The non-consuming alcohol ways of filling that void
Feeling dismal is not a perpetual state of being. There is so much to enjoy about life! And no, Daniella Scotti is not referring to a weekend bender, or double parking every time you go to the bar.
Like the seasons of the year, that feeling of emptiness is often just a transient stage in our lives. While realising that this feeling is completely normal, what’s perhaps more important is finding ways to fill that void, other than consuming alcohol.
I have no problems with people having a drink here and there, but if you’re feeling a little hollow, maybe give one of these tips a go:
In an ever-increasing secular society, religion perhaps does not strike a chord with people like it once did. However, that doesn’t mean religion is off limits. Even give lighter form of spiritual expression like tarot or crystal reading a go.
Light a candle, meditate, focus on your breathing. Point being, do something that anchors you. Take ten minutes a day to focus on what you’re grateful for. In turn, you will feel more whole and more grounded.
If going spiritual just isn’t your thing at all, then practice some mindfulness. In today’s day and age, there are SO many apps (Headspace, MINDBODY, Calm, Buddhify to name a few) that can help you do this.
Grow your mind
Do you ever get curious about something? Finding yourself asking a lot of questions? Well, then educate yourself. Google it. Watch movies and documentaries. When something sparks your interest, read about it. Study, learn and stimulate your brain.
Challenge yourself to read the news every morning for a week. If you’re into politics, watch ABC’s Q&A or Four Corners – care about what’s going on in the world, instead of just passively wandering through life.
Your conversations with friends will change and you will find yourself becoming more in touch with the world. Your eyes will open, and that void will close (eventually!).
For decades, the correlation between good mental health and physical activity has been clear, but there is no harm in reiterating that this is one of the best ways to release negative energy.
Why? Well, physical exertion releases the chemical serotonin in your brain. This is known as the ‘happy chemical,’ as it plays a major role in mood regulation – contributing to good wellbeing.
Go for a run, sprint, swim, or something less intense like yoga – basically, anything that gets your heart pumping.
Let me say, I’m no athlete but I went for a run (more like a jog) just the other day and felt unbelievably accomplished. It’s a mood lifter, you’ll starting setting targets and before you know it, you’ve hit the ground running.
Your mood will be brightened, and you’ll feel great – trust me.
Find a hobby and master it!
I know, this sounds like some generic advice, but don’t underestimate it – SERIOUSLY!
Become a barista, learn a new language, try photography, join your local soccer club, try ballroom dancing, learn to perfect 5 dishes, those adult colouring books are cool too.
My latest addiction has been creating mood fitting playlists on Spotify. If you’re more of a visual person, why not create pinboards on Pinterest.
Hobbies allow us to develop new skills, meet new people, enjoy nature, train our mind and reduce stress. Overall, their good for the body, mind and soul – take advantage of that!
Live for more than yourself
“Pay it forward” by shouting the meal for the person behind you in the drive through. Tip the waitstaff next time you go out for brunch. Volunteer. Help that elderly lady on your bus with her shopping bags. Donate blood. Recycle. Take in a foreign exchange student. Sign up at a soup kitchen.
I think you understand my point, but to borrow the eloquent words of Ghandi: “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Remember, treating yourself to a beverage here or there is totally worth it. But when you see someone drinking with the intent to get wasted, they’re probably just trying to fill a void.
Daniella Scotti is a second-year journalism student, who lives at Officeworks and spends more time writing to do lists than actually completing them.