If you’re thinking about taking a post summer break from booze do it. You may get turned onto a whole new mindset about how you choose to consume alcohol. We connected with Rehab Expert, Carrie Carlton, Clinical Director (LCSW) of Beachway Therapy Center in Boynton Beach, Florida; who offered us a bunch of benefits of taking a “Booze Break.” Studies have shown that a month-long respite from alcohol can significantly benefit one’s mental and physical health. Here’s why...
1. Do the math! Less booze means more cash.
According to Fortune magazine in 2018, thanks to the “craft cocktail trend” the overall price for alcoholic beverage and therefor the general cost of alcohol has increased. Let’s say you hit a happy hour twice weekly and bough a round of drinks for 3 people at $15-$20 each, with tip that could be between $80 and $100. More if you are in major metropolitan cities. Then multiply that by twice per week for weeks in a month and you’re saving close to $400 per month just on after work happy hours. Add more money saved if you’re also a weekend social drinker. Add way more money if you’re buying bottles in the VIP for hundreds of dollars.
“People are often amazed at how much free cash they have to put towards other things they want to do such as paying down debt, vacations, car repairs, gym memberships, upgrades to their homes, etc., explains Carrie Carlton who heads up one of the most popular Rehab programs on the East Coast.
2. Wow! Your face looks great! What have you done?
While alcohol doesn’t directly cause acne it certainly messes with hormone levels and immune function which then lead to sallow skin, breakouts and puffy, flushed complexion. If you’re they type who can easily “Rose all day” and love mixed drinks featuring more sugars, syrups and other additives; you’ll quickly see a major change to the texture and tone to your skin. “It’s always great to snap selfies in the same room with the same light so you can really see the difference. Also pay attention to compliments. There will be a visible difference, encourages Carlton.”
3. Are you losing weight? YES!
A study in the journal of Obesity said that people who don’t drink eat less simply because alcohol heightens the senses. It makes the sauce and cheese on that pizza or those late-night bites all the more delicious. When you remove alcohol intake it diminishes your calorie intake. Think about 3 beers or glasses of wine at about 150 each. Those calories add up. “Your blood sugar and cholesterol levels start to really improve, and since alcohol dehydrates the bodies organs, taking a break from booze with help the body function better overall,” explains Carlton.
4. You’re more energetic, creative focused and are getting a lot more done.
One of the other benefits of opting to go booze-free for a month is that you’ll notice you’re not sluggish. You’re no longer fading in the afternoon or hitting the snooze 3 times in the morning. You are clear and focused on what you want to accomplish in the day and you have the ability to follow through with a better mood. You’ll be able to concentrate on tasks which also helps you stimulate the part of your brain where memory takes place. This keeps us sharp as we age.
5. More you time and new friends!
Oftentimes when we make a major change to our lives like choosing to lay of alcohol for a month our crew of cohorts changes. This frees up time for you to focus on you. Self-care is important and often neglected when going out to socialize over drinks is the norm. When you’re no longer invited out to drink away the work day, you’re now freed up to get an after-work fitness class in, take a workshop, listen to some audio books and check out some cool lecture. You start to realize there is plenty to do that doesn’t involve liquor and you start to meet new friends to do these things with.
“What’s interesting to note is that people who consider themselves “social drinkers” experience these improvements within a few days. People who struggle with alcoholism may actually cause more harm to themselves if they just decide to stop drinking cold turkey. Because there are many social drinkers teetering on the line of having a “drinking problem” given they tend to binge on the weekends with casual drinks with dinner mid-week; committing to going without alcohol may reveal there actually is a bigger issue going on. If someone can’t last a week without alcohol and feels nausea, gets terrible headaches, sweats, and are physically shaky and ill, consulting a doctor would be an important next step,” cautions Carrie Carlton.
Carrie Carlton holds a BSW and MSW in social work from Florida Atlantic University, an MA from Barry University (Miami), and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She also has a background in medical social work. Her understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and family systems guide her treatment of addicts and families. Her clients thrive under her guidance because of her honesty, empathy, and compassion.