Today’s big idea is that one of the main reasons we turn to alcohol is to help you let your hair down. You know, you have that glass of whatever and you laugh a little more easily, you say the thing you maybe would have otherwise only thought, maybe you sway to the music. Alcohol is a great social lubricant. If you were the Tin Man, alcohol can be the oil can that makes you loose again.
BUT, it’s not the only way to loosen up and have fun! Let’s talk about other ways to get into that ‘let’s have some fun’ state of mind without relying on a glass of something to provide it for you. Because it is possible to let loose without alcohol!
Listen to the Podcast Here
So how do you let loose without alcohol??
First of all, know that alcohol doesn’t make you fun. It lowers your inhibitions, yes, but that funny thought or chill vibe or ability to chat or connect with other people was already in you–it didn’t come in with the alcohol. The alcohol just rammed open the door those things typically hide behind. It’s not liquid courage. It’s liquid door dissolver. The courage is all you. And so is the silliness.
The best way I know to enjoy yourself and let loose without alcohol is to channel your inner 13 year old, or whatever the last year was before you started drinking and relying on alcohol to make your fun for you.
What did you do then to let loose without alcohol ? Dance around your bedroom? Dress up in nutty outfits? Tell corny jokes? Talk about Rubiks cubes? Do that thing that you used to do just or the joy of it.
You don’t need a buzz to let your hair down and let loose without alcohol. In fact, when you’re sober, you can actually remember the funny things that happen. And then you get to have fun TWICE: while it’s actually happening, and then again later long after the actual event is through.
Having fun without alcohol is kind of like improv, if you’ve ever taken an improv class, or even if you haven’t. In order to be able to improvise and, you’ve got to get out of your head and into the moment. That requires you to pay attention to what’s happening, release your expectations, and be receptive. It gets you into the really groovy brainwave state that feels every bit as good as the flush of a wine buzz–except it lifts you up and makes you feel more alive, and doesn’t leave you dehydrated, tired, and headachey the next morning.
Also, not for nothing, but drunk people aren’t actually all that fun.
I learned this fact in my 30s, when I observed a Dry January one year. I didn’t want to miss out on anything so I continued to go out to bars with my friends–I just ordered water or club soda instead of an alcoholic drink. At the start of the evening it was totally fine, and like old times. And then, at some point in the night, I noticed that everyone was shouting, and laughing at things that weren’t funny, and they were leaning into my face and their breath was not good. It was a real eye opener.
I was chatting about it with a co-worker at one point. This guy used to be road manager for the band Fugazi, and had wild stories of partying. But by this point in his life, he no longer drank. And he said, Oh yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I call it drunk o’clock. That’s when he’d go home and leave everyone else at the bar to shout dumb jokes in each other’s faces. So really, you’re not missing out on these epic fun times. You’re just missing out on drunk o’clock.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to try something that you used to do when you were an early teen or tween that always got you in a good mood. Sing into your hairbrush in front of the mirror. Go roller skating. Call a friend and watch a TV show together. Just let your hair down with no alcohol needed!
And be sure to come back tomorrow, when I’m talking about how to take the edge off without alcohol.