It’s a near impossible challenge for many – going booze-free at weddings, parties, and even Friday nights lounging on the sofa after a tough week. But curbing your alcohol could be the perfect antidote to shabby health and a stressed out liver.
And with Dry July in full swing, an initiative that challenges you to go booze-free for a month and raise funds to support people affected by cancer, this could be the perfect time to come clean. I spoke to Dry July Ambassador and 2DayFM radio presenter, Maz Compton, to get her foolproof guide to saying ‘no’ to alcohol in those more challenging situations. Read, learn and activate your Dry July fundraising plan now!
The Booze-Ready & Broken-Hearted Bestie
The Scenario: Your high school friend – and infamous drinking partner – has just broken up with her boyfriend and is in town for the weekend. She’s counting on you to go partying and let loose with her. How do you remain dry and be there for her in her time of need?
Maz says: “I have actually been in this situation since I quit drinking. I’ve just had to redefine my relationships. I’m happy to go out with friends and keep a sharp eye on them and make sure they get home safely. What I’ve realised is that the friend who is hurt just wants an excuse to hurt themselves. So they act out, get loose and try to forget the pain they are feeling. Instead of encouraging them to do shots and be an idiot, I ask them about their heart space and how they’re feeling – get them talking about it rather than suppressing it. It all needs to be dealt with eventually, otherwise you’ll be trapped in your own sorrow. Also, a night in with a teary movie does the trick. I’d rather she have some wine at home where there isn’t the temptation to make a bad choice and we can both be comfortable in trackies!”
A Stressed-Out End To The Week
The Scenario: It’s finally Friday night – after a week from hell. All you can think about is curling up on the sofa with a bottle of Pinot Noir and watching Game of Thrones. What do you do?
Maz says: “First of all, I’ve never watched Game of Thrones so it would be more like a bottle of red and Suits! I drink green tea and write. Writing is the best way I can express myself. I journal. I plan. I dream. I vent. I somehow feel a millions times lighter after I’ve written out how I’m feeling. Sometimes I don’t even realise how I am feeling until after I’ve written it out. As a treat, I might make a coconut milk matcha or hot healthy Cacao drink to get that warm buzz. Or a good old chat on the phone to a girlfriend can do the trick.”
The Free-Flowing Champagne Wedding
The Scenario: You’re at a wedding and it’s so, so tempting to guzzle down some of the expensive and free champagne going around. How do you summon the courage to say no?
Maz says: “Again, I’ve been here! I’ve been to about five weddings in the last eighteen months. I’ve been the celebrant at one of them and the maid of honour at another. You just drink sparkling water and hit the dance floor! Once you’re up and out of your seat, you don’t even realise people are drinking around you. It’s when you’re sitting down stuck in a semi-interesting conversation that it gets tempting to drink. Also, I leave at midnight. There is no point staying on. Nothing good happens after midnight. I promise you! Soda water and fresh lime is refreshing and it feels like you’re drinking something fancy. Rather than drinking empty calories (there are so many calories in alcohol), from a training point of view, having a small desert is much more satisfying.”
When A Glass Or Two Nightly Is Your Best Friend
The Scenario: You’ve become accustomed to a glass or two of wine each night. It’s part of your life routine now. How can you change your habits?
Maz says: “This was my story. I was exactly here. A couple of glasses every night was normal and then I realised how it was affecting me. My thoughts were a bit darker. I was slower at training, always tired and I didn’t feel at my optimum creatively. So I know one thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. So I changed the ‘thing’. I quit drinking on January 1, 2015. I planned for it. I set the date and I stuck to it. I made myself accountable by saying a simple sentence every day. And I’ve done it every day since. I simply say, ‘I’m not going to drink today’, and I don’t. I haven’t had a drink since. I don’t miss it. I’m fitter, faster, more creative, happier, healthier, more excited and somehow doors are swinging wide open. I’m stepping into a new groove and I’m convinced it’s a direct result of putting down something that was harming my head and my heart.”
About Dry July
When you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s hard to find the time or energy to think about anything other than treating the cancer. Dry July raises money to ease that burden, reduce stress and add a bit of comfort for those affected by cancer. Money raised helps provide things that may not be front-of-mind after a cancer diagnosis like getting to and from an appointment, having somewhere to stay near the hospital, providing Wi-Fi access and mobile phone chargers. The aim is to make cancer patients more comfortable and help with the side effects of treatment through services such as complementary therapies, wig libraries and massages’, and by providing comfortable and inviting spaces for them to enjoy while undergoing treatment.
Why should you get involved?
Dry July takes a lighter-hearted approach to raising funds for a serious issue. You don’t often get the chance to raise money for charity by not doing something! It is a challenge of determination that rewards participants with a great sense of achievement and feeling of wellbeing.
Giving up booze for Dry July gives you the chance to also focus on yourself – notice your own drinking habits and the value of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Dry Heroes (noun: a person or team actively sponsored to participate in Dry July) recognise a multitude of benefits themselves such as increased energy levels, a clearer head and clearer skin! So give it a go and help yourself and people with cancer.
Visit Dry July for more info, to register, make and receive donations, run your own profile page, create a team, see your national/state ranking, update your status and more.