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Is it Time to Declutter the Alcohol in Your Life? The Benefits of Dry January You Haven't Heard Before with Casey McGuire Davidson #083

January 02, 2024 Caroline
Is it Time to Declutter the Alcohol in Your Life? The Benefits of Dry January You Haven't Heard Before with Casey McGuire Davidson #083
Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
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Living Clutter Free Forever - decluttering tips, professional organizing, minimalist living
Is it Time to Declutter the Alcohol in Your Life? The Benefits of Dry January You Haven't Heard Before with Casey McGuire Davidson #083
Jan 02, 2024
Caroline

As the calendar flips to a new page, so too do our opportunities for personal growth and renewal. I'm Caroline Thor, and I've journeyed from being swamped in clutter to embracing a life of thoughtful organization, all sparked by the epiphany that came from a single book. Today, I'm thrilled to share the airwaves with Casey McGuire Davidson, the insightful host of Hello Someday Podcast for sober curious women, to discuss the liberating journey of Dry January and the broader implications of alcohol in our lives. In an conversation, Casey uncovers the often-overlooked effects of alcohol on our well-being, particularly for those of us spinning plates as parents. Together, we offer actionable advice on how to navigate the month with grace and the profound personal discoveries that await when we align our living spaces with our aspirations.

This episode ventures into the mental clarity that emerges from personal challenges, whether it's a pause from the pour or trialing a vegan diet. I recount my own vegan adventure and how it expanded my world, suggesting that a month-long lifestyle experiment could be just the shake-up you need. We also trade secrets on optimizing our environments to champion our goals, celebrating the unexpected delights of non-alcoholic beverages and the importance of not overloading oneself with too many changes. With a roster of inspiring guests and a treasure trove of organizing wisdom ahead, we're setting the stage for a year where we not only declutter our homes but also our heads, paving the way for monumental personal transformations.

Casey McGuire Davidson is a life and sobriety coach and host of the Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, The Hello Someday Podcast for sober curious women and gray area drinkers. Casey helps busy women quit drinking and create lives they love without alcohol. She’s a wife, a mom, a practical dreamer, retired corporate ladder climber, recovering people-pleaser and ex-red wine drinker, who’s been known to crawl into bed at 9 pm and whisper “Don’t worry…you’re still a badass” to herself.
All links mentioned by Casey in this episode can be found here:
https://hellosomedaycoaching.com/

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As the calendar flips to a new page, so too do our opportunities for personal growth and renewal. I'm Caroline Thor, and I've journeyed from being swamped in clutter to embracing a life of thoughtful organization, all sparked by the epiphany that came from a single book. Today, I'm thrilled to share the airwaves with Casey McGuire Davidson, the insightful host of Hello Someday Podcast for sober curious women, to discuss the liberating journey of Dry January and the broader implications of alcohol in our lives. In an conversation, Casey uncovers the often-overlooked effects of alcohol on our well-being, particularly for those of us spinning plates as parents. Together, we offer actionable advice on how to navigate the month with grace and the profound personal discoveries that await when we align our living spaces with our aspirations.

This episode ventures into the mental clarity that emerges from personal challenges, whether it's a pause from the pour or trialing a vegan diet. I recount my own vegan adventure and how it expanded my world, suggesting that a month-long lifestyle experiment could be just the shake-up you need. We also trade secrets on optimizing our environments to champion our goals, celebrating the unexpected delights of non-alcoholic beverages and the importance of not overloading oneself with too many changes. With a roster of inspiring guests and a treasure trove of organizing wisdom ahead, we're setting the stage for a year where we not only declutter our homes but also our heads, paving the way for monumental personal transformations.

Casey McGuire Davidson is a life and sobriety coach and host of the Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, The Hello Someday Podcast for sober curious women and gray area drinkers. Casey helps busy women quit drinking and create lives they love without alcohol. She’s a wife, a mom, a practical dreamer, retired corporate ladder climber, recovering people-pleaser and ex-red wine drinker, who’s been known to crawl into bed at 9 pm and whisper “Don’t worry…you’re still a badass” to herself.
All links mentioned by Casey in this episode can be found here:
https://hellosomedaycoaching.com/

I would LOVE to hear from you. Text Message me here.

Thanks for listening! For more organizational motivation, support and free resources:
Join my online membership Clutter Free Collective
Join my podcast Facebook group Living Clutter Free Forever Podcast: KonMari® Inspired Organizing | Facebook
Visit my website www.caroline-thor.com
Come and say 'hi' on Instagram @caro.thor
Follow me on Facebook @carolineorganizer

Speaker 1:

Hi there, I'm Caroline Thor, professional organizer, konmari consultant, teacher and mum of three. I started off my life as a mum feeling overwhelmed, disorganized and desperately trying to carve out some time for me amongst the nappies, chaos and clutter. One day, one small book called the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying changed everything and I began to learn strategies for making everyday life easier. Today, I have the systems in place that means life can throw almost anything at me, and I want to share them with you. If you're an overwhelmed mum struggling to keep it together, then this is the podcast for you. Grab a coffee and settle in for a quick chat with someone who gets your reality.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the first episode of Living Clutter Free Forever of 2024. I'm so excited to be in a new year. I love fresh starts. I'm the sort of person that gets very excited on a Monday morning when I can turn over to a fresh page in my planner. So a whole new year for me is just a wonderful, wonderful thing. And for those of you who have been listening to the podcast for the whole of 2023, you may have picked out that 2023 was not an easy year for me, and I am hoping that 2024, for us and for you is filled with joy, is filled with positivity, and that we can all move forward and make the changes in our lives that we want to be able to make in order to be able to live our ideal lifestyle. So today's episode, which we'll come to in a moment, is potentially going to bring you a step closer to being able to do that. But first of all, if one of your goals for 2024 is to get your house tidied up and organised, then I would love to have you join us in Clutter Free Collective, my online membership for women who want to accountability and motivation to get their homes tidied up and organised. The membership only started in December, but we've already got 10 countries represented, and the amazing changes that people have been able to make in that short time getting things ready and organised for Christmas, doing other jobs around the home that make life easier has just been absolutely incredible. So you can join today by going to caroline-thorcom forward slash clutter and there you will find all the information about joining up in Clutter Free Collective, and I would love to see you there because I know we can help you get your New Year's resolution that your home is going to be organised, sort it. We will give you the accountability and motivation you need for that.

Speaker 1:

So, moving on to today's episode, today I am so excited to be talking to Kasey Davidson. Kasey is the host of the Hello Someday podcast for sober curious women, and I heard about Kasey because she actually gave a training in a membership that I am in for people that have their own online courses and businesses, and she gave a training on podcasting and how to grow your podcast, because her podcast, the Hello Someday podcast for sober curious women, is huge. She has huge numbers of downloads every month and she was wanting to spread the word about dry January, which, of course, we have just entered into. If you don't know what dry January is, it will all be explained soon and, as someone who has the occasional drink normally only at the weekend, but I will have a drink on perhaps a Friday and a Saturday evening or two I was interested to talk to KC, find out what dry January was all about and become a little more educated on how alcohol, or choosing to drink less alcohol or no alcohol, could make a difference to me being able to achieve the goals that I am setting myself for 2024. It is an amazing conversation.

Speaker 1:

I hope you get as many great takeaways as I have and I'll come back in at the end and let you know my thoughts. So enjoy, kc. Welcome to Living Clutter Free Forever. Thank you for being here today.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here Well we're in January.

Speaker 1:

I'm excited about new starts. I don't personally believe in new year's resolutions because I think I break them and I'm setting myself up for a fall. So I like to start the new year with new thoughts, new ideas, and that's why I'm excited about this episode. So, before we get started, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely so. I am a life and sobriety coach at Hello Sunday Coaching. I have a podcast for sober curious women. It's called the Hello Someday podcast for sober curious women. It talks about a lot of the challenges that women face if they're mothers, if they're working mothers just the endless responsibilities and overwhelm and imposter syndrome and trying to do it all right and perfectionism and anxiety and all the things that women deal with every single day.

Speaker 2:

And what I look at is that drinking, having wine, having a happy hour, having a cocktail, mommy wine culture has been sort of the go-to coping mechanism for a lot of women and a lot of mothers. It is the socially acceptable way of turning off your brain and sort of the signifier of I'm off duty or I'm transitioning from day to night. And we've been raised with all these beliefs about what alcohol does for us. It helps us sleep, it helps us connect, it is symbolic of a good time and the substance is addictive. It just is in the same way that cigarettes are and I personally used to drink a lot. Never had any kind of a big bottom. I don't identify with any labels, but it was leading to poor sleep and more anxiety and sort of a feeling of overwhelm in my life. I stopped drinking eight years ago with the help of a coach, and that's what I help women do now.

Speaker 1:

And I listened to a podcast episode from your podcast where you were talking to your daughter about the journey and her understanding of alcohol. Would you like to just tell us a little bit about that episode, because I thought it was really wonderful and I think everyone should go and listen to that one. It's absolutely superb, oh thank you so much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, my daughter. Her name is Lila. She's nine. Now I have a son who's also 15. And I stopped drinking when she was two and my son was eight years old, and it was definitely a process. I had tried for years to sort of make all the rules about only two drinks a night, or only drink on the weekends, or drink water in between each one, and I just didn't really have an off switch and I've always been very honest with her about why I stopped drinking. Obviously I'm a sober coach. Obviously I have a podcast now, but even before then she just knew that I used to love red wine. I used to drink it often and it made me sleep terribly. It gave me anxiety. I couldn't keep up with my promises to exercise more, any of that stuff. And if you want more habit, támy, I've been open with her about that and so we talked about that. We talked about everything she knows about alcohol and her take on it. And she's nine years old, so she's honestly like ridiculously cute.

Speaker 1:

It was wonderful.

Speaker 2:

I'm biased, I'm totally biased. But my husband still drinks and a lot of my friends do so. It's in no way demonizing alcohol, but I want her to understand and kind of know the warning signs of when it might move from drinking socially. I can take it or leave it to emotional or habitual and eventually physical dependence on it. I wasn't at all to that point but it's something to be aware of and younger generations are very much aware of the mental health impacts.

Speaker 2:

The link to cancer we talked about the link to substance and I thought, both men and women, and I like her to know about that, because the world's changing in terms of people talking about consent.

Speaker 1:

And our knowledge is power, and that is also why I think today's episode is so important, because I think there's a lot of facts around alcohol that perhaps we are not aware of that we assume the odd drink here and there. I am someone that still has a drink and I do tend to only drink on the weekend, but sometimes if we've had a really bad day and we've got the kids to bed, my husband and I look at each of them and go should we just have a G&T? And it's like, oh the slippery slope, here we go. So we need to be really careful of that. So it's dry January for a lot of people. Can you explain what that? I'm sure everyone has heard of dry January, but just in case, can we clarify what dry January means?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's really incredible that most people have heard of dry January, because it has become huge in the last, I would say, five years. Every single year, the Google search terms double in terms of people being interested in it. Over the last two, three years, somewhere between a fifth and a fourth of American adults have participated in it, and if you think about what those percentages are like one out of five, one out of four American adults that's amazing. In the UK, it actually originated in the UK as a challenge and it's been growing. You're in January. Look around, everybody is writing about it, like Vogue UK is writing about it, and in the United States, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, health Publications, business Publications so it's a huge movement.

Speaker 2:

What it is is a challenge of not drinking alcohol for 31 days, and a lot of people use it as a reset or to detox from imbibing heavily over the holidays, and it's something that people do year over year. I think that one of the reasons it's great to do is because it gives you the opportunity to actually get away from the substance, to see how your body feels without it, which a lot of us don't experience if you're drinking on any kind of a regular basis. It actually alcohol, even if you have one drink a night or seven a week, which used to be the recommended amount for women. It spikes your cortisol, which is your stress hormone, in your body, and it suppresses your dopamine and your serotonin, which is your happy hormone and your mood regulation. So it takes about seven days for your cortisol, your stress hormone, to even out and come back down. It takes 30 days for your dopamine levels and serotonin to get back to normal. So you're happier without it.

Speaker 2:

You absolutely sleep better. I mean, a single drink brings your sleep quality down by 20%, two drinks by 40%, and so you may not have slept as well as you could for years I know I didn't and you'll be less anxious. So one that happens also to it enables you to have more time in your life, and I know you talk about intentional living and simplification and visualizing your ideal lifestyle and the clutter, the mental clutter, in your mind when you're drinking. You won't understand the degree to which that goes away or how much it occupies till you get away from it. For a lot of us, myself included, they're if you were trying to drink less, I think, at least in the United States, 34% of drinkers are trying to drink less. There is a constant chatter or debate or decision about will I drink tonight? It's been a stressful day. Should I only have two? Am I driving home and just getting rid of that? You feel an incredible sense of peace.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you don't have a decision to make anymore. The decision is made for you and it frees you up to think about other things. Yes, 100%, which is amazing. And when we talk about this sort of idea of mentally de-pluttering, I don't think people realize how good for us it is to do a challenge like this whether it's drinking or trying a different way of eating or trying a different exercise plan just to do something for 31 days, to set yourself a challenge, to see if you can stick to it and to see whether there are any benefits. Yeah, it's actually really fun and you learn a lot about yourself doing it as well.

Speaker 1:

My husband and I did a vegan challenge nearly two years ago now and we haven't gone back. We sort of stuck with it. That's amazing Because of the fact we felt better on it. I know there are a lot of people that find that the opposite, but for us it worked and we felt an awful lot better, so we've stuck at it. So this idea of starting the new year with a challenge, something to get your teeth into, something to see how it affects you I think is a really good way of sort of de-cluttering your mind and taking away some of those decisions that you sometimes need to be making. Do I have a drink, don't I? So that you can focus on other things, and it's a really great way to start the new year.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and it also brings an incredible level of peace to your life, which I know is a feeling that a lot of us crave.

Speaker 2:

It's the idea of slowing down and being intentional.

Speaker 2:

Alcohol is really interesting in terms of being a substance, because it's both a stimulant and a depressant, so it hits your bloodstream and does those two things it spikes your dopamine and it actually slows your brain, and so once you get away from that, you will sense an overall level of peace. And what I found was I also had time to do so many things that I had always said I was going to do and never did. I finally cleared out my bedroom and got it painted and got new curtains and new pillows. It made me so incredibly happy because I used to hang out on the couch with my husband drinking wine after the kids went to bed and my bedroom was the only space in my home that I hadn't cleaned up, because I just went there to fall asleep and when I stopped drinking I would go up there and diffuse essential oils and read books and just had you know, there's no television in there and just kind of chill. It just sort of brought down my blood pressure in all areas of my life.

Speaker 1:

So one thing I very often say about going through the process of decluttering and organizing your home is that it really is a form of self care. You are creating an environment that supports your ideal lifestyle, and therefore it sounds very much like doing dry January is a form of self care if, if you're able then to sort of have this peace which is, as you say, what we're all aiming for.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and a lot of what you're saying in terms of your environment is very similar to my advice to people who are taking a break from drinking or who want to stop for a longer period of time, which is, essentially, you need to up level your physical environment, and a part of that is getting the alcohol, or at least your alcohol of choice, out of your home for a period of time, because I know I was a red wine girl and if there was red wine in the wine rack or on the counter, even if I was not drinking it, the degree of willpower that it required to say no over and over and over was immense, whereas when you remove it from your home, that mental chatter goes away and you immediately shift into solution mode. So it's 6 pm on a Friday. What would I like to drink? You know, and I very much encourage people to experiment with non-acolic beverages.

Speaker 2:

Obviously it's winter, there's here, there's tea, there's hot chocolate, there's warm apple cider, but there's also incredible non-acolic beer and wine and spirits. That gives you the taste and what you're used to Like. I had a party and I had non-acolic champagne, which was fantastic Around a fire pit. There's really good non-acolic beer these days, but without the negative impacts to your body and mind.

Speaker 1:

My husband. Actually, every year for Lent he has always given up alcohol. This is something his father's always done and he always does it and he does feel so much better for that period of time that he's doing it and I very often will join him. We made the mistake one year of giving up for Lent alcohol, chocolate and television. Oh my God.

Speaker 2:

I don't recommend it.

Speaker 1:

I do not recommend it. It was way too much in one go.

Speaker 2:

I love that because that's another piece of advice for people starting out Like in your first two weeks, three weeks, 30 days, I highly recommend just removing alcohol and not making any other major changes. And first of all, it's because a lot of people decide to go on a health kick, aka a lifetime, some more restrictive diet, when they give up alcohol, because they're like, okay, if I'm not drinking, I'm going to exercise every day, I'm going to eat healthy, whatever it is and that's very common in the new year Makes sense. But when you stop drinking, you are going to crave sugar. For all these reasons Number one alcohol actually has a lot of sugar in it and I mean I used to be the girl like no dessert for me.

Speaker 2:

I take my calories and wine. I used to say I didn't have a sweet tooth. Oh my God, there's so much sugar in what I was drinking. But also sugar gives you that same dopamine hit that you get from alcohol, but at a much lower rate, and so your dopamine is depressed. That's your happy hormone because your body's regulated your natural resting level down and it takes 30 days to come back up. So you are going to need that.

Speaker 2:

I mean, have the cookie, have the brownie. I promise you you will look better and feel better regardless of eating more sugar, because you're not putting this toxic in your body. You'll notice your skin looks better, your eyes are brighter, you're less bloated in your face. But also you need comfort and hunger is one of the biggest triggers, so you need to eat protein. Like low blood sugar is a big trigger to drink. I always recommend that you set an alarm for 3.30 or 4.00 PM to eat something with sugar, so you're not going into the end of the day rush making dinner maybe when you normally drink, with also being very hungry.

Speaker 1:

That is some great advice there. So anyone wanting to do dry January, there is some great advice from Casey on how to approach it in a way that is going to make it more manageable for you. I love that and as people tend to start the new year with all these amazing intentions, they're going to have dry January, they're going to exercise, they're going to get their house decluttered and organized it's like all the stuff. And it was interesting actually, as you were saying before recommending not to do other things while trying to give up alcohol, because eventually you can't maintain it.

Speaker 1:

If you haven't been doing all those things before, it's very hard to then suddenly maintain all these new habits. So I totally agree with you. But if people so some people, for example, are in my membership and we're setting each other little challenges each day to just do like a draw or something, how is not having had the alcohol going to support you with your decluttering? I would imagine you've got a much clearer head and you're much more focused and you've probably got more energy. But perhaps you can explain it from your side and you also you're not losing so many hours in the evening.

Speaker 2:

Now I do like to come home or finish dinner and just sit down and relax with a book or a show. I do very much enjoy that and I do that as well. And because I'm not drinking, I'm sleeping well throughout the night. I'm getting up at 6 am, naturally, and being in my quiet house by myself, it's my most peaceful and also most productive time. I mean, sometimes I go to bed thinking I'm so excited to have coffee in the morning.

Speaker 2:

I know that sounds ridiculous but trust me, I was not doing that when I was drinking. And maybe three, four days a week I go work out in the morning, walk into the home, like then I'm getting stuff ready before anyone's up, I'm bringing coffee to my husband, getting my kids up, tidying up. But it is lovely. When I was drinking I might not have even done the dishes the night before. I might have been like, oh, it's too much, I don't feel like it. And you'd be amazed how much easier it is to manage your life in your home and just keep things nice when you're not drinking, losing those hours, sleeping poorly and then often not feeling 100% in the morning.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, which leads to you feeling overwhelmed, and when you feel overwhelmed, everything just seems too much and then it's like I don't have 10 minutes to do this little task that I thought I would do. So I am sure there are a lot of people who would love to know where they can listen to your podcast and where they can find out more about you and the services you offer. Casey, would you like to share that with us, please?

Speaker 2:

Yeah absolutely so. The best place to find me is my website. It's hellosomedaycoachingcom. I have a completely free guide which is 30 tips for your first month alcohol-free, so that is perfect for dry January. I also have a course in a private member group where you have a lot of women the women in my course it's just for women in my membership but who are approaching building lives they love without alcohol or taking a break from drinking in a habit and behavioral change approach. That's really positive and empowering. My podcast is the hellosomeday podcast for sober, curious women, so wherever you're listening to this, you can check that out as well.

Speaker 1:

I will put all of those links in the show notes. I think you've given us so much to help us get through dry January, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people don't decide to continue on into February because they'll be feeling so much better. I certainly hope so.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I know like your husband when he said he felt so much better when you take a period of time away from alcohol. You have that information moving forward. So maybe you continue, which is incredible and I absolutely recommend that and love that. But if you go back to drinking you'll also realize like wow, I actually felt physically better when I wasn't drinking. I wasn't as bored as I thought I'd be. I had interests and habits and got more accomplished with less stress. So even that information is very helpful.

Speaker 1:

And, as we said at the start, information is power and I hope that that's what we've given people today. Casey, thank you so much for your time. Thank you, oh my goodness, how many amazing takeaways were there in that conversation. I loved talking to Casey and, as you may have heard if you listened to my previous episode with Merg Simon, my word for 2024, my theme for 2024 is intentional. I want to get intentional about things. I feel very often that in 2023, I was being very reactive in how I responded to things, in how I set myself goals, and I want to be very intentional this year, going forward, to make sure that when I get to this point in 2025, I can look back at 2024 and say that I achieved my goals, that I set things that were obtainable and that I was intentional about getting there.

Speaker 1:

Having spoken to Casey, I have decided to give dry January a go. As I said in my introduction, I don't drink a huge amount anyway, but I'm just interested to see for the month of January if it makes a difference. I will keep you posted in this podcast. So if you would like to join me for dry January, then please do shoot me a message in my DMs on Instagram at carothor and let me know that you're doing dry January with me, and let's keep each other motivated and accountable, and I will also be posting about it in my membership. So, if you would like to join me, go to caro-thorcom forward, slash clutter and we can help each other in the membership as well be accountable there.

Speaker 1:

I am so grateful to have had this conversation with Casey. I think it's a wonderful way to have started the new year and I hope you have found it useful too. Even if you decide that it's not alcohol that you want to stop drinking or maybe you don't drink alcohol anyway then perhaps choose something else for January that you would like to be intentional about, and you can send me a DM on Instagram about that too. It doesn't just have to be about not drinking. Let's choose something for January that we want to do differently for the whole of January, just to see what difference it makes, and let's keep each other accountable. I am wishing you and your family and your friends the most amazing 2024.

Speaker 1:

Keep listening to this podcast. I have got some amazing guests coming up. I think I've kicked it off in a great way here today and I'm off to download that free resource that Casey was talking about, or the links for Casey you can find in the show notes. Until next time, if you've enjoyed this episode, please send the link to a friend you know would appreciate it, subscribe and leave a review. I look forward to bringing you more organising tips next time, but if you can't wait until then, you can go to my website or find me on Instagram, at carrowthor, or on Facebook, at carrowlineorganisercom. Thanks for listening and I look forward to guiding you on your journey to find your clutter free ever after.

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