me feel better.
As always, I am no doctor and I have no experience in the mental health field (If you haven't already, please see my disclaimer here), but I have experienced decreased anxiety thanks to my own research and increased focus on my own mental health.
The holidays have reminded me of one significant step I've made to axe my anxiousness:
I quit drinking alcohol.
I know for some people, that may seem impossible. Even if you only drink socially, sometimes there is an expectation to have one, two, three or more drinks because everyone else is. Sometimes, not drinking is even viewed as rude! I've had people - not close friends or family - give me a hard time because of it.
But, since I've become 98% sober (sometimes I'll have one drink at an event), I've noticed a dramatic decrease in my anxiety levels. Alcohol affects different people in different ways, and although many people drink to be more relaxed, alcohol actually heightens my anxiety. After one drink, I begin to feel my heart and mind race. I feel hot, flushed, and uneasy. It's a brutal feeling that only gets worse with more drinks.
And, the day after I've had a few drinks, my anxiety is through the roof. My mind and adrenaline go into a negative overdrive for most of the day. It's awful, and just so not worth it to me.
When I made the decision to be a non-drinker, I knew it would be a little challenging at times. I almost always get the, "Are you pregnant?" look (especially now that I've been married for over a year). Usually, I don't give much of a reason, but I've been thinking about it recently, and I'm not really sure why. I guess it's because I felt my reason was just too personal or huge to put out there in certain situations.
But, it's not. I don't drink alcohol because alcohol makes me anxious. That's it!
With New Year's Eve only two days away, I'm more than happy to stay alcohol-free. Sticking to water, juice, or diet pop isn't even that hard. Usually, at a social gathering, it's just the comfort of having a glass in my hand that is all I need.
Plus, there are many alcohol-free cocktails that are really good! A sweet friend of mine brought these for me at a recent Christmas party:
This will likely be my last post until 2013, so whatever you have planned this New Year's Eve - whether it's a big party or a quiet night in - have a wonderful time. And, thank you for reading my blog this year. It means the world!