We are Just finishing up a Dry January Challenge and some of the women are expressing they are EXHAUSTED and not feeling great, I had to think back and yes I remember this feeling, but the point is I had to think back.
Early Sobriety is tiring, not only are you trying to avoid drinking, manage emotions, but also thinking what in the hell why am I not feeling better, I’ve stopped drinking. I should feel like a million dollars, and honestly that can stem some panic, the thoughts of why should I bother if I feel like hell and am exhausted at least when I was drinking I had energy (ummm not really remember that brain is tricky, remember those debilitating hangovers)
Tired in Early Sobriety Tips
Energy levels in humans ebb and flow in everyone. So remember this if you are feeling exhausted. It’s normal.
Your body is healing, we didn’t create a drinking habit in one day, years of abuse is not going to get healed in one day.
Sleep, yes sleep stop fighting it
I know we feel like we should be doing something, give yourself a pat on the back for doing sobriety, you are doing something you are changing a massive habit.
Cry if you need to, Crying is a release
Nutrition is super important, protein, complex carbs and fats are going to be key ensure you are having a mid afternoon healthy snack (fruit apple with peanut butter is my go to) for energy levels and moods
If you are falling asleep at work get up and stretch, we really aren’t made to sit for 8 hours a day.
Put a cool compress on your head or wash your face in cool water.
Get some fresh air, go for a walk, jog, bike ride just get outside even if you don’t want to, go around the block.
Minimize sugar, to avoid the blood sugar highs and lows.
Watch your coffee/ tea intake
Know that this will pass I promise, remember I said I had to think back, don’t give up because you are tired.
If you want to join an awesome group of women in all stages of recovery, because being alone sucks, I have a SECRET FACEBOOK GROUP Friend me on the link and then message me to join, we discuss all things sobriety, fitness, nutrition, lifestyle the good the bad and the ugly.
About 7 Years ago when I decided to lose weight, I put myself on a restrictive diet (like most people do and before, I knew better), and of course that included no booze, after about 1.5 months I was out and treated myself to cocktails, cigarettes and all the food and then I found it harder to not drink and stay on a restricted diet (because ultimately real life doesn’t allow restrictive diets forever) and by the end of my drinking career 4 years later, we had moved, my stress levels were at an all time high, I was barely making it to the gym. My mental & physical health were suffering horribly. I then started to look at my drinking it took me another 1.5 to get continuous sobriety but in the mean time I worked on getting sober and got my butt back to the gym.
How fitness helped me give up the booze.
WEEKENDS: I started working out early morning on the weekends, I booked a exercise class or yoga no more mind mentality of a Monday to Friday week. I turned my week into 7 days. Not a work week & weekend. A trademark line I use all the time is your week has 7 days not 5. This also gave me days during the week to sleep in a little longer
CONNECTION: I found a community of like minded friends at the gym. Good chance that people who are at the gym at 7am on Saturday or Sunday weren’t out boozing it up the night before. In fact I’ve met 2 great friends at the gym ( one is in recovery and the other is a competitor and her lifestyle is no alcohol) and I meet up with group of regulars that ask me where I’ve been if they don’t see me.
ENDORPHINS: These are those feel good feelings that are naturally produced from exercise. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphinsalso trigger a positive feeling in the body.
RELIEVES BOREDOM: I was so bored in my first few months of sobriety, I didn’t know what to do. Going to the gym, yoga, running, swimming, all gave me things to do.
SLEEP: Exercising is tiring (especially outside) and it helps me sleep, and not sleeping was at one time an excuse to drink (to help me sleep).
CONFIDENCE: Feeling better, helps you look better, helps boost your confidence. I didn’t have a lot of self esteem or self confidence left at the end of my drinking career.
EATING: I became more conscious of eating more nutritious, whole food meals, though I still have a treat every day. I also started watching when I got Hangry, as this can be a relapse trigger for me.
ENERGIZED: Exercise helps give you energy, if you are tired all the time like I was contrary to popular belief exercise helps boost your energy.
DEPRESSION/ANXIETY: Exercise is the number one prescription for depression and anxiety, and after my initial anxiety of joining a gym or going to a new class it has helped reduce both. In the last 1.5 years of continuos sobriety, I have only had 2 mild bouts of depression ( and I believe the last one was more hormonal than anything) and much more mild than when I was drinking. My anxiety levels are very low and I never wake up in the middle of the night anymore with anxiety.
ON THE ROAD: I was worried about vacations/work travel, and drinking, but fitness has allowed me to keep a schedule while travelling, I workout at the same time I do at home, but while travelling (and I have gotten to run /yoga / soulcycle / swim/walk / workout, in the early mornings before world is awake in the most amazing places; Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Paris, Nice, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Maui, Whistler to name just a few. Schedules are important especially when travelling.
REDUCED CRAVINGS: This is a bonus Tip and it combines all of the above, and really one of the biggest benefits how fitness helped me give up the booze. It has reduced cravings. Fitness has given me something to do, with like minded people, while making me feel good, It’s something healthy do during the “witching hour” and helps me sleep all which relieves cravings.
Fitness & Health has played a big part in my sobriety journey. If you have any questions or want to incorporate fitness into your journey reach out to me. Also on my Instagram, I post lots of great exercises, food and life as well as on my Youtube channel my exercises from my free fit and sober challenge in December are posted.
Cardio it’s the one thing both times that I have been sober longer than 2-3 weeks at a time, I have put in cardio. I have a love for weightlifting and have for over 5 years but I found even during drinking the days if moved my body doing cardio for over 30 mins, it has helped subside cravings and I was less likely to drink. I was also less likely to drink on the nights that I knew I was going to run/spin in the morning. I like to run but also Spinning (which I discovered a love for about a year and a half ago) and since it’s indoors that works for this time of year. It’s also easier on the joints and body. I typically burn between 4-600 calories in 45 mins it’s a great workout. I spin now 3 days a week. I usually run on the tread mill for a warm up before weights, so I will do a couple of miles. In the spring and summer months I take the run outside, but for now I’m a treadmill runner.
Try it, allow yourself to be a beginner, don’t hurt yourself by deciding to go on a 5 mile run ( or worse run on icy roads) or a 25 km bike ride (this will just be a discouragement.) Join a running group, go to a spin class, take a kickboxing, crossfit, rowing, or body pump class. (Always check with your doctor first)
Cardio is a natural high, you get to a stage those endorphins kick in and the hangover is a natural glow. The soreness of muscles is painful but its a good sore. When you start to see the benefits you want to do it again. Your family/friends might complain that you go to the gym for an hour, it’s a habit i’m ok with being addicted to.