Saturday mornings used to be a write-off for me, at least until I discovered walking, and I would sometimes postpone drinking until I came home from a long walk. Most weekends, however, Saturday mornings were for being able to indulge the hangover instead of needing to fight it to get to work.
For the last few years, life has looked a little different of course. Saturday mornings are no longer foggy, unhappy, painfully awash with regret, shame and self-loathing, working out how long it is decent to wait before starting again. Now I generally get up early, have energy, and enjoy the possibilities the weekend brings.
If you are new to sobriety or just giving yourself a break, here are some things you can do while you don’t have to endure a hangover.
Get your chores out of the way
If you work 9-5, you generally have stuff to do at the weekend that you don’t have time to do in the week, and some, like washing the kids’ school uniforms. If you get up early and get cracking, you can have them all done by lunchtime and have the rest of the weekend free to enjoy the things you want to do.
Read that book
I remember weekends when I had the time and pre-Internet attention span to sit down with a book and a cup of coffee and just read. Read until the book was finished and the coffee is a cold grubby mess in the cup. I loved doing this when I was younger. If your head is free and not cloudy from a hangover, make some time to devote to that book you have been longing to read. Or you can enjoy a browse in a bookshop, a real luxury for a Saturday!
Get out into nature
I would also advocate going out into nature as one of the best things to do with a hangover if you have one. However, you can enjoy nature on a far deeper level if your head is clear and you have plenty of energy. Take a long walk, or jump in the car and explore somewhere new (or combine both!) Spend some time connecting with the natural world, remind yourself that you are part of it, it can be too easy to become disconnected from it in the 9-5 rat race.
Decluttering the house is one of the most therapeutic things you can do off the yoga mat and the hills. After yoga and walking, it is probably my favorite stress reliever, and one of the most effective ways to create space both in your external and internal environment. Marie Kondo’s books have created a revolution in house tidying, and are reputed to be totally transformational.
Do things that make you feel good! Use the weekend and the lack of hangover to feed your mind, body, and soul. What self-care looks like will vary from person to person. Some ideas include time with friends, mindful eating, getting a massage, exercising your body in a way that feels good to you, visiting an art gallery, going to the coast…the options is endless, but you get the idea. Something that shows you that you care about what you want and need. Self-care is vital for wellbeing, and makes it easier to handle stress when it comes your way, and is vital for stress management in sobriety.
Discover new things
If your social life prior to sobriety revolved around drinking, parties, pubs etc, you may be wondering how to fill the time and have fun. This is a perfect opportunity to try new things that you have never done before, meet new people, go and explore new places. You may find that there is a whole world of awesome out there just waiting for you when you break out of your old routine. Use an internet meet-up group to find regular meetups for people who want to change their relationship with alcohol. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to quit completely, take breaks, moderate or practice mindful drinking. There is a Facebook group where you can connect with people from all over.
Learn now things, or discover you!
The extra time and the clearer head makes your sober Saturday morning the perfect time to look at learning that new skill you have always fancied trying. There is a whole world of online learning opportunity out there for you, in sites like Udemy, EdZ, Skillshare and much more. You can also spend time with TED talks or anything else you want to learn. You can also delve deep into the great mystery that is you, and spend time journalling or use other self-study methods to get to better know yourself.
Sober Saturdays bring a whole host of opportunities that hangovers can block you from. What are you going to do in your hangover free time?
This post originally appeared on Balance and Breathe: Better Living Through Yoga. It has been reprinted with permission.