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Ask Char: "How can I unwind without alcohol?"

Ask Char. Learn to use herbs and whole foods to reclaim your vitality.

ASK CHAR: “I don’t know how to relax at the end of the day. I start out drinking one glass of wine and the glass turns into a bottle. I know this isn’t good or even working for me, but what can I do?”

Dear reader,

This is such a common question, especially from women, and I used to come up against this as well. I would love coming home to my glass of wine after a hard day’s work, but at a certain point I outgrew this ritual, and it sounds like you are too. It just didn’t feel like the thing to do anymore.

Alcohol is a suppressant. It is like putting a lid on pot of boiling water. You may not see the steam anymore but it’s there, building up! Alcohol doesn’t get to the root cause of what’s going on.

Our bodies are so smart and are always seeking balance, so it makes perfect sense that we would self-medicate our selves with a suppressant when we are filled with anxiety and tension. But if you want to heal, then you have to look deeper into what is causing the anxiety.

In the end, wellness is the ability to cope with life. I have found much better ways to cope with stress than alcohol.

First, let’s start with The Witching Hour. When my son was a little baby, I noticed that at 5PM, he would start to lose it. Anyone who has a baby knows this. Their tiny nervous systems are done for the day. They have had all they can take, so they cry and get fussy. They can no longer contain their energy. They are over stimulated and tired.

This sounds corny as hell, but that little baby is inside you. 5PM is toddy time, right? At the PaleoFx conference this past weekend, I learned that our nervous systems are processing up to 400,000,000 bits of information in any given moment! So please have some compassion for yourself.

Here are some other things to consider that can help stabilize your nervous system and energy levels during the day, so when 5PM rolls around, you feel like you can handle it!

#1 Go to bed as close to 9PM as possible. I know, no one wants to hear that. It sucks, but it’s the truth. Move with the sun as often as possible. This means when the sun goes down, so do you.

#2 Find time to walk. Even just 30 minutes will do the trick. Walking relieves stress, although almost any movement will do. Breathing gives your liver an internal massage, allowing it to clear stress hormones much more efficiently, and you will feel calmer. Not to mention that studies have shown that the side-to-side movement of our eyes, scanning the ground when we walk, allows our brain to process the events of the day.