Keep these health benefits in mind before you jump into a Level 3 lockdown booze binge

Illustration. Getty Images
Illustration. Getty Images

Lockdown level 3 has landed. “So you’ll catch me in the queue outside the bottle store.” “Awesome, it’s a date.” Said everyone in SA on Monday.

But seriously, as we stare down the barrel of a nationwide binge, it pays to pause, while the benefits of taking a break from alcohol are fresh in your mind, and actually consider them. 

READ MORE: No alcohol for 21 days? Your skin might thank you later  

We’re talking clearer skin (and where did those eye bags go, right?), reduced overall anxiety, better sleep, more energy, weight loss, stronger immunity, defs fewer headaches… The list is pretty extensive. 

But before you start slowly backtracking out of this now properly awks conversation, hear us out. This is not necessarily about staying dry (I see you, enormous bead of temple sweat), but more of a healthy mental reset around your relationship with alcohol. Basically, a way to move into a space of more moderate/conscious drinking post-lockdown. 

So, have a listen to what these women have to say, then think about what cutting down on alcohol did for you over the past two months before you join the party… You’ll end up having way more fun in the long run. Promise.

“For me, cutting out alcohol has been a game-changer”

“But I do have a problem with it, so I’m an extreme case. Nevertheless, here’s what changed for me. First off, the lack of hangover was earth-shattering – I woke up without a headache, I could actually think before my morning coffee, my eyes opened by themselves sans crusty residue (gross, but just putting it all out there). 

“Aaaaand I’d slept through the night. No 3am sweaty mess of night terrors, racing thoughts and racing heart, which rolled into fitful tossing and turning until finally falling into a deep sleep just before my series of alarms started trilling – which set off another anxiety attack. Yup, the old days were a blast. 

“I had enough energy to get through an entire 30-minute intermediate vinyasa class (whoa!) before rolling over to my desk with an arsenal of great ideas and the mental clarity to actually execute them. And guys, this was just the first morning… 

“A couple of days in and I’m feeling – and looking (not to be boasty or anything, but people have commented) – younger than ever. I’m more in control of every aspect of my life by virtue of having gained control over my drinking. So I am serious about going into level 3 with this new mindset. I’ll drink, but I’ll do it in moderation, so I get the benefits of both worlds.”

Here’s what two other women had to say on the subject:

“I’ve even had people remarking on my skin on social media”

“In the beginning of lockdown I drank every day. Call it stress. But after two weeks in… Not only did we notice the supplies running low… But we started getting an inkling that things were not ending anytime soon. So we cut down a lot. My partner and I kept wine only for one or two nights a week. 

“The biggest difference I noticed was to my skin and sinuses. I tend to get blocked up or stuffy in the nose after too much wine. My skin also has been looking pretty clear and glowy and healthy and I’ve had people remarking on it on social media. Also keeping in mind we’re not wearing make-up during lockdown, so that may also have something to do with it… 

“A third factor I unfortunately can’t deny is that drinking less = less anxiety. It’s not when you drink – it’s the next day when you’re hungover that the anxiety creeps in. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to have some wine every now and then, but I’m having less of it, less frequently and feeling better for it!” 

READ MORE: 'My boyfriend broke up with me on the night the president announced lockdown, here's how I’m coping' 

“I’ve saved a sh*tload of money”

“I always knew alcohol was expensive – just look at the wine list at any restaurant – but I’m only really appreciating just how expensive now that I’m saving that money. I’ve saved about R3000 over lockdown simply by not buying wine and spirits! (Granted, I do tend to buy expensive wines, but still, it’s a lot of cash)

How have your drinking habits changed during the lockdown? Tell us here.

This article was originally published in Women's Health SA

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