Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I’ll be chatting to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
I met Lizzy over Instagram (where else?), but we actually live just down the road from each other. She’s a great friend of mine and my partner in crime (and business) for the Alternative Saturday Night’s we run together (next event May 6th – come)!
A yoga teacher living in East London, Lizzy loves carrot cake, herbal tea and plants & is super passionate about the mental and physical health benefits of yoga . Keep reading for more of her story about mindful drinking & enjoy!
Location: London, UK
1.What led you to think differently about drinking and not drinking?
I felt like I was banging my head against a wall with my relationship to drinking for years… I started to have anxiety attacks after nights out… sometimes I would be in floods of tears.
I felt so disconnected from myself. So I started to fill my spare time with working out as a way of filling my spare time instead of partying but then I got injured.
I went to a yoga studio while I had physio and boom… the mental connection happened and my life changed. Yoga was the game changer, I fell in love with it and myself.
2.How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
Its balanced… I would rather have a coffee/herbal tea with someone then alcohol but sometimes I have a glass of wine.
I prefer dating guys who don’t drink or not that much, I don’t think I could date someone that drinks often or parties a lot now just because i’m not on the vibe anymore.
No judgement to anyone who drinks – it just doesn’t serve me anymore to party. Looking back I don’t think it ever did.
I don’t like to label myself as anything, but this is where I am right now and I feel amazing.
3.What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
Social situations, trying to meet my friends on a middle ground. Not everyone (and i don’t expect them to) wants to hang out in a yoga studios or coffee places most of the time and I totally get that and respect everyone’s choices.
4.What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
That we are so conditioned to think to be social we have to drink or be in a pub. That REALLY use to piss me off in fact.
I was hiding my shyness behind alcohol and actually through not drinking and thanks to yoga I am becoming more confident to my own skin and I like myself more now.
5. How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
If I have time and my week is fairly open I go and practice with my teachers (Carl or Calli) at Stretch London (yoga studio on Broadway market) (Laurie’s note – I LOVE Stretch too, it’s my favourite place to practice!).
If my week is super busy I give myself 5 mins to listen to classical music – like Philip Glass or other beats like – de la soul, sampha, prince, the internet etc. etc. while I wake up in bed then I have a shower (standing meditation for me) and have a quick wiggle on my mat in flat before i grab a coffee and head to the office.
6. Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
Y O G A – obviously! I burn A LOT of incense/sage/palo santo wood at home, luckily my flatmate Adam does too. East London Juice Co usually have a good stock of stuff (Laurie’s note – another of my favourite places in London, not just a juice company! x).
7. What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free) at the weekend?
Yoga, coffee dates, Barry’s Bootcamp is super fun and really gets you hyper for the weekend.
I love gigs and checking out new music… I LOVE dancing to drum and bass… that was my old style of meditation I guess.
8. When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
To set boundaries. my friends are always telling me i’m too nice.. I blame my heart chakra for being so open HAHA.
I’m ALWAYS trying to make everyone else happy and always overstretch myself, someone once said to me people sometimes take kindness for weakness.. I understand what he meant now.
SO now if i’m not feeling something, I listen to myself rather than forcing myself. Flowing not forcing… 🙂
9. What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
YOGA – I’m a total yoga junkie… It’s changed my life SO much! Negative habits have (are) melting away the deeper I go into my practice.
I’ve met SO many amazing people who I love, The community is wicked and the connections are soul lifting.
10. And finally, thinking differently about alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
Don’t think you have to stay indoors to avoid drinking or social events around alcohol.
My weekends are spent in yoga studios/workshops/exhibitions/gyms/cinemas/parks.
There is a whole conscious community out there.
For me… i’ve felt alone when I was drinking regularly, now I feel part of something connecting with people via the above outlets. It’s fucking magic!