Alcoholfree living: taking time out for yourself is OK.

On Friday, a common question we ask each other is “What are your plans for the weekend?” Heading into this weekend, my answer was “As little as possible.”

I often get blank stares when I answer like this. I think it’s because people expect me to responsd with a long, dramatic series of activities. Reciting long lists is typically how people respond when I ask them what they’re up to for the weekend. Conversely, I only know a small handful of people who are happy to say that their plan for the weekend is NO plans.

Why is this? Why are we made to feel like it’s not ok to take time out for ourselves once and a while? Why do we feel like we have to seek permission for a quiet weekend? Unless we are very ill or worked a 60 hour week, it seems like it’s not really socially acceptable to put ourselves first once and a while. It’s almost like it’s seen as selfish. Saying I’m doing as little as possible this weekend is like saying I don’t drink anymore. This perspective also makes people wince; I’m sure they are dying to ask if I’ve had a car accident/gotten pregnant etc. Because like being ‘busy’, drinking is a core activity in New Zealand’s heavy drinking society. But this is a separate interesting conversation – see Behind the scenes of NoWineImFine if  you would like to read more on this.

In today’s fast-paced society, there seems to be a lot of focus on being busy. People seem to like rattling off their long their long to-do lists. Picking up kids from swimming, working long hours, dealing with excessive domestic activities and stressful family visits are some common themes I’ve noticed. It’s like the more busy we are, the more impressed others should be of us. Technology that follows us everywhere means we are more connected and less able to escape than ever. I’m not sure this is doing our health or wellbeing any good.

A while back, I wrote about a solo retreat I took. Many of you took time to provide your feedback, for which I am very grateful. Since writing this post, a few of our sober blogosphere friends have done the same or are planning to. I can’t wait to hear how they get on! Here is a link to my post if you’d like to contemplate talking a weekend away for yourself. I found it helped me take time out to devise a successful plan early in my alcoholfree journey πŸŒ…Early sobriety: the power of solo retreats.πŸŒ…

Taking time out for yourself, I believe, is a key part of alcoholfree living. Don’t feel you have to seek permission or approval from others. You deserve it. I invite you to put yourself first, even if it’s just half a day this weekend.

I have found that taking time out to do things in my own company enables me to recharge my batteries so that I am:

  • more focussed when it comes time to return to work
  • well rested and less likely to be grumpy
  • more able to deal with challenging situations and less adversely affected by things
  • less likely to catch winter germs and bugs if the immune system has had a chance to rejuvenate
  • Generally, I hope it enables me to be a nicer human being to be around.

So, this weekend, I have set aside time on Sunday to do what I consider to be ‘as little as possible’. That is, to meditate. To read my book. To practice yoga. To sleep. To walk on the beach. Here are some pictures of one of my most special places from this weekend. Oneman Beach in the Coromandel, New Zealand. It’s my happy place. The housework can wait.

Have a great weekend friends. Be safe, be well and most importantly, have fun being you. Xoxo

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21 thoughts on “Alcoholfree living: taking time out for yourself is OK.

  1. Pingback: How to be comfortable in our own company. | No Wine I'm Fine

  2. I so needed to read this! Thank you so much for writing it. My kids are homeschooled so even though school is “out,” we carry on in some subjects. But I love the days when we only have 5 minutes of math (or none!) to do. And since we live in Alaska, I really look forward to -40 so that we can be justified in turning our house into a Hobbit hole and curling up around the wood stove with nothing better to do than read, sleep, and snack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, thanks for your lovely feedback… all the way for majestic Alaska! I cannot start to imagine the challenges that come with -40* winters. You sound strong, resilient and well prepared.😊


  3. This is all so, so true. I’m a huge advocate for taking time for yourself yet there are still times when I and/or my kids are doing “nothing” and I start to feel guilty. It’s so common, even an expectation as you’ve said, that we just have this endless list of things to do. That’s certainly not how I want to spend my life. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reaching out. I often thought I was a lone wolf on this matter. As a drinker, I was often a people pleaser. Perhaps due to low self confidence. Since quitting, I think it grows our self confidence and our ability to live more authentic lives. I’m with you, let’s not continue through life blindly as people pleasures. Of course we’ll have to sometimes (eeek – mother in law’s birthday lunch!). Take care xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I know the blank stares you’re referring to. I often get asked that question every week and every time I usually just say not much, just go with the flow. Maybe a hike, the gym, run and yoga… never seems to satisfy the masses lol. I’m alllll about recharging, healing and having “me” weekends and mental health days. Soooo important and needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going with the flow, I love your answer! Sounds like you do some wonderful ‘recharging’ activities, let’s leave the masses to fill their calendars with whatever they do. Thank you so much for sharing ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hate having a full calendar, I’m totally up for lots of time doing nothing. I think that the appreciation of that sort of down time is one of those things that you either ‘get’ or you don’t. That looks like a beautiful place to hang out and do very little, enjoy! πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, and thank you so much for reaching out. The feedback people have provided to this list has been so interesting. It seems more people than I thought feel the same as you and i. It’s exciting!
      And you’re right it’s a lovely spot, I love spotting the native New Zealand birds in their natural habitat xoxo


  6. Before I started working for myself, I used to cringe when co-workers would ask what I did the night before or what my plans were for the weekend. I have always been the kind of person that enjoys doing “nothing” and I have never really understood the constant need to fill a calendar and every hour, minute, second of the day. People, like you stated, generally feel this is weird behavior. Just like not drinking alcohol. Luckily, I don’t have to explain my plans to do nothing any more. But I do have to justify the no alcohol thing on almost a constant basis.
    I love that you’re in touch with solo self love and care. And I love reading your journey. Thank you for sharing!!! =)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello lovely, oh we are so on the same page! That’s very exciting you work for yourself, that must be so interesting.
      I was thinking if you as I wrote the para referencing the solo retreat and that gorgeous historical resort you were looking into visiting. Is that still on the cards? Either way, I love your can-do attitude and insights. Thank you πŸ™‚β€οΈπŸ™‹πŸ½


  7. So true!
    Although I love to do fun stuff with hubs on the weekend, as he still works but I am retired, I find that it’s ok to do nothing but sit and read on the deck and listen to the birds!
    Or read blogs. Right now, there are so many birds singing, and it’s green, and it’s 90 today!
    It’s really nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Wendy πŸ™‹πŸ½πŸŒβ˜•οΈ I agree, everything in moderation, right? I love my other half to bits but he also drives me nuts sometimes!
      Your reading spots sounds like bliss. And deliciously warm! Birdsong is so uplifting. Enjoy ❀️❀️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love it .. Recharging yourself is awesome . Taking time for me reading all day on & off .. This summer I’m learning how to mediatate .. Losing the chaos in my life . Keep up the wonderful life your living . Hugs my friend .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well done, way to go! Reading is a wonderful, therapeutic battery recharger. I live that you’re exploring meditation, too. Enjoy your weekend, my friend πŸ™‹πŸ½πŸ™πŸΌπŸŒ΄


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