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Are You A Gray Area Drinker? With Jolene Park

What is Gray Area Drinking? 

It’s the space where most drinkers live: a place between being able to ‘take or leave’ alcohol and hitting some kind of a ‘rock bottom’. 

In a world where everything seems to be black and white, where either you have a problem with drinking or you don’t, there are so many of us who try to moderate our drinking and struggle to do so. 

  • You might not experience outward consequences from drinking, but struggle internally. 
  • You have silent conversations with yourself about your own drinking. 
  • You intend to have one glass of wine, but then find it easy to finish the whole bottle. 
  • You stop drinking for days, weeks or months, but then start drinking again and find yourself back in the same place.

It’s a really confusing place to live – you realize that the way you drink isn’t helping you have the life you want but you live in a world where drinking is all around you. 

So how do you know if it’s time to make an “early exit” from the drinking life? 

And what does that even look like and feel like? 

Those are the questions we’re digging into today with my guest, Jolene Park. 

Jolene is a functional nutritionist, a health coach, a TEDx speaker, a former gray area drinker and the creator of the gray area drinking recovery hub.

Jolene describes the term “gray area drinking” as the kind of drinking where there’s no rock bottom, but you drink as a way to manage anxiety and then regret how much and how often you drink. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What gray area drinking is.
  • How to determine if you’re a gray area drinker and what to do about it.

  • Why so many of us use alcohol to downshift and calm down at the end of a busy, stressful day.
  • Jolene’s personal alcohol and anxiety story and why she decided to make an early exit from the drinking life. 
  • What drinking does to your body.
  • How to  eliminate alcohol and sugar cravings and reduce anxiety by using real food, high-quality nutrients and cutting-edge mind/body techniques.
  • The functional impact of food, emotions, environment and movement in relation to our physical bodies.
  • The importance of replenishing our neurotransmitters and nourishing our nervous systems in a comprehensive and consistent way.
  • The missing pieces that have been overlooked in traditional recovery programs such as neurotransmitters (GABA, serotonin, dopamine), blood sugar imbalance, and nutrient deficiencies like B6 and zinc (pyroluria).
  • Specific supplements that boost your GABA
    • Holy basil
    • Lemon balm
    • Passion flower
    •  Inositol
    • L-theanine

About Jolene Park:

Jolene Park coaches high achieving professionals who want to eliminate alcohol and sugar cravings and reduce their anxiety by using real food, high-quality nutrients and cutting-edge mind/body techniques.

Shownotes: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com/25

Grab your  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking

Connect with Jolene Park

Visit Jolene’s Website: https://www.healthydiscoveries.com/ 

Follow Jolene on Instagram @jolene_park

Watch Jolene’s TEDx talk: https://www.healthydiscoveries.com/tedx-talk/ 

Listen to the Editing Our Drinking and Our Lives Podcast with Jolene Park & Aidan Donnelley Rowley

Connect with Casey McGuire Davidson

Website: www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Instagram: Casey @ Hello Someday Coaching (@caseymdavidson)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelloSomeday 

Listen to more podcast episodes to drink less + live more.

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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THIS PODCAST INTERVIEW

Gray Area Drinking With Jolene Park

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

drinking, alcohol, people, eat, body, drinkers, feel, nervous system, stop, sober, boost, talking, gray area, somatic, day, neurotransmitters, basics, big, dysregulated, blood sugar, anxiety, regret, Mind-Body Techniques, recovery, TEDx, emotions, environment, conversation, silently struggling, talk about, shared my own story, women, listen, consequences, spectrum, alcoholic, coaching, high achieving professionals, bottle, wine, capacity, ability, physiological, psychological, personality, detox, excessive drinking, characteristics, Groundhog Day, Edit Podcast, early exit, recovering, people pleaser, anxious, hangover, defensive, acknowledging, experience, healthy, quit drinking, recommended, misery, shift the paradigm, Certified, Functional Nutrition, holistic treatment, Corporate Wellness, drink socially, perfectionist type A, entrepreneur, focus, excess energy, GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (GABA), gamma, dopamine, serotonin, happy, exhausted, cortisol, trigger, movement lifestyle, witching hour, brain, body, gut, amino acids, protein, rebuild, body, blood sugar, hydrated, sleep, basic needs, taking care of yourself, emotion, mirror neurons, emotional response, habitual pattern, flee, flight, freeze, frustrated, overwhelmed, stress, senses, amygdala, aroma therapy, real science, reflexology, relaxing, calming, music, soothe, sober cooping tools, Zen, sober treats, reward, positive, yoga, meditation, rewire, massage, I look forward to it, giving permission, enjoy things, have pleasure, comfort, rest, childhood, adversity, permission to expand, nurturing, Sober Choice, 30 Day Self-Study Program, reinforcement, embodiment, heart, regulate, calm, basic resources, Dry January, Sober October, sober curious, tools, encouragement, language, empowering, add in, life gets better, optimism, perception of the world, healthy discoveries, passionate about, energy flows, support, valuable, accountability, helpful, beneficial, cheerleader

SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Jolene Park

00:02

Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a bus, how to sit with your emotions, when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.

Jolene Park is my guest today. She’s a Functional Nutritionist, a Health Coach, a TEDx Speaker, a former Gray Area Drinker and the Creator of the Gray Area Drinking Recovery Hub.

 

In her TEDx talk, Jolene talks about the term gray area drinking and describes it as the kind of drinking where there’s no rock bottom, but you drink as a way to manage anxiety and then regret how much or how often you drink.

 

In 2014, she left drinking behind and she now helps others do the same job, coaches high achieving professionals who want to eliminate alcohol and sugar cravings and reduce their anxiety and does so by using real food, high quality nutrients, and cutting-edge Mind-Body Techniques. Today we’re going to talk about what gray area drinking is. And if you think you might be a gray area drinker what to do about it. We’re also going to dive into Jolene’s work on the functional impact of food, emotions, environment, and movement in relation to our physical bodies. In her TEDx Talk, Jolene shares her personal alcohol and anxiety story, and explains the importance of replenishing our neurotransmitters and nourishing our nervous systems in a comprehensive and consistent way.

 

So Jolene, thank you so much for joining us.

 

02:43

Thanks for having me, Casey. It’s fun to be here.

 

02:46

Yeah, I wanted to have this conversation because I identify as a gray area drinker. And I think a lot of women who listen to this podcast do as well. Can you tell me a little bit about how you define that or think about that term?

 

03:02

Yeah, you know, I mean, kind of, historically, there’s, there’s been two buckets of how I think stereotypically culture and society has looked at drinking. And there’s either you know, that end stage rock bottom, sitting on the park bench drinking, I have a brown paper bag and lose everything, the wheels just kind of fall off, you know, that’s one bucket. And then the other is just kind of every now and again, drinking, I’m a social drinker, you know, don’t have “a problem”. And I, you know, every now and again, drinking, meaning, like literally a drink here or there, a couple times a year. And, you know, what I’ve found is that most people, and honestly, people who I know, in my life aren’t in either one of those categories. You know, I actually know a couple people who literally have a drink, you know, like, on New Year’s eat, like one drink, and then they have a wedding in February, and they toast and have that one drink, and they never think about it again. And they don’t really, you know, often don’t have alcohol in their home. And so, they literally have like four drinks a year. I know a couple people like that, but most people aren’t like that. And, and I don’t know, you know, many people like that. And I also don’t know many people, honestly, you know, are so on stage where their eyes are yellow with jaundice, and they just pickled themselves literally with alcohol. But who I know, is everybody in between those two extremes.

 

And so historically, kind of traditionally, we’ve defined it like, Well, I’m not that bad. I’m not that extreme. But we’re drinking and silently struggling with that. And that’s what I kind of term is, you know, that gray area that hasn’t really had a voice for many years until recently. And so, the more I have kind of spoken about that and shared my own story, it’s certainly where my drinking was. So many women especially have just come out of the woodwork saying, that’s me. That’s my story. I function. I don’t have any necessary You know, consequences externally that everybody can kind of hold up and say, Look, there’s proof, yet they struggled for years, trying to, you know, rein in their drinking and not drink as much and worried about their drinking and silently, you know, beating themselves up and how common that is when we start talking about it. How many women say, that’s me? I’ve just never heard somebody

 

05:24

talk about it. Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s where I fell in, and where a lot of the women I work with, and the women who listen would fall in as well. And I think there’s also I mean, everybody hears the stories, whether they’ve done it themselves have in the middle of the night googling, Am I an alcoholic? and as you go through those, you know, of course, many people will not have some of those really dire consequences that fall into that to that spectrum. But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that drinking isn’t impacting your life in a negative way. Or, you know, just the thoughts of being worried about your drinking. And there’s such a spectrum even within that, right, because someone who has a drink twice a year, I’m like, oh, you’re not even in my world. You’re not even a drinker. Right? In my mind, the question was, do you have 2 drinks a night, 4 nights a week, versus a bottle plus a night, 7 nights a week? And, you know, that was, I was on the bottle… bottle plus a night range and yet still functioning?

 

06:28

Yeah, I was too. I, you know, it was towards the end. I mean, it definitely escalated over the years, but it was very easy and very frequent. And such a pattern, an easy pattern, to open a bottle of wine and say, I’m going to pour myself a glass of Screw it, I’ve had that glass, I’ll have another glass and finish the bottle off most nights and how easy that was to do. And that’s most, you know, who I’m working with, as well. Yeah. And, you know, then there’s kind of, on that other side of it, of that’s heavy drinking, no doubt. And I would stop without detox symptoms. And, you know, that’s very similar with my clients where it’s, you know, undoubtedly heavy problematic drinking, but not a level that you know, needed to be removed from my environment to stop. And so that’s how I, you know, that’s a big qualifier for me to have. Having that capacity, that physiological, not psychological. This isn’t like a personality, something’s wrong with you as a person, but physiologically, can you know, you stopped drinking, and that’s where that line starts to get really slippery.

 

But gray area drinkers, the way I define it, is they have the physical capacity and ability to stop drinking. And many gray area drinkers do that many, many times. They drink heavily and excessively, and stop drinking, they pull themselves in and say, I can’t keep doing this. And they do, they suck weeks, months, sometimes a year or more. And then they’re like, I can be a social drinker. Why am I being so restrictive, and they go back to drinking. And so that is such a common characteristic of gray area drinking. And like I said, often for years about back and forth, excessive drinking, pulling it in stopping drinking again, and it’s just a miserable Groundhog Day, which is a little different profile, again, than what we think of stereotypically is like what we’ve seen in the movies of just that whole crash and burn. And it’s a problem.

 

You know, I always want to clarify that too. You know, sometimes they’re like, oh, beer drinkers, they can take it or leave it? No. It’s absolutely a lot, that’s why I quit drinking. It was 100%. Absolutely a problem. And that back and forth with it is misery.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  08:39

Yeah. I’m a huge fan of your Edit Podcast with Aidan Donnelley Rowley, and it came out about a year and a half after I quit drinking. And what I love most about you guys talking about is, you talk about making an early exit from your drinking life. And I love that concept of an early exit. I sometimes call myself an ex-red wine drinker. And you know, a recovering people pleaser like those two concepts, right? And so, making an early exit, I did the same thing. And it wasn’t that I couldn’t have kept going. But my life was really not that fun. At the end, when I stopped drinking, right? It was a lot of hangovers, a lot of working really hard to overcompensate for being hungover and overcompensate for not remembering stuff. You know, I was getting very anxious, very defensive. And one of the things that I love that you do in your work is you do talk about sort of the recovery of the nervous system or why you feel so irritable or why you feel so shaky after drinking and I had no idea about any of that. So, could you tell us, you know, not once you’ve identified if you’re a gray area drinker, and you want to step back or make an early exit, what does that look like?

 

09:56

Yeah, well, first, everything you described that wave again, kind of typically associated with them just hung over. And I had too much to drink and millions and millions obviously experienced that type of hangover, which you just described. And it’s in the gray area like that is not normal, healthy drinking. And you know, that’s how I drink. I have the same, same experience. So first of all, having that level of physical symptoms is there’s nothing healthy about it, there’s nothing safe about it. And, and so, you know, that’s kind of the first thing is acknowledging that, you know, again, historically, we would just kind of laugh it off, and oh, it’s what everybody experiences. And it’s like, no, this is you’re on the spectrum,

 

10:35

or on the drinking spectrum, and it’s not. So I guess I’m pretty blunt about that, about there isn’t any safer, recommended, healthy intake of alcohol. I’m not to say everybody needs to quit drinking. But if people are having kind of that silent misery that back and forth and experiencing what you just experienced, and that’s gray area drinking.

 

Yeah, and I love that you said that that’s not healthy or normal, right, which is where I was living for years, because you do it enough that it does seem normal. And I’ve had clients be like, Oh my God, my nighttime routine, like I would drink a bottle of wine or more go up to bed, I had like the Gatorade, the water, the pills, sometimes, you know, over the counter or, or prescription level sleep, it’s because you’re afraid of waking up at 3 in the morning, you know, in the morning, they have devising all this stuff like this, is you physically going over the top to manage the fact that you are poisoning your body and dehydrated and withdrawing every single morning and yet we’re so used to being like, Oh, another big night,

 

11:40

you know? Right, right. And so I think that’s, you know, to change kind of this, the stigma with it, and shift the paradigm is to start to kind of name it as it is and clients will say to me, they’re like, but my, you know, my friends, they don’t have a pot, like they get away with this they can. And I’m like, we don’t know that cuz we don’t sit around saying, I’m, you know, really, I woke up at 3 in the morning now. And I’m, you know, berating myself and it’s that sweating and pounding hearts and, and millions go through it, but millions don’t talk about it. So and I would do the same thing. I would take the Advil and I take the charcoal tablets and the homeopathic like anti-nausea. And I’m like, because you’re asking about kind of the functional physiological side of it. I’m like, this is not normal. Like, I know what I know, this is not how I should be using it, you know, taking the electrolyte powder and the, to offset that bottle of red wine that I just drank. So yeah. So there’s that. And then so I’m sorry. Tell me again, your question about the physiology. It was about

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  12:41

like, how I know that your work is a lot into sort of the functional nutrition of like, how do you help people recover? So I’d love you just to talk about what the drinking does to your body and what some of the work is that people can do?

 

12:58

Yeah, so I Certified in Functional Nutrition in 1999. And have, you know, thousands of continuing education hours, what I really learned what I learned was weekend conferences for like a decade in the early 2000s, with functional medicine, and one of my trainings was in neurotransmitters in 2006. And found it fascinating. I didn’t stop drinking until 2014. But um, but it’s fascinating about, you know, learning about GABA, and serotonin and dopamine and the medical doctor who taught that runs a holistic treatment center. So he works with people who come into, you know, the inpatient center to have the IV amino acids and the essential fatty acids and the minerals and to rebalance the physiology. And so, I had studied that and knew that model, but you don’t just have to be have that addictive pattern to alcohol or drugs. It can be anything, it can be excessive scrolling, it can be overeating, excessive scrolling, you know, on your phone, over eating sugar, excessive exercise, it’s like where’s the brain over firing or under firing to try to compensate with what’s dysregulated in the body, and I found that study just absolutely fascinating.

 

And you know, and I taught it in my Corporate Wellness work and continue to drink and, and then in 2014, because I had had so much back and forth, you know, I would quit for months, and then I would come back and be like, I can drink socially. And so I did so much of that. And when I personally finally quit, the thing I went to was what I had studied with neurotransmitters, knowing the neuroscience that I know body first kind of, you know, brain head second, because the you know, the nervous system is throughout the body. And so when we calm the body, it calms the mind. And when we regulate the body, we regulate the brain. And traditionally, it’s been kind of backwards, you know, thinking that if we go after kind of the mental side, then that changes the body and what we know with kind of the current data, it’s flipped. So that’s just personally how I approached it. I was like, I know I’m done like, this is it like, I’m not going to keep doing this back and forth. And where I wanted to go then was the physiology. I knew my gavel was low, I’ve always been an anxious person. And it’s, it’s, you know, a reason why I drank it worked. So I would feel anxious if those ruminating kind of that perfectionist type A entrepreneur at the end of the day, I wanted to come down even if it was a good day, but I put a lot of, you know, focus excess energy out, and the wind would help down regulate that. So I needed to work with my GABA first, too, instead of using the wine, what are other ways to bring that down regulation by boosting my GABA and whole food? Certainly, there are supplements specific to boosting GABA, there’s movement lifestyle, this is all what I learned in my functional medicine training. And then I was like, Okay, I actually wouldn’t need to use this now for myself knowing I’m giving up alcohol for good.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  16:08

If you’re listening to this episode and have been trying to take a break from drinking, but keep starting and stopping and starting again, I want to invite you to take a look at my on demand coaching course, The Sobriety Starter Kit. The Sobriety Starter Kit is an online self study, sober coaching course that will help you quit drinking and build a life you love without alcohol without white knuckling it or hating the process. The course includes the exact step-by-step coaching framework I work through with my private coaching clients, but at a much more affordable price than one-on-one coaching. And The Sobriety Starter Kit is ready, waiting and available to support you anytime you need it, when it fits into your schedule.  You don’t need to work your life around group meetings or classes at a specific day or time. This course is not a 30 day challenge, or a one day at a time approach. Instead, it’s a step-by-step formula for changing your relationship with alcohol. The course will help you turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life. You will sleep better and have more energy, you’ll look better and feel better, you’ll have more patience and less anxiety. And with my approach you won’t feel deprived or isolated in the process. So if you’re interested in learning more about all the details, please go to www.sobrietystarterkit.com. You can start at any time and I would love to see you in the course.

 

I love that you said that because I also sort of identify as you know, the type A overachieving multitasking, like go, go, go. And so, do so, I mean, I also… I work with, you know, mostly sort of overachieving people, pleasing working moms, like that’s most of the women I work with. And when I heard you talk about how you were using wine to basically downshift kind of your nervous system at the end of the day, because we all want to do everything really quickly, including come down off being, you know, sort of busy mind really quickly. I thought that was really interesting. And I’m not sure that I know, other people may already know this, but like how gamma works in the same way.

 

17:55

So gamma is the primary kind of brakes on the nervous system. Oh, yeah. So we have a gas pedal with dopamine and acetylcholine. So dopamine is the neurotransmitter of the drive and get it done and you know, get through the to do list and acetylcholine is focused and memory, so we need that gas pedal we want to stay focused, we want to produce, we want to execute, but you know, where we were, we’re active than we need to rest there’s always that balance in just, you know, our body. And so gabot and seratonin then are the breaks.

 

18:30

So GABA is that just relaxation, feeling which alcohol gifts for a lot of people, it’s that immediate within 10 minutes of you know, having a glass of alcohol, it’s kind of I would always describe it as like kind of warm honey from my head all the way down through my body very quickly. It worked. I mean, it’s why I drank and it would it would slow down the chatter in my mind that perfectionistic like always beating up on myself and there’s more to do and think about it would just stop that and that’s what GABA does. It just puts the brakes on its relaxation.

 

And then serotonin is the more the happy brake on in the nervous system. So that’s I feel good, I’m not depressed, Life is good, I’m able to sleep and not overly wanting you know a lot of sugar or carbohydrates because I’m not kind of feeling blue or low or depressed. So it’s kind of that depression anxiety breaks and if we don’t have adequate those neural chemicals of serotonin and GABA, which is very common, it’s why people are prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds with so many people are on and also so many people are using alcohol to medicate, self medicate that as well because it doesn’t feel good to not feel good and when we’re dysregulated, it’s that anxious ruminating mind can’t sleep can’t kind of shut that off, switch on feeling, you know, a little more depressed, harder on ourselves, all of that.

 

None of that feels good. And so, even if we can’t kind of like, articulate it, the body is always trying to come back into homeostasis. And that’s why it very brilliantly and instinctively reaches for what it does. And that’s the neurotransmitter work that was always so fascinating to me of why do some people reach for cigarettes and some people reach for alcohol or cocaine, or excessive exercise? And it’s all just brilliant messages of like, oh, the, and I’m simplifying it a bit. Yeah. But in general, it’s the brain and the body are saying I’m depleted in this. So this thing outside of me kind of mimics that and a false positive. That’s why we’re reaching for it. And so we tend to then beat ourselves up and suppress it and hide it. And it’s like, No, actually, it’s really exciting and interesting and fascinating why we crave what we crave. Alcohol is a dirty drug. So it wipes out all the neurotransmitters and some people use alcohol for the burst of energy.

 

So you know, I’ve worked with some clients who they’re, it’s like, they’re, they’re exhausted, they’re dragging, and they’ll drink at night to like, get the laundry done, get the emails done, get the kids to bed because they’re really exhausted. And dopamine also connects with cortisol. So every neurotransmitter connects has a sister relationship with a hormone. So cortisol is the adrenal glands when we’re exhausted, and we’re not sleeping. It’s that I’m running on adrenaline.

 

We’re also been low in dopamine. And most people, especially women are reaching to alcohol because of the GABA connection. So I’m just anxious, I need to downshift and it may not be an out now panic attack, but it’s the ruminating thoughts, the obsession, the worry, the you know, I’ve got to eat the perfect calories and get the work is that obsessive kind of the mind is always on. That’s low GABA and GABA is connected with progesterone, which is a primary female sex hormone and GABA progesterone, when they’re low, we feel anxious and we don’t sleep.

 

And so, most women between 35 and 55, kind of that perimenopausal time, big complaints are anxiety, and you know, and they’re trying to do everything and they’re not sleeping. So of course, we’re reaching for alcohol. So it’s not a personality defect. It’s not something that you know, you’ve got this weakness as a person, psychologically, it’s just physiologically in your body. There’s this depletion, which naturally happens living in the modern world, of trying to do at all and not sleeping and eating what we eat, and no shame, no blame, but we can go in and when we understand what’s depleted, what’s deficient, boosts that up. So then there’s not such a need for a bottle of wine.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  22:39

Yeah, and it’s almost like we’ve been using the wrong tool, because it’s the easy button that’s like prescribed wine more than anything else by every single person, right? You have a bad day, you know, the answer is here, have a have a glass of wine, open a bottle, is it happier yet? So, you know, we’re using this tool that gives us a short term reward, but in the long term makes us feel more anxious and sleep worse, and all the things. So I love that you’ve identified this because I’ve, I’ve heard it when you’ve talked about it, but honestly don’t have a ton of information on it. So what do you recommend to women, when they’re when they’re before they stopped drinking when they stopped drinking, like in terms of finding and supplementing GABA and serotonin and all those things?

 

23:25

Well, I mean, you know, the first thing is, taking alcohol out is, is the best thing you can do now.

 

Easier said than done. And it’s not, you know, not easy at all. And, you know, I know that I’ve been through that for many years, I work with people, you know, that’s what I do with my coaching. So taking alcohol out is will help tremendously, but it’s a little bit of blind faith because it’s like we get in this cycle of we and we’re physically physiologically depleted and we’re using that alcohol, it depletes us more so we need more alcohol and it’s just a vicious cycle. So pulling it out, we have to know that everything’s really low when we’re pulling it out.

 

And so my you know, big philosophy is adding stuff in so taking alcohol out is one big kind of deprivation and if necessary, but then from there on, we’re going to add and add in, add in. So you know, a lot of women will be like, I want to stop the sugar and I’m going to stop this and I’m going to take this away and I’m like, let’s just start with the alcohol because it’s big enough in and of itself, it’s a big enough kind of biochemical, you know, factor we need to deal with.

 

So, um, you know, and I work with people on the body, the biochemistry, the emotions, the somatic piece, like the issues are in the tissues, there’s the trauma connection, which I’ve also done some somatic yoga, training in which I’ve found to be very brilliant and mind blowing, and honestly when that cymatic piece came in for me, once I learned that, it was very quick of when I stopped drinking, so I learned the neurotransmitters in 2006. I kept drinking for another few years. I learned about the somatic emotional regulation, the nervous system piece in 2012. And I quit drinking two years later.

 

So the somatic piece the emotional kind of trauma is huge. And I look at that as well and then just this the spirit, the energetic system. So going back to, like, you know, where do you start taking alcohol out, it’s going to be huge. And then I, you know, start with the body first because when we work with the body, then it starts to change the brain. And so one of the best things and most simplistic things to do is to eat regularly. And I know it’s not sexy and fancy, and it’s like, oh, what, okay, like get to the good stuff. However, working with hundreds of women over four years, and with my gray area drinking coaching, most people don’t eat regularly. And so alcohol really messes up our blood sugar makes it really erratic, we’re just on this rollercoaster ride, when you pull out alcohol, you’re still going to be in this really erratic blood sugar kind of roller coaster. So the best thing to do coming up on not drinking, like if you want to like kind of prep for it a couple days, weeks ahead. And then in those early days is eat regularly. When you wake up, eat something midday, eat something end of the day, because when your blood sugar is stable, it’s going to help everything your mood, your hormones, your digestion, your metabolism, your fatigue, your energy, your sleep, so any complaint that people have, when blood sugar stable, it’s going to help so eating regularly is first and foremost.

 

And then you know, we can look at supplements. Some people don’t like supplements, but they’re great, you know, there’s kind of a whole host of options for GABA boosting supplements. Um, some of my favorite herbs are lemon balm, Holy basil and passionflower. And, and you can find them in any health food store take you know as directed on the label, but they all have GABA boosting effect, which means you know, so alcohol does not boost scab, it feels like it does, but it just depletes it so we need more and more Where’s those herbs Holy basil, lemon balm, passionflower they will boost GABA and hold Gabba, so you know, I don’t take them anymore. But, kind of, the first three months of not drinking, they helped tremendously and some other boosting you know supplements LP amine is very helpful to boost GABA. I really like inositol which is close to a B vitamin but not a B vitamins and it can really help with anxiety and panic and so there’s you know, there’s different things but if you’re on prescription medication, and you need to, you know, I do not recommend at all stop mixing supplements with prescriptions unless you’ve talked with your doctor and always take as directed on the label.

 

So these things are not drugs to get a drug effect they’re in there to just help balance and bring physiology back to baseline. So that’s where I start kind of on the physical level is just eat regularly get your blood sugar balanced and if you want to supplement with a couple things that can help boost GABA in a natural healthy way.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  28:03

Yeah, I absolutely love that and I love the idea that I know that in my experience, that in lots of women, that hunger is a huge trigger like especially being hungry before the witching hour but just you know eating something with protein like right before you leave the office or before you have to deal with the kids helps a lot and I didn’t quite know why. I just knew that was that was something that that helped me a ton as well. So it’s really like it.

 

28:30

I can tell you why protein helps. Okay, it helps for a lot of reasons it balances your blood sugar. So when we eat protein, it helps your blood sugar stay stable for about four hours when we carbohydrates, especially more sugary, like candy bars, starchy, you know, desserts, sweet drinks, that that kind of carbohydrate, it’ll spike blood sugar, and it’ll drop within 30 minutes and then we’re craving or hungry again, what a protein, peanut butter poultry, eggs, tofu, whatever, you know, beef, whatever you like beans, it’ll hold your blood sugar for four hours.

 

So it’s very important when you’re looking at cravings, anxiety, hunger, weight loss sleep, you want a whole blood sugar, because that’s going to help all those things. And then the other thing that protein does is it breaks down into amino acid and amino acids are the building blocks for the body. So the body is constantly breaking down rebuilding and breaking down rebuilding every bone tissue organ, muscle and our brain and the raw materials that make GABA serotonin and dopamine. acetylcholine is amino acids.

 

So if our amino acids are low, which our neurotransmitters are low, which they’re going to be from a lot of drinking, then we want to boost those neurotransmitters and the raw materials that the raw material that makes those neurotransmitters is essential fatty acids from protein. So when we’re talking about getting, you know, lifting up GABA, lifting up serotonin, that’s why I say start with food and eat it regularly because it’s It’ll boost brain chemicals, it’ll help your body repair. It’ll help the gut repair our the cells in our gut lining turnover every three days, we want a healthy gut for a healthy brain.

 

So when those cells are turning over in our intestinal tract every 72 hours, we want amino acids from protein to rebuild new, healthy cells. So protein, it rebuilds the body very quickly, it feeds the neurotransmitters, and it keeps your blood sugar stable. So that’s why you know, going 6 or more hours without eating, it sounds like a good thing. It sounds like I’ll lose weight. When you’re stopping drinking, it’s one of the worst things you can do. You want to eat regularly and eat protein. If some people are more animal based, some people are more protein based, it doesn’t matter. Just eat the protein that you like.

 

30:45

So, what I’m hearing is I love all this information and science behind it. But on the very highest level, you know, when you’re quitting drinking, and want to feel better, first remove the alcohol second, eat regularly and eat protein and good food.

 

31:01

Yeah, you know, it’s going back to the basics. Yeah. And it which I’ve always taught it, you know, I was, I did Corporate Wellness event. Started in corporate wellness in 2004. And, and for me, it’s always been the basics, we want the fancy bells and whistles. And those are fine, you know, taking some passion flower, like that’s a little bit of a fancy, you know, whistle to like an herb to help boost GABA. But if your blood sugar is not stable, you’re not eating regularly, you’re not hydrated with good fresh water, you’re not sleeping regularly, or long hours, that passionflower is going up against a you know, a big hill. So we’ve got to come back to the basics. And the basics make up for 80%, of just eating regularly, staying hydrated, getting good sleep, especially in those early days of not drinking, treating it. I like the analogy Laura McCowan has used it’s like those early days of pregnancy is very similar to the early days of not drinking, of how you just really, really turn inward of how you’re focusing on taking care of yourself and following through with those basic needs.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  32:08

Yeah, yeah. And at the end of the day, I mean, people drink, I mean, one because it’s socially so prescribed and common, and everybody else is doing it, too, because it’s addictive, right and progressive. But we know when you when you drink more, you’re going to drink more. But also, because it does work, like you were talking about in the beginning, right? You’re trying to regulate your body, you’re trying to come down a level from this sort of manic busy state. And it sounds like we just been using the wrong tool to do that. You know, I always think it’s like the easy button, right? I mean, when you’re upset or frustrated, you want to drink because you don’t want to feel that you don’t want to think about that. But what you really need to do is solve for whatever that emotion is. And, and you’re talking about sort of the nervous system and wanting to bring the nervous system down at level.

 

32:58

Yeah, which is going back to the basics. Yeah, nervous system doesn’t need a lot of, you know, fancy pieces, but it is going back to the body first. And you know, to help kind of with that physiological balance. And then you know, you touched on this a couple times about we’ve just kind of it’s just what we’ve had available to us. And it’s you know, it’s what everybody else does. And this then goes into some of kind of the emotional regulation, because we haven’t been shown another way, we haven’t kind of what a model or training, what we’ve had is bars and bakeries, you know, the sugar hit, or the alcohol hit, when we’re frustrated when we’re agitated when we’re in grief, when we’re angry.

 

And it’s just, it’s what’s been modeled, and our body and our nervous system responds to the environment. It watches, it’s the mirror neurons. And so, you know, what we’ve been shown then is what we do, and this is then where kind of working more with that emotional response comes in. There’s physiology first. Because if you think about it, too, that like, if you have a cold, it’s physical, it’s in your body, and it’s when you have a cold, you just don’t feel like doing emotional work. So once you feel better physically, then we can look, that’s why start with physical first. So that’s 80% of it. When you’re when you physically feel better, it’s a lot easier to look at this emotional piece.

 

But then, that’s that what has been, everybody has kind of a habitual pattern is that they flee, that they want to fight or they freeze, when they feel frustrated when they feel overwhelmed when you know, whatever emotional, which we all feel we all have this emotional, especially this year. And so what’s our go to response? Do we just freeze and drank and kind of numb do we flee and drank which was me I always just wanted to kind of mentally flee and just escape and numb it, you know that way or do we want to fight and, you know, and kind of that argumentative back and forth.

 

So those are stress responses and not that any are bad, but if they’re used as kind of the escape to not let things discharge that need to discharge, and we’re getting stuck in a fight, flee or freeze response. So then that’s where you know the neuroscience of like working with the polyvagal nerve working with the amygdala, which is the animal brain and that impulsive, it literally if the animal side of us is running the show. And so when that animal brain that emotional brain is in the driver’s seat, it doesn’t understand language. So that’s why it doesn’t work to say, well just calm down, just relax, because it literally the part of the brain that’s now running the show, because we’ve gotten so activated and dysregulated does not understand words, but what it understands is sensation. So then it’s coming back to the senses.

 

And taste is a sense. And so that’s, I mean, that’s been the primary sense, then, when the animal brains run the show, like just eat something, just drink something, or the tape. And, you know, again, the body is brilliant. But there’s these other senses, too. So there’s sound, and that’s where things like sound therapy, music therapy can come in and to really notice, like, what sounds do you like? What… What happens that, you know, do your shoulders start to drop? How does that start to kind of regulate your system? What sense you know, some people like aroma therapy, and there’s real science with how that’s working on the animal, emotional limbic brain touch is huge, huge, you know, we know that with an animal that scared or a small child that when we can hold them and contain them, it calms the nervous system, it’s the same for ourselves.

 

So a weighted blanket, you know, one of those heavy, like yoga bags, like you can put on your belly, literally just kind of crossing your arms, like one hand on one shoulder, the other on the other shoulder, like that touch for yourself, haven’t I one thing I did a lot in early, you know, days of not drinking was I got regular reflexology. So I had a great reflexologist. I mean, I would almost fall asleep, like it was so relaxing for her to massage my feet, but it was, so it was the touch. And so grounding and calming. So that, you know, there’s all different options to use touch, scent, sound, taste, and then the visual sense of using our eyes. So one way, you know, it’s just like staring at a soft gaze on a candle flame. And the reason this helps balance the nervous system is like when you’re in yoga and like in a tree pose, and you’re on one leg and pull up the other leg into your inner thigh, and you’re balancing on that one leg, what you do is you just, you know, find a spot on the wall in front of you, and you hold that soft gaze, and that holds the balance.

 

So when we’re feeling out of balance in our, you know, nervous system dysregulated having something where we can hold a focal point with our eyes or guided imagery, because it’s that, you know, the imagery inside our mind, and we can follow that. It’s so it’s the visual, the scent, the sound, taste and touch.

 

That’s what helps kind of the emotional body in a very simplistic way. And then you know, there’s, there’s trauma work and like, what’s the real story behind that freezing and fleeing and all of that, but just that’s the, you know, going back to the basics physically, is regular ed, going back to the basics, emotionally is coming back to our senses.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  38:21

I love that and that, you know, when you were going through the list of all the all the different things you can do, including the weighted blanket and the touch and the sense and the music. I mean, in my mind, those are all different sort of sober coping tools or ways you can soothe your nervous system or your body when you’re in a triggered state kind of working down. Ways to self soothe, but you’re, you know, you’re completely right when you were saying that, that you did reflexology.

In early sobriety, we had a woman who came in for 20 minutes a week and did like chair massages in a room at my office. First of all, she’s my favorite. She, Yeah, every woman in my office went to her pretty much because you walked in and she was like, Hi, Goddess. I was like, I think we paid her just to call us goddess. Because we all needed that after, you know, a week in corporate America, but it was just so incredible to have like the essential oils on and just the smell and the touch and the relaxation in the nursery. To remind you that, you know, you’re only treat and reward does not come in a bottle of wine that leaves you with a hangover.

 

39:26

Yeah. So how did you feel after a 10 minute 10 minute chair massage?

 

39:32

Yeah, it was 20 minutes. And it was incredible. I mean, literally just so Zen and I looked forward to it the entire week before. Like, the day of I mean, everyone in my office did, but it was also I was very big on like sober retreats trying to replace that idea that our code is your one reward.

 

So I would go in there and I would be like, this is my treat for being sober. I get to do this because I’m not, you know, hung over and poisoning myself and You know, buzzed every night flush drunk, whatever you want to call it. So, for me, it was that whole anticipation reward reinforcement cycle, that this feels really, really good. And is a real way to take care of myself that is not knocking myself unconscious with wine.

 

40:19

Yeah, so this is important what you said here, and I really emphasize this with clients. Um, because again, so many gray area drinkers, the women I’m working with, they know how to achieve, they know how to produce, they know how to get through the to do list, and it’s like, I’ve got something to do, I’ll do it. And I say to them all the time. This is not about doing this just for the sake of doing this. We don’t want to just load your to-do list with yoga and meditation.

 

And…and I always stop and say, Do you like it? And there’s always kind of this positive, like, I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it. Like, I’m just supposed to do it, or I should do it. And what we’re working with here, and to start to rewire the nervous system is exactly how you just language. So if you’re like, I look forward to it, like it lights me up, have you know, she’s saying hello, Goddess. And it’s like, my body just feels Zen. And there’s kind of, you know, some other descriptions that are like the tingling or like my shoulders drop, or I can take a breath or that expanded feeling versus like being clenched, and tight and contracted. And so we’re really working on that.

 

So things like, you know, massage, some people have that same experience depends on the practitioner. Others don’t like massage, it’s like they get more tense and type. Some people yoga can be that way. Others it could be painting, it doesn’t matter. It’s not like everybody needs to go get a massage or paint. But what matters is what you said, like, I look forward to it. Like, I want to repeat it, I want to do it again. There’s this Zen feeling in my body. And that’s what we’re starting to add in and expand, because that’s what alcohol seemingly gave us. But then we don’t we’re kind of like, what are the other things. So it’s a little bit of a trial by fire and it takes some time to notice what actually helps your nervous system because we’ve never really noticed, what we’ve noticed is you know, just kind of numbing ourselves with sugar alcohol, we noticed that. But then when we have to notice something else, it’s like strengthening the muscle. But there’s many, many things that can give that same kind of warm honey feeling.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  42:25

Yeah, it’s different for everybody. Yeah, I love how you describe it as the warm honey feeling. And you’re right, I would think of it less as trial by fire and more of like creative experimentation, right? Like, go back to when you’re a kid and you get to see what you actually like, and what actually feels good. I feel like so many of us just do the things we should do or try to fit it in the list. And we never actually think about whether we actually enjoy it, including, like volunteering for the schools aren’t something. Like, I’m like, I don’t I hate that shit. Like, no, I don’t want to do that. I’m not the like, I’m not the art mom. But um, but so many of us are like, No, no, no, I should do that. I should enjoy it. You know?

 

43:08

Yeah, that’s what this is about. And it’s about really giving permission to ourselves, especially as women to it’s okay to enjoy things. It’s okay to have pleasure, and comfort and rest. And those are biggies. And you know, the thing with childhood is, you know, I hear that sometimes it’s like, what did you like in childhood? And sometimes, you know, we can name things, but sometimes we can’t, because that’s where some of the adversity lies. And so it’s not, I don’t always just assume that childhood, it’s like, oh, there was it was just this great kind of dancing through the field of flowers, and I just stopped doing it. And often, that’s where, where we were told, we just need to keep pushing and going and buck up and… and, you know, good girls don’t, you know, and that’s where all of that gets severed. So sometimes, you know, it’s there. But sometimes it really is a rediscovery of like, you say, a big curiosity experiment of what feels good. And it is more than Okay, for something to feel good. Because we’ve been told, you know, we it shouldn’t. And that’s, you know, and that’s why we drink because it’s like we need something that feels good. And this is the only thing and so now it’s this permission to expand and add in and have the pleasure have the comfort have the rest and that nurturing.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  44:27

Yeah, we do. That’s amazing. What else do you like to focus on with women? I know you have a program called the Sober Choice, which is a 30 Day sort of self-study program.

 

44:40

Yeah. So in that I put together you know, just again from working with clients, over the last 4 years. I’ve had a full time Coaching practice and really kind of, you know, the most common questions that come up around sugar cravings around sleep around hormone you know, balance relationships, going into social situations. So all those things that I talk about all the time with clients, I put into just that do it yourself online course. And so I record a video for each day, that’s between four and 19 minutes. So it’s not a long, you know, big lecture, it’s, if you’ve noticed, I’m pretty much like, let’s just get to the bottom line, like, what can I do? That’s what I want. I want the how I want to know, you know, what can I try? So that’s what I tried to deliver in that is each day just very practical things to try. There’s links to look at, again, the people I work with, you know, they want the resources, they want the data, they’re like, What’s that? So, I give that and you get that email each day. With the video, you can sign in, you get the whole 30 days, if you just if you want to go to 19, right away, day 19, you can, you don’t have to wait for it. So you’ve got full time access to just all these kind of stumbling blocks in you know, the first couple days of not drinking, but also if you’re going back and forth, if you’ve already stopped before, and you and you have stopped, but you’re like, Oh, I’m really kind of struggling with stain stop. That’s the Sober Choice Course, is who I made that for

 

46:11

to help you get more reinforcement and more tools, right for your toolbox. Absolutely. Yeah, that’s great. So you had talked a little bit about the somatic side? And that was with the yoga and other things, is there anything else you want to share about that?

 

46:27

Well, so coming back to the five senses is a very somatic practice. Coming back to Soma means body. So it’s the embodiment being embodied, we’re very good at being in our head, we’re very good at the conceptual so and people say this, they’re like, I know this stuff.

Like, I’ve listened to the podcast, I’ve read the books, like why can’t I stop I know it. And that’s that conceptual, like the logic, the analysis, the story that we’re very good at that very, very good. But what we need to strengthen is the embodiment side of things.

 

So the sensation that you know, what’s kind of happening in our body, because our body is, you know, a huge messenger. And so when we can be more embodied we can be, that’s where the call comes on. So instead of that reaction, so that’s the, you know, the somatic work, which is like, Well, that sounds great, but the practical side is coming back to your senses. And you know, three other ways that that are kind of some basics with semantics is the grounding, the orienting and the centering. So the orienting is the senses. But the grounding is just noticing right now, you know, as you’re listening to this, what part of your body is on the ground, because some part of our body is always on the ground at some point.

 

So, I’m sitting in a chair, and I can feel my feet on top of the carpet, underneath my feet, and I can notice that sensation, even though I have socks on, I can notice the sensation of the carpet. And I can just kind of mentally notice, like, Is there some tingling on one part of my foot versus the other where the carpet is, is, you know, their warmth? Or does it feel more cool? Is there in my clenching somewhere like at the back of my legs, clenching as I’m noticing the carpet, so I’m standing on carpet versus like grass, or asphalt, that sensation is going to feel different. So it’s noticing the sensation of the ground that you’re standing on sitting on if you’re lying down, and just really kind of bringing your mental energy down to the ground and the sensation of the ground? Because what that does is it brings that mental energy down. And so then the head, you know, we’re not kind of spinning as much mentally and when we feel grounded, we feel more calm. And it’s not an intellectual kind of esoteric thing. It’s a real practical thing, like, what is the ground that you’re standing on sitting on, like, literally, what’s the sensation of it right now, a hardwood floor is going to feel different than carpet. And so often, you know, we’re eating sugar or drinking alcohol, because we’re not grounded, we’re up in our head all the time. And when you know, I eat a lot of sugar, or when I drank alcohol, it’s like all of a sudden, there’s more just kind of this lethargy and my body, I feel heavier, and I would slow down, but what that is, is my body is warm, it’s that kind of a grounded feeling which we’re seeking.

 

So it’s a very basic thing, just noticing the ground and going outside barefoot on the earth on you know, bare feet on the grass on dirt in sand, can be very grounding, literally being on Mother Earth, the electron, you know, that come from the earth and that’s very good for the nervous system. So that’s the grounding, the five senses and then noticing your center which is your heart, or your belly and some people like to put their hand on one area.

 

The other, and you can, you know, do these things anywhere, anytime I can stand in the grocery store line, and bring my mental energy, what’s the ground under my feet in that, as I’m standing in line, I can, you know, look around kind of visually notice what I see in that space in place. Notice, if I smell anything, what I’m hearing at that time, I can just put my hand on my heart, it doesn’t look too out of place for the touch, and then just notice, you know, by recently eating something like, what’s that taste?

 

So those are some basic somatic pieces that that come back to helping the body regulate. But you know, I certainly do refer people to, you know, if there’s been more trauma to work with, you know, an expert, who has been trauma trained to really contain that, hold that and witness that trauma that just yourself working to help your body feel more calm. Those are, those are some basic resources.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  50:57

Those are great, that’s absolutely wonderful. And I’ve loved this conversation, I know a lot of people are gonna want to get in touch with you, or figure out how they’re, they might work with you. So do you want to share how people can contact you?

 

51:11

Yeah, so the best way to find me is my website, grayareadrinkers.com, my Coaching Page is there, the Sober Choice is there, I also do a Training, where I train other coaches and healthcare practitioners who want to work with gray area drinkers. So all of that information is at grayareadrinkers.com.

 

And then I’m also on Instagram, @healthy_discoveries. So it’s healthy underscore discoveries, which is my original company, corporate wellness company. So I just always kept that, that’s kind of my big umbrella. And then the gray area drinkers is under healthy discoveries.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  51:44

I think that’s great. And I love the work you’re doing, especially with giving the name and talking about gray area drinking, because I know a lot of people talk about sober curious, and I love that. And you know, people doing Dry January are Sober October. But that’s sort of where you are in terms of coming around to the idea that life may be better without alcohol, or you’re interested in, in what sober life would look like.

 

Whereas, gray area drinking is really where so many of us are right, we don’t think we you know, we spend way too much time thinking, am I an alcoholic? Do I actually abuse alcohol, do I have a problem, and yet, you’re living in a space that doesn’t feel really good to you, and it isn’t healthy, and normal. And you’re in that gray area, where you do kind of need the tools and the encouragement to step out of where you are. And I love that you’re providing that as well as the language around it.

 

52:38

Well, and you said that kind of at the beginning, too, about, you know, the early exit idea. And that’s, I feel like what so much of this work is giving women permission to stop drinking any time in their life or any time on the drinking spectrum. You don’t have to hit a certain marker, you don’t have to prove externally that Okay, now I this has happened. So, it’s proof that I need to stop.

 

And you can make the decision any day, any time, to stop drinking. And I think you know, again, the language is a little more empowering around talking about an early exit, talking about the gray area, which so many identify with.

 

And it’s just the permission all around you – to stop with no explanation, justification, big story and the permission to add in, like, what we’ve talked about, the stuff that feels good. And to really explore that and get curious about that

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  53:34

when I think this stuff you’re describing in terms of adding in, is what makes you sort of not just white knuckle, right? When I think of white knuckling, it is you stopped drinking, you still got all the same pressures, the same environment, the same life that you’re attempting to cope with. But now, just without alcohol, and when you just take out, hot out.

 

Yes, so much of your life gets better. First 2 weeks suck, then it gets a lot better, you know in terms of your sleep and your anxiety and just your optimism and, and perception of the world. But you still have all those pressures. And when you Jolene are talking about adding in the physical supplements and improving the way you physically eat and have that in your body.

 

And then also the somatic practices and all of your five senses and all that rich nurturing that you can do for yourself. That’s when you’re not white knuckling it that’s when you’re actually caring for your mind and your body and your emotions and your senses just in a better way than the bottle of wine could ever do for you.

 

54:39

Yeah, and you know, I’ve always said it’s again that my name healthy discoveries, we live in a time like none other with so many healthy discoveries, so many practices and exercises and therapies and tools and practitioners and resources, which is what I love I that’s what I’m passionate about. I love finding the healthy discoveries and sharing the healthy discussion. And, you know, again, we touched on just like 3 basics. But there’s hundreds and hundreds, it really depends, as I’m talking with somebody, what their own kind of personal story is, what their goal is, at the time hearing kind of, you know, what their biochemistry, you know, I have lots of questions to go through with people that it gives me a sense of like, ooh, where’s that resonance for them biochemically, what’s their stress response already been doing or not doing, and then that’s how I kind of pull in the resources.

 

So there’s not just kind of a set formula, of, if you stopped drinking, you need to, you know, whatever, get lavender oil. There’s the role of lavender oil, but it really depends on the person and the whole story, because that’s the holistic side, and what’s going on biochemically what’s going on stress response, metabolically within their nervous system, and even just, you know, kind of their energy. That’s like the acupuncture thing of, you know, the meridians. So where’s the energy running too fast, and the we need to slow it, where something stuck, what’s going on with just kind of routines and patterns, because where energy flows, like, that’s how we set up our routines or not.

 

And so it’s so much looking at that big picture, the spiritual side, the leisure side, the emotional side, relationship side. And that’s my nourish acronym, of looking at, you know, the different pieces, because if it were just about eating, right, and exercise, in giving up alcohol, or just general wellness, most people know what they need, you know, know how to eat, right and exercise. But it’s bigger than that, like nourishment is, you know, relationships nourish us, and the play side, the spiritual side, our purpose, and like what we’re doing for work.

 

So it’s looking at all of that, and everybody, everybody’s on different timelines, and in different spaces and places. So that’s what’s fun with this work is to really customize things.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  56:55

Yeah. And I think what you provide, as well as just the support, and I know there are a lot of other Coaches out there who do that as well. But if you have such great background in all the different areas and such deep background. But I mean, we do all know, you know, we should eat right and exercise, but when the day to day world weighs you down, when you’re  going through on autopilot with all your built in, you know, maladaptive coping strategies that have gotten you through to this place and the environmental pressures. And you know, it’s hard. Like, there’s no question, lots of people wake up every morning with the best of intentions to eat healthy, and they know exactly what they should eat and exercise. And, and it doesn’t happen. So I think that the person I support, as well as information you provide is really, really valuable. So thank you for that.

 

57:43

Yeah, thank you, and you’re doing the same, you know, this is why coaching is so important and unique and valuable, because it’s not only providing resources, which is different than, you know, a sponsor therapy, or even a position, but providing very kind of how to resources for this demographic, and then providing the accountability, which you just touched on.

 

And again, that’s different from, you know, other practitioners and, and I don’t see it as an either or, you know, you coach and then don’t work with them. I mean, I’m like, bringing the village, you know, bring it all it is, everything has a unique value, but coaching because of that accountability side.

 

Again, I work with people who they’ve read all the books, they’ve listened to the podcast, myself included, like, we know this stuff. And now it’s Thursday, and we haven’t done it. So that accountability with a Coach. That’s the power, and the value of why this Coaching right now, that you’re doing, and so many are doing, is so helpful and so beneficial.

 

Yeah, you know, there’s nothing like this when I quit drinking 6 years ago. And now it’s exploded, and I so would have worked with a Coach who, you know, to just have that check in and that accountability in a really empowering way.

 

And that cheerleader. Yes, once again, you almost need someone to hold your hand and most of the times the people in your life aren’t the people who are going to be the right sorts of your sober support, whether it’s your girlfriend’s your partner, whoever it is.

 

59:13

Yeah, again, the power of Coaching.

 

Casey McGuire Davidson  59:15

Yeah. Well, thank you so much. It’s been a real pleasure.

 

Thank you, Casey. Have a great day.

 

So thank you for coming on here. I couldn’t appreciate it more. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Hello Someday Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more about me or the work I do or accessing free resources and guides to help you build a life you love without alcohol, please visit hellosomedaycoaching.com. And I would be so grateful if you would take a few minutes to rate and review this podcast so that more women can find it and join the conversation about drinking less and living more. 

ABOUT THE HELLO SOMEDAY PODCAST

The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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