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Creating a New Ritual

Elizabeth GreigIt’s been a long day, a long week-or a long year, and you are longing to relax!  There are many ways to take the edge off, and if for you, this means having your favorite alcoholic beverage, it might be time to create a new ritual for relaxation.  Whether it’s a glass of wine, or a cocktail, over time, this adds up to a lot of stress on your liver and pancreas.  But more than that, losing yourself in the buzz of alcohol is a way to ‘check out’ of your life.  While this might feel good in the short term, when the high is over, your stress and problems are still there, and your emotions stay stuck in your body!  This is not an effective way to manage stress.

Instead, it is better to cultivate a new practice or ritual that will help you ‘check-in’ with yourself.  Checking-in just means that you are staying in the present moment so that you can feel your emotions and let them move through you instead of becoming stuck.  All mind-body techniques like meditation and guided imagery help you ‘check in’, but it can also be as simple as listening to music, going for a walk, taking a few minutes to sit in the garden and watch the birds and breathe.  You can make our ‘mocktail’ recipe and think of it like a drink, sipping it slowly while you relax.  I love listening to my favorite music while preparing or eating dinner.  The trick is to replace one ritual with another, and you can experiment until you find one that works best for you.