Life-changing benefits of quitting alcohol

a green field with a blue sky full of clouds
a green field with a blue sky full of clouds
The benefits of alcohol free living are all around us!

a woman running in a field, towards a sun setting
In addition to weight loss, clearer skin and better sleep, I’m here to share 3 surprising (and welcome!) benefits of quitting alcohol.

Life-changing benefits of quitting alcohol. Are there any? Yes!

In fact, I started off wanting to address three benefits. But, during the process of writing this, I actually added three more to my list – BONUS!

If you’ve read any articles at all espousing the benefits of quitting alcohol, you’ve probably noticed a pattern. People talk about better sleep, rave about glowing skin and being able to shed weight quicker than the Tom Hanks character in the movie Castaway.

Of course, just the awesome benefits above are reasons enough to cut booze out of your life for even a little bit. But as I continue on this alcohol-free journey, there’s more to uncover! And is it worth it? It takes a lot of mental effort to change ingrained habits, but it’s just as satisfying as digging through three years’ worth of email to prove someone you were right.

Life-Changing Benefits of  Quitting Alcohol

O.K. So, now that we have great sleep, clear skin and weight loss as very possible side effects, let’s get on to some surprising benefits, shall we?

Benefit #1: Meal Prepping and Planning Becomes a Breeze

What Meal Prep Looks Like Before Alcohol Free Journey Began

I have never been an amazing cook in the kitchen. My husband and I were married for 6 years before we had kids so we mostly ate out all the time.

But I got more serious about improving culinary skills when I had my twin five-year old boys.

Every year, since the day they were born, I would place “meal prep like a goddess” at the top of my New Year’s resolutions list. And, every day since the day they were born, I have pretty much winged breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I even tried to plan out meals for the week, I would feel paralyzed at the grocery store trying to buy so many ingredients for recipes to last several days. And so I usually bailed on any plans I had.

What Meal Prep Looks Like After the Alcohol Free Journey Began

I am, in fact, a meal prep goddess.

I have the energy, enthusiasm and desire to be coordinated enough to look at recipes I want to try, make a list of all the ingredients and then cook things – like muffins, egg cups, roasted veggies and boiled eggs – all ahead of time. This week I splurged and had groceries delivered by a local store and it was awesome! We ate in mostly all week and I’ve felt happier and more in control of my diet (and my kids’ diets).

Benefit #2: ReDiscovering the Joy of Snail Mail

Alcohol free greeting card on pretty tie-dye background
Received this in the mail the other day from a friend I met through Instagram. Her friendship means a lot to me!

Experience with Snail Mail Before the Alcohol Free Journey Began

Shuffle through junk mail.

Ask myself three months in a row, “didn’t I already pay for that radiology bill?”

Wonder aloud how much Ryan, from Ryan’s Toy Review, is racking up now that he appears on my local fast food fliers AND the Walmart insert.

Experience with Snail Mail After the Alcohol Free Journey Began

I write letters like a woman who’s been sentenced for life in South Carolina’s Leath Correctional Institution. 

Now, I send notes because someone is starting a new, full-time job after being a stay-at-home mom for several years. 

It’s one of my favorite experiences to receive cards of encouragement and thanks from others I’ve connected with online.

Opening up the mailbox (to either send or receive) is so fun these days.

Benefit #3: A Sponge for All New Concepts

picture of father and son at Carnivorous Carnival
At the Carnivorous Carnival at UNC Charlotte – the boys love carnivorous plants. Go ahead and ask me anything about a Venus Fly Trap. I dare you!

Quest to Uncover Educational and/or Entertaining Content Before the Alcohol Free Journey Began

I binge watch series, such as Homeland, House of Cards and immediately forget which episode was the last one I watched…until I’m 42 minutes into the episode and realized I have – in fact – watched it already.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to read. I love to experience new things. But, my nightly glasses of wine made me tired and unable to concentrate. And, usually, I just went to bed right after the kids did.

Quest to Uncover Educational and/or Entertaining Content After the Alcohol Free Journey Began

I stay up late into the night reading. While going on a run outside, I listen to a new and inspiring podcast episode. It’s fun to learn about what my boys are interested in (lately, carnivorous plants) and then absorb every detail there is to know. I sign up for online courses that teach me about travel blogging and trade investment strategies.

Benefit #4: More Mindful of Spending Money

Approach to Spending Money Before the Alcohol Free Journey Began

From fake eyelashes to new clothes and from toys for the boys to expensive makeup, I buy anything I think will make me feel good. I get a little rush spending money. And I get a rush always seeing packages at the door. My children are familiar with the Amazon-branded blue van complete with a smile.

Approach to Spending Money After the Alcohol Free Journey Began

Look, I’m not perfect about this. I mean, who doesn’t like to see packages at their door?!

I still like to buy things and experiences. But, I will say I’ve noticed I have less of a need to fill some sort of space I felt was there needing to be filled before. I’m more patient to explain the concept of money, patience and opportunity to my children. And I don’t think I need to buy anything for myself or for them that would change our level of comfort or contentedness.

Benefits #5: I Breath Easier

a green field with a blue sky full of clouds
The benefits of alcohol free living are all around us!

Anxiety Before Alcohol Free Journey

I live off tiny sips of air, as if a boa constrictor has wrapped around my chest.

Anxiety After Alcohol Free Journey

I’m embarrassed to admit I never made the connection between anxiety and my drinking. I took anti-anxiety medication, exercised daily, signed up for yoga classes and was just all around stumped that I still felt electrifyingly wound up all the time. Then, I discovered it was the booze. Because the anxiety disappeared as soon as I quit drinking.

I now enjoy BIG, FULL, DEEP BREATHS. I feel like I breathe so much easier these days. Anxious thoughts that used to wrap tightly around my chest are much farther and fewer between – and it’s all because I kicked my nightly wine crutch. .

Benefit #6: I get dressed a lot more

Outfit of the Day Before Alcohol Free Journey

For a while my routine was to get up, take off yoga clothes, take a shower, put on new pair of comfy clothes.

OOTD After Alcohol Free Journey

And while I’m not totally swearing off yoga pants forever, I noticed I actually put on real jeans, a nice top and shoes that don’t boast the benefits of cushioning! I don’t feel as bloated. My skin isn’t broken out like crazy. I’m feeling better about just being me in general – and want to look nice for myself.

I hope that if you are looking for inspiration or encouragement to quit drinking, that you’ve found something that motivates you in this message. I truly believe there are numerous life-changing benefits to quitting alcohol. You deserve to reap them all. Let me know if you have any questions. xo Kim