Break the Silence of Drinking and the Workplace with Heather Lowe

Episode 85 November 02, 2022 00:40:09
Break the Silence of Drinking and the Workplace with Heather Lowe
Alcohol Tipping Point
Break the Silence of Drinking and the Workplace with Heather Lowe

Nov 02 2022 | 00:40:09


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Heather Lowe, founder of Ditched the Drink, joins the show to talk about work and drinking and how we can do a better job of supporting each other. Heather is a Certified Professional Recovery and Life Coach with a background in Social Work and Human Resources. 

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Episode Transcript

Pod Heather Lowe Deb: Welcome back to the Alcohol Tipping Point Podcast. I am your host, Deb Masner. I am a registered nurse, health coach and alcohol free badass. And today on the show I have Heather Lowe. Heather Lowe is the president and founder of Ditch the Drink, which is a wellness company whose mission is to help professionals evaluate their relationship with alcohol. And help other people as well, not just professionals. And Heather is a certified professional recovery and life coach. She has a background in social work and human resources, and she's my spirit animal. Welcome Heather. . Heather: Good job. That is like the best intro. Thank you so much. It is such an honor to be here. I really appreciate it. Deb: Do you think I covered that? If you know, maybe you can share just like who you are and what you do and where Heather: you're. Yeah, I'm happy to, I know I was listening to her, I was like, Maybe that's an old bio that I sent you. It's been updated. It's so funny to hear your accolades or you know, your accomplishments. Like, it's so embarrassing. It feels like people singing happy birthday to you and you don't know what to do. Right. But I will say I just had to fill out a forms for something. As a writer. So it is kind of top of mind. And I did look at it and I did feel a sense of pride and that is something I haven't always been able to say out loud. So I wanna mention that. And I will tell you my accreditations and all that stuff because I am proud of myself. So I got my bachelor's degree in social work. I quickly jumped from social work to human resources. So I also have a professional human resources certificate. And after I, I sold HR solutions locally, nationally, and globally. That's what I did for most of my career for 20 years, and I was fine at it. For 10 years I had a job that I loved. When my youngest went to kindergarten, I took a leap of faith. I went from part-time to a full-time job. I was a director. It was downtown. There was no flexibility. I, it was like a work hard, play hard kind of situation and managing a team. Drinking felt like part of the job in all honesty. Cause there was happy hours meetings after the meeting. President's Club, all you can drink vacations. You being gifted with wine, being gifted with beer, beer parts in the office, et cetera, et cetera. So I had a series of skipping, moving around from Jeffs every two years. Like this didn't work. So I went to the next one. The next one had a beer cake in the office. I was offered a beer at my 10:00 AM interview. I turned it down. Of course, if it was wine, I would've said yes. I think , you know, at the time. So anyway, so that's my, like corporate background. But I quit drinking in 2018. and I was also job searching, and after being sober for about a year, I was getting offers from places that were the same jobs I'd had. And something changed in me and I knew I couldn't go back. I was never happy in those jobs, although I could do it. And at times I was the top salesperson. I was often also usually the only female salesperson. It just wasn't right for me. It never was. And so I had to go back to my social work roots and I wanted to help people. I wanted to help other high achieving professionals like me ditch the drink in a non-traditional. Their, you know, AAM rehab I thought were the only options for me, and neither of those felt right and they are right for many people. And looking back now, it could have been right for me too, but at the time I didn't know that. It scared me. So I did something different and I wanted to offer something different to other people. It's mostly women, 90% women, but I have a couple men. Anyway, so I started just to drink and I just put together everything that helped me get sober and all my lessons. And then I got certified as a professional recovery coach and a professional life coach through the Net Institute or the International Association of Professional Recovery Coaches and. I loved it. I mean, first of all, I was skeptical, to be honest. Like because I had a social work degree, I didn't really know if I needed the certification. You know, I was sort of arrogant. Well, I didn't know what I didn't know, and it turns out I absolutely needed to learn how to be a coach. Like I would have no business talking to people without the certification. and plenty of people can help people. Gets over. I'm all for all of it, any avenue. But for me to really know how to coach and be an effective coach, it wasn't what I thought it was. It wasn't giving advice, it wasn't sharing the resources that worked for me. There was a lot more to it. Motivational interviewing, positive psychology, neuroscience, seasons of change, stages of change, you know, readiness appliance and all this stuff. So anyways, I, I learned all the good stuff that I needed to started offering coaching. I continued to partner with the organization that I. I got trained and certified with, They have a new, and I recruit coaches, so anybody who's interested in coaching, I love to talk to them and I love to mentor new coaches because it's effective. There's a need. Women's drinking is up 41 cent, 41% since the pandemic. So like there is a need for more coaches and I'm all about collaboration over competition. Anyways, I'm sharing a lot, but I care is Was born from the pandemic and it is now the workplace solution. Before it trained people to become coaches and like helping individuals on like a business to consumer level, and now iCare is the new arm of this organization that is business to business. That helps business talk about. Addiction in the workplace. And now I got certified as a certified facilitator of Addiction Awareness Training and a certified facilitator of addiction awareness training with an HR component. So I get to take teach HR people and in addition, I have a certificate of wellbeing from Yale University. So that's it. That's my background. That's all the, that's all the letters after my name and what they mean. . Deb: Yeah. Which is to say like, you're, you're a lifelong learner, right? And curious, and you're helping people. And I love how you've kind of come back full circle from when you started with social work and helping people. So I wanted to talk about drinking in the workplace. Stigma and everything associated with that, which it sounds like with your training and with iCare really is trying to lead these conversations and reduce the stigma in the workplace. And gosh, I hear about it so much from your situation working in the corporate world where it is incorporated in the culture, in the happy hours and drinking at work. Now I come from a different, I come from healthcare. and nursing and kind of the therapeutic clinical side of the world where we are not drinking in the workplace, we're not allowed to. It's probably a very good reason why, also because that population has a higher rate of addiction. But also, so there's the culture in the workplace and then also there's the kind of job that you have where you can't. Show or ask that you have a problem if you are a doctor and you're caring for patients. So I'm, I'm glad that you're here. So how should we, how should we begin this conversation? Heather: Yeah, so it is so tricky. So a lot of my clients are doctors and nurses, so I get it. You know, also, my clients are in law. They're, they're judges, they're lawyers. Some of my clients are in the public. You know, they might be on the news or whatever. So I understand the fear of sharing that you have a problem and the fear of freezing your hand to say, I'm struggling. Pilots, pilots is another huge airlines, you know, But to make workplaces well, we have to be human and we have to ask for help. Everybody struggles with, so, Right. That is universal . And it could be a behavior, it could be a substance or a behavior. You know, people are doing things to comfort or self sooth. I think the blessing of the pandemic is that we are recognizing mental health is something that needs to be talked about and addressed even in the workplace. It used to be leave your problems at. Right. It used to be this even Mad men culture of let's have a drink and talk about it at work or drinking in the office is a way to bond or a way to connect, or a way to celebrate a win. But we're seeing it's not any of those things. And when there's alcohol on the job specifically, Like sexual harassment goes up, accidents go up, absenteeism goes up, productivity goes down. Like it all comes to the, there's, there's health and safety risks, there's financial risks. It takes away from the bottom line there. It's a diversity and. Inclusion and equity conversation because a third of the population doesn't drink. So if you're not for any reason, it could be recovery, but it could be religion or cultural taboo or personal choice or health or certain medication or a stage of motherhood that they're in. So you're leaving a lot of people out if you're not offering an activity or a beverage that is not alcohol free. So and also studies show that people in recovery are better workers. They show up more, there's less absenteeism, they are more productive, and they're able to achieve higher goals. So we, we can't hide it anymore, even in these tap positions. There needs to be help for people as humans first and employees. Goes right along with that, right? Because we're not separate, We're not different at work than we are at home. In fact, most of us, a lot of us are working from home. We're, we're the same person, and, and both need help the employee and the individual. Deb: Yeah, I, I'm so glad that we're having this conversation and you know, it, one thing that did come out of the pandemic is the need for mental health and that being employers providing more options for mental health. And so kind of talk about what, what we can do in the workplace. Yeah, Heather: just. Yeah, so traditionally we are like a reactive solution. Like if there's a disaster, that's when we address it. If there's a, a sexual harassment suit, or if alcohol's involved in an accident or there's a liability issue, that's when we address it. So also for somebody, even in a leadership position or even a doctor, let's say, yeah, if it gets to the point where there's something devastating, that's when it's addressed. But iCare and iCare stands for the International Center for Addiction Recovery Education at iCare, we wanna. Have prevention. We wanna talk about prevention. And when I go to corporate wellness fairs, let's say, and I say, What are you doing about this? What are you doing about substance use in the workplace? And people say, Oh, we have an EAP for that. Well, first of all, the EAP usage is about 3%. So people aren't really using that number one. Number two is, that's reactive. That's in crisis mode. And I have a personal story myself. I. Was working, my anxiety was through the roof. I was drinking and I finally was like in a panic attack, decided I needed help. And so I called the EAP now. Now I worked for a HR company, so the EAP was owned by the same company and worked in the same office. We called it like an invisible wall between us, right? I was terrifi. That somebody in my company would know, somebody in my company would know because it was my same company, even with the invisible wallet. And even though they're supposed to be confidentiality, I was terrified, but I made the call and to get some help for myself. And after a series of conversations and leaving a million messages and not being able to talk to anybody, lie, it turned out that I found myself in a therapist's office three and a half weeks later. You know, I was in an urgent panic, finally ready to address my drinking situation, and three and a half weeks later, what was I even doing there? I told this particular therapist that I had a drinking problem, and she told me no, I did not . So because I wasn't driving, I wasn't like physically hurting my children, you know? So she prescribed me anxiety. And that I shouldn't have drank with, but she also told me I didn't have to quit drinking, so I was thrilled, right? Got my meds, kept drinking, thi my drinking changed from being able to predict. The, the results or the effects of certain amounts of alcohol. Like if I had a bottle line, I knew where I would be. If I had more, I knew where that would lead me. I was turning into a walking blackout so quickly after not enough alcohol, in my opinion, like it, it really messed with me, and it wasn't an unfortunate situation. Now, every therapist does not like that. Every story is not like that, but it's just to say e eap. Is reactive, and even when it feels like an emergency, there's a big long wait. Nobody's really using it. We need something prior to that. We need to make okay to ask for help. Prior to that. We don't have to wait for this devastating or a legal problem or an accident or something to happen before you address it. We need to create a. Safe working environment where it's okay to say I'm struggling and I need some help from leadership down. Right to say, When you need help, raise your hand and here's some resources, and you can start earlier. We know alcohol is progressive and you can start earlier. You don't have to wait for it to get worse, and we can celebrate when somebody chooses to get help instead of shaming them, like that's awesome. They're willing to address. And it doesn't have to be terrible, and they don't need a label, and nothing devastating needs to happen. It's a healthy choice to be celebrated, so there's no harmful effects to sobriety. There's a million for alcohol use, so why aren't we questioning the alcohol use? We're questioning the sobriety. We've got it mixed up, right? Oh, Deb: totally. So what, so it sounds like education is one way to like reduce the stigma, but I mean, say that you are a doctor or nurse, or it, or a lawyer, a judge, whatever, and you're, you're listening to this and you're like, Okay, I do have a problem. What, what can I do? How can the workplace support me? What should I do? Heather: Yeah. So depending on your relationship with your supervisor, that is somebody that you could go to and say I, I need some support. If there is, I know a wellness, like a chief Wellness officer is becoming more and more common. If you have a wellness department, that might be someone you can go to. Human resources could be a spot that you can go to, and in fact having an alcohol problem is covered under the Disabilities Act. So you are. There is support available to you, private and confidential, and even some time off if you need to do that to address your drinking issue. So it kind of depends on the environment in the workplace. What might be available. I would say for sure education. So iCare offers training a one hour like lunch and learn. And I'm the trainer during this cohort and it's awesome. I've got people from literally all over the world. I've got people from Ghana, Milwaukee can Vancouver Egypt. Where else? Florida, like literally everywhere in the world that are having these conversations. And they're, they're getting this lunch and learned, they're getting the information that they can share within their organization. It's kind of like a train the trainer program. So they know how to open conversations, they know how to create a psychologically safe workplace. And it starts with conversations really to say Me too, right. I'm struggling too. I, I had an issue in the past and I was able to address her. I've overcome. , or I'm questioning myself also. So just creating an environment where taking a break from alcohol would be celebrated. There's alcohol free options at events. People are talking about healthy choices. You know, that might be. Having less sugar that might be taking more walks during their lunch. A lot of people have a weight loss challenge at work. I know like a biggest loser thing. You celebrate if somebody's gonna be eating more vegetables, that's something you would celebrate. Include taking a break from alcohol in that and not late somebody and make it safe to take a break without deciding that they're never gonna drink again for the rest of their life. That people can experiment and practice with drinking and not drinking to figure out what's best for them. Deb: Yeah, I, I think that that's so key. Like make it a wellness conversation, not like, Problem conversation and just encouraging your employees and your coworkers and like, Hey, let's do a dry month Heather: together. Exactly. Yeah. I offer dry challenges in the workplace and. It's fine when people are in it together, we know community helps. Right. And that is a great thing about AA is that it's, it's created a community of people that have something in common and that goes a long way. So we can definitely learn from that. There's also affinity groups like employer resource groups within organizations. That are sober curious or sober friendly. I love to share the best one that I know of Salesforce, which is probably like the biggest sales technology. They have something called sober force, and it's for people that are sober, are sober, curious, have family members in recovery, anyone who's interested and a more like recovery friendly or sober curious environment is welcome to join their affinity group. And they have thousands and thousands of people in that. Deb: Oh, that is super Heather: cool. Yeah, a sales organization, right? I mean, for me, like I said, drinking was part of my job as a salesperson. Here's like a top sales organization that promotes and celebrates recovery and sober curiosity, and has an entire re affinity resource group. That. And when you become that, when you have enough people, you can even get funding. You can fund your needs, you can do a lot of fun stuff with it. So it creates a buzz, no pun intended, of like something you wanna be part of, a positive thing, not a negative thing. You know, addiction can sound so scary and sad, right? But choosing to get rid of a substance that's harming you is a joyful, beautiful choice, and we should celebrate it. So yeah, it is just a culture. Good for you. I mean, I think if somebody says they're taking a break from alcohol, the only response possible is a standing ovation. I love it. I mean, what else would you do? That is the only appropriate response to anybody that's gonna take a break from something that's been harming them. That's so funny. I Deb: remember telling one of my coworkers, like, she was like, Oh, we're gonna go out for my birthday or whatever drinking. And I was like, Oh, I'm not drinking anymore. And she was just like, Oh. What? Oh my gosh. Are you okay? Heather: And , I, I apologized. I went around and apologized one by one to my friends that I was so sorry, but I could not drink anymore. I was going to let it go. I was gonna give it a real try. You know, The good times were over and I was so, so, I apologized, , it's, it's ridiculous to me now because it's like my friends, luckily most of them have stuck around to see like, it's the best thing for me, you know? And they're so happy and they're able to celebrate me with me. So, yeah, it's not sad. It's not sad to dish drink. It's not sad at all. It's hard. It's not easy. You have to live an awaken. Right. You gotta stay in touch with yourself. It's a continual up level of personal development. You don't get to just jump ship on yourself. You don't get to just ignore yourself and your life or your issues. You have to confront things, but it leads to an awaken life. And we have this illusion because we've been sold that like alcohol is glamorous and fun and beautiful and carefree, and. Luxurious or something. And it's not, it wasn't for me. It wasn't for me at all. I had no confidence. I hated myself and it was messing with my mental health big time. And I don't have depression and anxiety now that I don't drink. I have bad days, but it doesn't compare to the crippling, shaky hat and shaky, hungover way I was. When I was a drunker. Deb: Oh, I agree. Hands down. Best decision of my life. . Well, since we are talking about work, you know, maybe share some of the tips that people can use if they are in this working culture. You know, I have some. People I work with and it's, it's like the happy hour that you talk about or traveling or just even my sister who's not like a big drinker. She works for Microsoft and she's just like, You would not believe the amount of shit I get if I'm not drinking. Heather: Yeah. Yes. Go ahead. Show that people who don't drink and don't want to drink are pressured into it. People drink at work events because they feel like they have. Yeah, now they don't know how to say no because there's so much pressure. So Stanford University actually coined the term equally attractive adult beverages. So number one, if you are part of any planning or if you have a suggestion, box of sorts at work, every event should have an equally attractive adult beverage that doesn't include. Alcohol and alcohol free beverage. And I'm not talking about a box of pure capric on or tap water or even diet Coke, right? Like you can have a signature cocktail and it can be with or with without alcohol, and of the same beautiful glass, with the same beautiful garnish and the same attention and celebration factor to it. So always offer that. Also it doesn't signal people. You know whose business is it if you're drinking or not drinking? Like, it kind of doesn't matter. It's like if we're having dinner and I'm gonna have the chicken and you're gonna have the fish. , You know, we don't both have to have the fish to enjoy dinner together. So somebody can have an alcoholic drink and somebody can have an non-alcoholic drink and it, it doesn't have to be anything there. There doesn't need to be a spotlight on the non-drinker. You don't have to wear a hat or sit in the corner with your back to the party. Right. Which it can feel like. It could definitely feel like, like, Oh, I'm not drinking. I don't get to participate. I don't get to belong. I'm not part of this group. And we include alcohol because we think it bonds people. We think it's a connector. And you know what? It is a cheap and easy way. We, everybody, and I was this person, so no judgment. I was this per, I mean, the person that would say like, when did the drink start or should have had a drink at this meeting or if we had wine. I mean it's, it's, it gets an easy laugh, right? But it can make a lot of people uncomfortable. And the truth is, alcohol doesn't actually connect people. It turns us off. It dumbs us down and it puts us in our own. So we're only worried about ourselves, right? We're not having the most witty, the most brilliant, the most engaged conversation. We're slowly dumbing ourself down with alcohol, and we're not connecting with each other. So the illusion that alcohol connects. It's just that an illusion. So definitely offer an alcohol free drink and put it in a pretty glass, right? Everybody's included. Everyone can celebrate, Everyone can enjoy that event with or without alcohol. I think that's number one. Number two, yeah, education. Have this lunch and learn. Get somebody trained to teach that. You know, somebody in every organization can get trained to give. Presentation. There's lots of ways to do that, just to share some facts. I, I think everybody knows somebody that struggled with substance use disorder, whether it's you or your brother, your mother, your sister, your friend, your neighbor. It's so common. So it's not like them versus us. It's basically all of us. It's either us or somebody very close to. So we're not helping by promoting a drinking culture at work when it's, it's hurt many families, right? And many people. And then too, just that like you celebr. The idea of celebrating a healthy choice instead of shaming somebody for quitting. I think changing that mostly, I wanna say like hashtag, Let's talk about it. Like it's okay to talk about, make it a safe place to talk about, you know, have small groups. Check in with people. How are you doing today? Who needs some resources? You know, who's struggling with something? It's okay to raise your hand if you're struggling. Somebody else might be. . So just creating an environment and gets leadership down. A leader can say, You know what? I was struggling and even struggling with drinking too much. I've taken a break, or, Here's some things that I've done, or, We're gonna have healthy, happy hours instead. Right where we're gonna do smoothies on Fridays instead of beer. I think little tweaks like that can go a long way to changing the culture and changing an environment. You can have a recovery coach right on. I, I have referrals from, I work with companies that refer clients to a recovery coach. And it's praised again. It's, it's celebrated. Good job. You're taking care of yourself, you're getting help for yourself. You're struggling with something. We have a resource for you and their employees. Come talk to me and feel better. Right? And for leaders who are interested in the bottom line and people showing up to work and people being productive and people being happy, and people being healthy, this is all good for their bottom line. So it, it helps. You can offer recovery coach on site. What else? My, we just brainstormed in my last call and we had a list of, I know probably 30 things that people could do immediately. Put something in the newsletter, right? train the HR folks, train them on how to have these conversations. Deb: And so how about if you are just the employee or just a person mm-hmm. And, and your job does involve a lot of drinking. Like what are your tips for that person? Like when they're traveling or they're out to dinner with a client or whatever, Like, what are your tips for that person? Heather: Yeah, so first of all, you can, again, it's a suggestion box, you know? For an alternative activity. You know, it doesn't have to be drinking, Is drinking the main activity or could there be alcohol? But you're actually doing a different event, you're doing a rope scores, probably you don't want alcohol with that, but you're doing a mini golf or you're doing, you know, yeah, there's something to do. It's okay to raise your hand, I think. And when I'm at a venue, I ask what alcohol reactions they have, if there's any networking. Recommend, you know what alcohol reactions do you have, and you can also say that a third of the population doesn't drink, so we can't leave these people out. Right? When you get comfort, depending on your own comfort level, but when you get more comfortable in your sobriety, you become more confident to want to talk about it. And at first I think we hide the fact that we're not drinking. I. I was private and I didn't tell anybody, one because of course I was probably gonna fail again as I had a million times before. So we're afraid to talk about it. You can also quit drinking and drink again, right? Like that's part of the process, and that's okay. You can take a break from drinking. Without deciding that you're gonna not drink for the rest of your life. So I think it's changing that black and white thinking that you're a drinker or a non-drinker. There's a big spectrum of people that are questioning their relationship with alcohol. Anybody that drinks alcohol at all is on that spectrum, right? So plenty of people question for a reason, a season or a lifetime. They're drinking. So I think being more. Talking more openly about that, asking for alcohol free options, being confident that you're not drinking right now, even if you're not drinking right now, that you don't have to hide it. I have clients that pretend to drink, put the glass of wine in front of them. Right, And just don't drink it. Carry it around all night. So nobody asks. You would, if this was heroin, you would not do that. You would not carry around your heroin, but ask yourself not to do it. And alcohol is way more harmful than heroin, you know, on the harm scale. Alcohol is in the seventies, heroines in the thirties, So, but yeah, we're expecting ourselves to do this right. So yeah, I think it's fine to get a club soda in lime and say it's a club soda in lime and you're not drinking, you, you're not drinking right Now. You can say, It doesn't make me feel good. I've given it up and I feel so much better. I don't know how long I'm gonna do this for, Right? Or I wanna have my best morning, or, you know, I'm just not that into. Deb: Yeah, I, I mean, it's, it does take a, you know, you do grow your confidence. Mm-hmm. I like to just remind people about like, if, if you feel pressured to drink because it's part of your job or entertaining clients or whatever, like what's gonna make you a better worker is being alcohol free and clear headed. Heather: A hundred percent of the time, Yes, . Yeah. You can also, if it's up to you, suggest coffee dates, right? Mm-hmm. things to suggest are things that don't involve alcohol and try it for me too. Maybe I thought it was part of the job, or maybe I was just a drinker that loved to drink. Or thought I loved to drink, right? I didn't know how to not drink, didn't know how to be in my own skin without it. Once you stop, you see there are other people that are also not drinking and nobody cares. And my favorite tool, I had a client just use this last week, The vanish Leave. Nobody cares. Make your rounds. Say hello. Do what you need to do and go vanish. Goodbye, byebye. Jump back into your hotel room, get that room service. Order dessert and coffee. If you're me, you know, rent the movie, Eat your Swedish fish , you know, and pamper yourself if you're traveling. There's a million airports. Oh my gosh. Airports are a huge, I actually have an article coming out about this because flying an airports are a huge trigger for a lot of people, and there's 1,000,001 ways around that. A hotel room to yourself, it, it, you can make it look different, right? You can book a massage and leave that happy. Well, tell Deb: me about the airports and flying and traveling. Heather: Oh my goodness. So yes, it is such a trigger because, I mean, think about it, we have liquor bottles made specifically to bring on airplanes, So and many people have anxiety about flying anyways, or anxiety about work anyways, or leaving their family or what they're about to do. So no wonder you want to. Blur the edges of that a little bit and calm yourself down. And maybe you don't know another way. If you've never done it maybe you don't know another way to travel. And there is a bar open in every airport all hours of the day. And it's kind of like Vegas, like it's, it's always, it's never day or night, you know, It's always, it's always five o'clock probably. And so and it also isn an escape, so it's an easy place to. . But there are tools not to one, one tip that I have for business travelers, let's say, is you know, when your kids were, when my kids were little, I would pack them a little kit for a road trip or for an airplane, and one by one I would pull out a sucker or a sticker or a new game, or, you know, a new snack to keep them entertained. And you can get yourself a sober kit. Maybe it's a podcast that you've downloaded or maybe it's an adult coloring book or. Maybe it's a book that you're reading or a word puzzle or an essential oil that you're gonna smell or a special treat. You know, pack your own little, pack your own little kit to entertain you. Tapping, you know, eft, tapping on certain pressure points helps to relieve anxiety, gives you something to focus on often. My clients use that for like a takeoff situation to get through that. I, I got a client who like, loved rolos the candy, and so she gave herself a little treat when she hit certain milestones through the, like when she got to the airport, she got a Rolo. When she checked in, she got a Rolo. When she got through security, she got a Rolo and this. Changes the reward circuit in your brain. You used to reward yourself with alcohol. So even something as simple as that, you know, knowing and anticipating that you're gonna get a little reward at each, kept her on her track and feeling good about herself. And it really neurologically gave her a reward in her brain system, so her cravings were less. I also say my husband will do that. Shop. I shop at the airport all the time. I mean, he and I also shop at gas stations. He calls it like gas station shopping. Like I'll spend double for the magazine and the gum, and the nuts and the water and the, you know, everything. Spend your time in that bookstore, in that Hudson News or whatever, and get yourself whatever you want. You're not drinking by yourself. Whatever little treats you want, spend your time doing that. Get a brand new book. Get up a glossy magazine. Your favorite bag of nuts and put it all in your little sober kit. What else? What else for, for flying. There's, there's, oh man. Now airports have manicures and pedicures and back massages and make it as self pet pampering as possible. Comfort yourself. Ditching the drink and being alcohol free should not be a miserable life of deprivation. Make it as beautiful and comfortable for yourself as you possibly can. So reward yourself with everything except. Oh, I Deb: love it. Those are great tips. Thank you. Cause I, I know that is a big trigger for a lot of people traveling and vacations. Mm-hmm. . Heather: Yeah. Go at a ditching blog and there's a search bar and search up vacation. You'll have everything. Yes. I love, I love, I love to travel and I love to travel sober. And I, I like, I love it. Like who? I mean, I was terrified to do it the first time. Right. I've sat like, what are we supposed to do at the spring break pool, like with Jimmy Buffet playing in the background, Like, literally, what are we supposed to do? My husband and I were just like, I have no, we have no idea what what to do. We only know how to have a drink in our hand right now. Right? But there is a whole new world when you get to travel sober. So I'm a huge advocate for. Deb: Oh, I agree. I love traveling sober and I just can't believe like how many vacations I've wasted being wasted, literally, and hung Heather: overlaying in bed for half the day while you're at like the most beautiful place on earth. What the heck? . Yeah. Deb: That is the worst feeling. Yeah. Yeah. I love my son soba travel. Very cool. And you save a lot of money. He save so much Heather: money. Oh yeah. And it's awesome. Like, but for our family too, we have two teenage daughters. It's so cool that it's just not even a thing for us. You know, my husband doesn't drink around me. He, he, he can. And I wouldn't say he is an un drinker, but he doesn't really drink. Now that I've quit, and it's so much better for both of us, and it's so much better for our whole family. And it's so cool to show our teenage daughters like, you can. A blast. You can laugh so hard. You can take the grandest greatest adventures. You can have the most beautiful, luxurious vacations and the best drinks and alcohol doesn't have to be included. Deb: Yeah, that's so good. very cool. Well, how can someone find you? Heather: Yes. Dish to is my website. I'm in the middle of updating it right now, so new and improved coming soon, but yeah, I have, I offer one-on-one coaching. I also offer, I just started in July, a ditch to drink membership, and this is awesome. It's $29 a month. There's a monthly master class. Sometimes it's me that gives it, sometimes it's me with the expert resource. We've done rituals and routines. We've done creativity. This month is on breath work, which is phenomenal. If you've not done it, I can't recommend it enough. It like cracked me open in the best way. So there's this recording of a monthly master class, plus there's two group coaching calls a month, sometimes more, but definitely two. You get the replays if you can't make it live. And there's a 24 7 online community. So if there's always somebody there that you can reach out for support or to share a success or an obstacle, and there's giveaways, there's challenges, there's resources. It's incredible. I'm loving it. I also do one-on-one coaching of course. And I can facilitate, I can come in and give any workplace the certified facilitator of addiction awareness training for the workplace. I recruit coaches. Come be a facilitator. If you wanna be a facilitator, let me know. If you wanna become a coach, let me know. I'm happy to mentor people in that way. and if you are an organization, if you're ahead of an organization and you're like, We need some help in this workplace, I know alcohol's a problem, let's talk because I have a healthy self checkup. We can see where your organization's at and do some consulting to, to share what options might be the best to get your workplace healthy and make it okay to be recovery friendly, sober, curious, changing that culture and how to have those conversations. Yeah, program. I'm on Facebook, I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Pinterest. I'm not on TikTok or be real. I mean, you gotta say no somewhere, right? ? Deb: I love it. Well, I'll, I'll put your links in the show notes. Yeah. My teenage daughter ban me from TikTok . Oh, she was like, Mom, Heather: no. Or were you watching TicTacs or? Deb: I was like, I think I should have alcohol tipping point on TikTok. And she's like, Mom, no, my friend. She just thought that would be even more out there. She thinks I'm so cringy . Heather: Well, good job mom. You're doing your job. Yeah, I'm for sure also cringy. But I also know my teenage daughters are my biggest cheerleaders, so It's cool. But yeah, I stay off Attac. . Deb: That's so funny. Okay, well thank you. Thank you so much for being on the show. I think this will be helpful. And yeah, thank you. Heather: Thank you, Deb. I appreciate it so much. Let's keep talking about it, talking about at work, talking about it with each other and we are change makers, right? We all are. So there is a sober momentum going and we get to be part of it and your show, and this is absolutely part of it. So it's an honor. Thank you so much.

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