Six Ways to Relax Alcohol Free

Alcohol can be a popular way to switch off, but finding an alternative ways to relax or unwind could be fun and also good for your health.

Some of us may have a glass (or two) of wine to help us unwind after a hard day, and a drink is often involved when we catch up with friends. But sometimes it’s a good idea to take time off from alcohol and try a natural kick instead. 
Here are six inspiring ideas:

1.  Are you game?

Accredited Bupa dietician Gemma Cosgriff drew on her childhood for inspiration during a recent getaway where mobile devices and alcohol were deliberately left behind.
 
“We took a pack of playing cards, but you could even use a board game as a nice way to unwind and get out of work mode.”

2.  Intoxicating music

“Playing a musical instrument and even playing a new piece is a great way to use your brain. You’ll find hours go by and all of a sudden you’re feeling quite refreshed and energised.”
 
For those that don’t play an instrument, she suggests sorting through your music collection while playing different tracks as a substitute for passively listening to music via a digital device with a glass of wine.

3.  Get your hands dirty

Gardening is a creative and physical activity that works far better without alcohol!
 
“Even if you only have a balcony you can get creative with pots and designing different spaces, including a vertical garden.”
people cycling

4.  Get physical just for fun

Cosgriff says for minimum stress and maximum enjoyment exercise is hard to beat, but keep things casual.
 
“Go for a bike ride, but just as a way of getting out and spending time with a friend, your partner or family so you can chat along the way.”
 
Or why not try something new or something you haven’t done since you were a child? Think trampolining or ice skating – they’re not just for kids. Or, if you and your friends love dancing, why not give No Lights No Lycra a go? 

5.  Solo retreat

Sometimes you just can’t beat a warm bath complete with candles and heavenly scented bath oils. It’s a blissful way to relax, but instead of having a wine, why not create your own low- or no-sugar drink? Make yourself a hot tea by steeping herbs such as fresh mint in a pot, or create a jug of something that tastes, looks and smells great by combining sparkling water with slices of lemon or lime, fresh berries, or citrus fruit with mint.

6.  Embrace mocktails 

Mocktails can be anything but dull; they can be colourful, creative and often healthier than many alcoholic drinks. Why not make it your mission to find the best mocktail in town, or whip up a couple at home? For some simple mocktail recipes click here.  
Having at least two alcohol free days can benefit your health and even more. “You may also find that you are waking up feeling more refreshed, with greater energy to take part in activities you wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Cosgriff.

Bupa Health Insurance

Want more mood-enhancing dietary tips? A dietitian can provide personalised advice. Depending on your cover, costs towards some visits may even be included under your private health insurance.

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