Top Six Daily Habits to Focus on in Early Sobriety with Jen Lee Hirst

Episode 138 November 08, 2023 00:56:19
Top Six Daily Habits to Focus on in Early Sobriety with Jen Lee Hirst
Alcohol Tipping Point
Top Six Daily Habits to Focus on in Early Sobriety with Jen Lee Hirst

Nov 08 2023 | 00:56:19


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Jen Lee Hirst went from being an anxious perfectionist and workaholic using alcohol daily to manage stress and social anxiety, to a sobriety coach, speaker, and creator of Lighthouse Sobriety. She has one of the best sober Instagram accounts @jenleehirst where she shares tips and inspiration for changing your drinking.  

Jen is on the show today to share her story and talk to us about the importance of habits and routines especially when you first give up drinking (whether for a break or forever.) These habits are great no matter where you are on your drinking journey.  

We talk about: 

-Jen’s inspiring story of going from hiding her drinking and subsequent sobriety to becoming a leader in the sober movement 

-The top six daily habits to focus on in early sobriety: 

  1. Don’t drink alcohol
  2. Drink half your body weight in water
  3. Write 5 things your grateful for
  4. Read 5 pages from an inspirational book
  5. Move your body for 30 minutes
  6. Accountability and community check in

-Which habit to focus on when you are busy 

-Why these habits are important to sobriety 

-How to handle drinking setbacks 

-And more! 

Find Jen: 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Welcome to the alcohol tipping point, podcast. I'm your host deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcoholiday free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you've found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own Alcohol Tipping Point. The Alcohol Tipping Point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck and you can change. Let's get started. Welcome back to the alcohol tipping point, Podcast. Today on the show, we have Jen Lee Hearst. Jen went from being an anxious perfectionist and workaholic using alcohol daily to manage social anxiety to a sobriety coach, speaker, and creator of Lighthouse Sobriety. She also has what I think is one of the best sober instagram accounts. You can find her at Jen Lee Hearst and she is constantly sharing tips and inspiration to help change your drinking. You are definitely one of my favorites, Jen. And so I'm excited to have you on the show just to share a little bit more about your story, but also to take a deeper dive into the importance of habits and routines, especially when you're first giving up drinking. So welcome, Jen. [00:01:34] Speaker B: Welcome. That was such a great introduction and I'm so honored that you said that about my account and I'm so happy to share my story and any tips to help anyone that is going through this, but also to feel better in sobriety. So thank you so much for having me on. That was such a great introduction. [00:01:56] Speaker A: Well, thank you. [00:01:57] Speaker B: You made it easy. [00:02:00] Speaker A: I tried. Can you give a little background about your story and how you went from drinking to now being a coach and having a program where you're helping people? I would just love to hear more about you. [00:02:15] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So, like she said, I am Jen Hurst. I am a sober coach and mom of two who lives in northern Minnesota. And if you can just tell my accent right there, Minnesota, you'll know where I come from. But I am over ten years sober and really realized after coming out of the closet of the sober closet four years into my sobriety, that people were interested in my story and how I did it. And from that moment forward in 2017 when I came out, I've been on this self improvement path, continuing to find ways to feel better and to improve my mindset and really overall health in all areas. And so now I coach women on how to boost their confidence in sobriety by implementing these really simple habits from the get go in real life situations that we run into every single day. And so what I really like to start with and share my story is saying that no one is off limits when it comes to alcohol, that looks are deceiving. It doesn't matter your background, it doesn't matter your history. It doesn't matter if you had a grandfather that was an alcoholic and what the stereotype of thinking of what an alcoholic was. Now I don't even really like to use that term anymore as my sobriety is shifting and do I need a label? Does that really define me? I'm so much more than a label. But I always had this vision, and I think that really prevented me for many years from seeking help and seeking some guidance. And I hid it for many years because I had no idea what was going on. As a classic perfectionist closet alcoholic, I was going through this alone, and I would ask myself questions of, okay, am I an alcoholic? Am I not? I would take these online quiz, these quizzes, and no one knew what was going on. And I was battling this by myself and convincing myself that, okay, I didn't check one box, so that means I'm not. Thank gosh. And so as a girl, I grew up in a great home from great parents. They were perfectionist. So we were encouraged to get straight A's, do well in sports, and kind of perceive that we had it all together. So outside appearances were very important for my family and growing up of what we could say to other people, how we could one up someone else, not myself, but my parents. And so I learned that, okay, I could gain love by what I could achieve. And so I've really struggled with this my entire life, and especially when I was struggling with alcohol, that I could do all these other things, but I couldn't do this. And I didn't understand why. And it's something I continually try to work at, if there's any perfectionists out there of how to do things, how to be imperfect, how to not have things going just right, and how can I really work on that mindset? But knowing this mindset of trying to with outside appearances are so important. I didn't really share about my sobriety until four years into it. And always growing up, I felt like there was something wrong with me, that who I was, what I was doing wasn't enough, and I could never be enough, and I could never achieve these impossible standards and expectations put on my parents and also eventually put on myself. And I felt like I had to become someone else because who I was wasn't enough. And I started to get this mindset in grade school that, okay, I need to do this. I need to be better. I need to do this. If I don't score points in a basketball game, that means I'm not good. And so I work really hard at that to this very day. But going back, I had what, quote unquote, normal drinking to start. I had my first drink at 15. We got drunk from at my parents house. We drank all the things. I got sick. I didn't get sick, I just had a hangover. But I had this normal drinking. It wasn't really a problem until there was a turning point. And the only reason I know this is because I did a usage history at one of my inpatient stays at Hazeldon, and I really encourage people to do this. I have women at the end of my programs do this, hopefully, and then in turn share their story afterwards, because it's so incredibly helpful to kind of walk back through the years of how this all transpired, because when things are in your head, they're really hard to understand. I don't know how this happened, and there's just something wrong with me when I can go back and look at all of these different data points that happened along the way, it really just offered me clarity and gave me the framework to later, eventually share my story, which I highly encourage people to do. It's very therapeutic. And so there was a turning point when my second boyfriend wanted to go on a break. I was 21, and I went back. And so my problematic drinking really started with heartbreak, because I didn't want to go through that pain. And I just didn't know what to do with myself. And I was living with some guys at the time, and they said, and who took Adderall? Who abused Adderall? And they said, Heyer, if you take this, you're going to feel like, God. You're not even going to think about them. And little did I know at that point I didn't do drugs. Quote unquote, little did I know alcohol was a drug until 2018. And so I'm like, you know what? What the hell? I'm just going to do it. I would do anything to take away this feeling. And so I did it. And I felt amazing. I took three. I stayed up all night. I dyed my hair. I said, this is the best thing that ever happened to me. And then the crash happened, and then I felt dipped even lower than I ever was. And then I thought and this was a thing, it wasn't with Adderall, but it planted a seed that said, okay, well, if that can take pain away, alcohol can do the same thing. And so I didn't do it all the time, but I slowly started to self medicate. I self medicated to get people to like me. I self medicated before social events to give me that liquid courage, because I get nervous, and I was afraid of feeling that. And then the more and more I used it, there was this ten year progression, really, from 2003 to 2013, when I eventually got sober, that it really started to progress, especially the years leading up to my wedding or the year leading up to my wedding as a perfectionist I'm also a workaholic. And I was working twenty four, seven. I was working full time, freelance, full time as a graphic designer. I was doing my wedding all by myself because I thought I could do it all and I didn't ask for help. And so in turn, to deal with the stress, I would drink, to have fun, to relax. And in turn, little did I know I was actually only making my anxiety worse. And so I like to say, and I post before and after pictures of the day of my wedding day, which is a day you really want to remember. It's one of the most special days of your life. But for me it was one of the absolute hardest. And it's so hard for me to look at myself on that day because I was mentally not there. I was struggling so much. I was drinking in the morning, I was taking Adderall to get everything done. And a couple of days after that I collapsed. And I just said, I can't do it anymore, I can't hide, and I'm so done. And I started drinking around the clock. And little did they know, my husband, now husband, had no idea what was going on. I was very good at hiding it. I didn't do it in front of people. I did it when I got home, I did it in the closet. And the more and more I used, the more and more I needed until I really needed it, alcohol, to feel normal. Because I was now experiencing severe withdrawal, shaking hands, sweating, high anxiety, paranoia, all of these things. And so began the year and a half journey into actively seeking sobriety, of coming out, having discussions with my husband, having so many 30 days, having three days, and then I'll drink and going to my first AA meeting. So back then, eleven years ago, twelve years ago, AA was the only way. And I had no idea. I was so scared. He came with me to my first meeting. I was still drunk. And it was a very dark time, our first year of marriage, where I also started experimenting with other forms of alcohol. So mouthwash, because I heard in treatment that has alcohol in it. So I thought, and when I say this, this was the extent of what I would go to, to fix that craving, to get that just relief is, okay, well now I don't have to rotate my liquor stores anymore. I can go into Target and just buy some mouthwash and drink that. So that was my drink of choice. Or I actually had a client yesterday say poison of choice for the last year and a half, and that's all I would drink. And I also dabbled into other things when that was taken away and they would set limits for me and they had to watch me, and I was kicked out of my house, all of these things. And DWIs, too. I got my second DWI and all of that to say. It wasn't until I was staying with my parents and I was blacking out was a daily occurrence, and I drank to blackout. I didn't want to be here. I got so low and so mentally low that I was with my parents. And it was when they took me to detox that I had a click moment. And I know we talk a lot about a click, and for some people, there's, like, a moment and was there white light? No, I was in detox. I blew a zero point 34 when I got in. And the thing that scared me, that scared me is because for the past two years, I was drinking that amount, if not higher. How many other times did I push it and get away with it? How many hundred chances, thousands of chances did I get to do it again? And I'm like, oh, my God. And at that point, I physically felt myself dying. I had lost my car through my second Twi. I had lost my job because of my drinking. I was on the verge of losing my marriage, and I was on the verge of losing the support for my parents, who supported me unconditionally, but they had no idea what to do with me. It was also in this year and a half period where I went into two inpatient stays at Hazeldon, their 30 day stay, their extended care stay. I went through, like, six outpatients. And it's like, Why isn't this working? And I really think it comes down to and Ben Affleck said this recently, is that you had to suffer enough until you're so just sick and tired. And I just said, I'm literally killing myself, and I don't know how many days I have left. And so it was that moment. I'm like, I'm just done. I'm so freaking done. And from that moment forward, I didn't know what was going to happen. I had no car, no job, no money, maybe no marriage, no support. I'm like, as long as I don't drink, I can't make this any worse. And it came down to surrender acceptance and giving up the outcome. I let go of what was going to happen, and I just kept doing the next right thing. And those next right things built upon another began to rebuild my life. So it's amazing. And I know not everybody's experience can be like this. Everyone's experience is different. Everybody's journey is different. But it's also so beautiful, the struggle, because it brought me to where I am today and the things that I gained. Within three months, I found a job back in my field, and again, with no car. I biked to work. I got a simple job at a printing shop. I biked to my outpatient. I just made it work. And I didn't say I was sorry to anybody anymore, except when I was doing my amends, because I had said that so many times. It was like a broken record. I promise you, this time it's different. I'd have never said that. I just started showing up. And once I gave up the fight, right, to try to control this, try to moderate, it was so much easier. God, it was so much easier, and I didn't expect anybody to believe me, so I had to prove myself through my daily actions that this was it. And so through that time, in three months, I got a job back in graphic design. Within four months, we learned that I was pregnant with my first child, which was something I didn't even think was possible after the poison, I fed it for so many years. I'm like, oh, my God. It's amazing what can happen when you treat your body well, when you feed it good things. And I wasn't eating great food at that time. I was just trying to stay sober. I was eating skittles. I was sucking on suckers. I was doing all of those things. Peanut butter, jelly sandwiches, but I just wasn't drinking. And that was it. I was downing soda, all of those things. Nothing like I do today, but I just wasn't drinking. And I got my parole officer. I did my day in jail, four months pregnant. I did my court dates. I did house arrest. I did my breathalyzer in my car for two years. I got my whiskey plates, and I began to get my car back. I began to get my license back. I received a child, which is one of the greatest gifts of my life. They're my constant reminders to stay sober, is like, I cannot believe that I was able to do this. And they were brought into my life for me, choosing to live instead of choosing to die, which was on the path that I was on. And these just amazing. In seven months, I got promoted. Like, all of these things started happening, and the only thing I was doing was not drinking. I'm like, My God, if this can happen, what else? And so, following the AA format, I did all of my care plan. I did AA, I got my sponsor, worked the steps a few times, but I realized, Why do I have to hide this? And I never talked about it ever, except for in the rooms of AA. And there was nothing wrong with AA, but I said, there's got to be another way. And why do we hide mean only hiding it only magnifies the stigma. And so I didn't also understand why I had to go to meetings. And if I didn't go to meetings, that meant I was going to relapse. And I'm like, I'm doing really good. I'm working out. Movement is my medicine. It's my therapy. It's a really big component of my programs. And I was doing all of these things, and I found out, and I saw through a beach body. Now body, a random post of a woman's transformation just scrolling late at night. I had two kids. I was like, blah blah, blah, blah blah. And I was like, wow, that's incredible. And there was something that drew me to this woman and something about that. And so on the whim, I joined as a beach body coach. And part of being that is that you have to be a product of the product. You also have to share your story on social, which was really weird for me. I never shared. I always would block people on my sobriety date of sharing little tidbits of why that day was important, but not saying it was sober. And then I would hide people from work. So I'm like, if they knew that about me, what would they think? And I think that was the main thing. The fear of what others think if they knew this about me. And then until one day, two weeks after becoming a coach or a partner, now I told my husband, I said, I can't expect people to trust me if they don't know this big part of me. And I didn't understand why people didn't ask me about it. Not like they should care about. But I felt like people were stepping on eggshells around me. Like there was this big elephant in the room, like, oh God, is this going to trip her off? And I'm like, I don't mind talking about it. I want to talk about it. Like, ask me, but maybe you don't care. I don't know. And I said, I think I want to come out and I think I need to share this. And he's like, okay, yeah, go for it. And it was so crazy. I wrote the post, the coming out post in 5 minutes. And it just flowed out of me. I was like, I'm Jenna, I'm an alcoholic. Blah, blah, blah. This is why I drank. This is why I'm choosing this path. And I posted it. I ran into a meeting, and I did not look at it because I was so nervous of what that would do to my image, which was so important as I learned growing up. And I received nothing but love and support when I came back. And I'm like, oh. And it felt so good that now I didn't have to hide anymore. And from that moment forward, I didn't share all the time. I was still trying to help women lose weight. But the more I shared about my sobriety, the more it became clear to me that people wanted to know more. That women started messaging me, that they were struggling too. How did I do it? I'm like, I take care of myself. Movement has been super huge. I do this, I do that. And it was starting to help them. And I started to just coach them in my messages. And my path kind of became clear every single day that I don't think I'm supposed to do this. I don't think I'm supposed to be an art director for magazines. I also don't think I'm supposed to help women lose weight. I think I'm supposed to help women stay sober. And it's crazy. The one thing I was so nervous to talk about is now the one thing I love to talk about. And by talking about it, it also helps me stay sober. And so then I started coaching women privately with the intention that I want to do this in a group. Because the number one thing that people don't have is a community, and that's the number one thing you need. So I'm like, if we can just put everybody together in a small group so it's not intimidating and do this together, that's going to have the most profound impact. And so I started doing that last year, at the beginning of last year, and it worked. And these women are thriving now. These women are becoming coaches and going into this and going into this, and they're rejoining the programs because it works, and it helps to stay connected. And they found these best friends in this community without ever meeting each other. And that's the power of the Internet and of Zoom, is that you have people at your fingertips from across the world who are going through the same thing. And from that, I began to build a membership because people wanted to stay connected. And we go on retreats and to get together and enjoy good food and move our bodies and wake up clear headed and watch the sunrise and all of the things that we didn't get to do in our drinking career. And it's the best thing that's ever happened on top of my kids and on top of my marriage is this. And I wanted to create a rebrand for sobriety. I'm like, it's not this ho hum thing, and it's not something that you're giving up, and it's not this bad thing. It's an incredible opportunity for you to experience life in a whole new way and you to rediscover who you are. And so that's what I hope. And making this something fun to do, I want to make it fun and exciting, like upbeat music and move our bodies. And I want you to want to get sober. Not that you have to do this. I want you to want this. Because if you don't really want it, it's not going to work. I want you to want this and to look at it again as this incredible opportunity, not only for yourself, but for every single person you come in contact with. All right. Wow. So that was a lot. That's it in a long nutshell. [00:22:18] Speaker A: That was beautiful. I mean, that you really covered so much about your journey and how you're now helping people and just the rebrand. It's so interesting you say that actually was revisiting this Ted Talk that Claire Pooley had done and it was about taking the shame out of yeah. And part of it was sharing our stories, which you really emphasized and how powerful that has been for you and for others. And I've seen it again and again how powerful it is and it is such a way to take the shame away. And I think that has kept a lot of people stuck too. And so the more people that share their stories of how they quit drinking, it's going to help everyone. And yourself too. [00:23:07] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:23:08] Speaker A: She also talked about the rebranding like, we need to get excited about this. That's why I call myself an alcohol free know. This is a good thing that you're doing. This is a gift. [00:23:21] Speaker B: And just like Brene Brown says, it's a superpower. It really is. And when you share your story begins to have less power over you. You begin to start to feel gratitude for it of acceptance that, yeah, this is my thing and I have no shame anymore. And now did that happen the first time? No. I was nervous beyond all I was so scared. But now the more I share it and what Brene Brown says is it shines lights. It shines a light on your shame gremlins. And every single time you do, you're peeling back that onion and you're becoming more comfortable that this is your thing. And like Laura McGowan says, it's always going to be your thing until you face it. And it's a wonderful thing and it's a wonderful opportunity. [00:24:08] Speaker A: Yeah. Having hindsight now, I'm almost four years and congratulations on your ten years. But I think back sometimes I think I wouldn't change it because it brought me to where I am now. And where I am is such a better place. And they say sometimes things don't happen to you, they happen for you. And again, that takes a lot of hindsight, especially when you're in the midst of it and you're struggling to change your drinking. But I thank you for sharing your story and shining a light on all the positives of being sobriety, being sober and alcohol free. [00:24:53] Speaker B: Absolutely. And you can use that experience because I measure anything, any obstacle that comes my way. Now, I'm like that's. Nothing. I've already experienced the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. Bring it labor. Hopefully an epidural, but if not, no problem. I got it this. Okay walking into event. All right compare it to my struggle. Nothing has it compared to that. And if people can play the tape forward to my gosh, the courage and the strength and all of the amazing things that comes on the other side of that struggle, it's going to be so freaking worth it because it shows just a testament of how strong you are and like you said, how badass you are. Absolutely. [00:25:42] Speaker A: Well, let's get into habits and routines because one of your programs really emphasizes daily habits and I would just love to do kind of a deep dive about your six daily habits and how they can help someone when they're on this journey. [00:26:01] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. And habits are so important and I started implementing these last year and there's many programs out there that have habits to achieve every single day. And the habits really help provide structure to your day. They help reduce anxiety, they boost happiness and self esteem and they really give you something to go after, especially when you stop drinking and something to achieve to overall feel better. Now, when it comes to habits, there can be healthy habits like exercise and there can be unhealthy habits like drinking. But the key to making them stick is consistency. So showing up every single day, not just when life gets hard, but when life is going really well and that's the hardest part, is showing up in that off season. I really like to emphasize that is that so often, especially with New Year's coming up, people are so freaking excited, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this. And then what happens by February? And then we kind of get back and it's like no, the key to making this stick is consistency. So the six daily habits that I really preach and that I run in my programs is again for one, like I said, we're learning a new way of living instead of running away from our problems. Building habits like exercise is incredibly helpful to help you through that, especially through those first few months of sobriety and especially in early sobriety, when you can be feeling low, you can have high anxiety. All of these are going to really help you, especially during that trigger hour as well, to give you something to focus on. Because one thing that we get back when we stop drinking is time. So for some people it's like, well now what do I do? Or now how do I do this and how do I do that? When we have something to look forward to, we know exactly what we're supposed to do and it can help fill that time and again overall feel better. So above all else, the first habit, the most important is to not drink alcohol is to stay sober. So I tell the women in my groups, if the others are too overwhelming then just focus on staying sober. That's it. That's the most important thing. And I guide you through how to do that. So if you can't get in anything else, if you stayed sober, that is a huge freaking win. And let's focus there first. Now the second one is hydration. So water. So drinking half your body weight and ounces of water every single day and this is really important, it's really simple to do. It's also really simple to not do. And it's something that a lot of women struggle and I just did. A session on here a few weeks ago, all devoted to how to make this habit stick. So if you're a woman as well. So we're talking about half your body weight in ounces of water. According to the Mayo Clinic, that's about 92oz of water. So what water does, especially for sobriety and early sobriety, we're coming in very dehydrated. And even in general, when we wake up, we're extremely dehydrated. We lose water through just the act of breathing, and so it's going to help really flush toxins. It also helps prevent cravings for alcohol and sugar, which can be very high in the beginning, and it also helps improve our brain function. And so when you're dehydrated, your liver won't be able to function correctly. And so what we're really wanting to do is help that liver out, especially when we cut out alcohol. And so what we don't want is the danger zone of dehydration. And so things like headaches and fatigue and dizziness, having a high heart rate, and also those sugar cravings, all of those can just be dehydration. And especially in that first year of sobriety or that first month, they're going to be really tired. So something to help with that is to stay hydrated and to drink a lot of water. Now, the second or third one is gratitude. So writing five small things that you're grateful for from the past 24 hours. And I started doing this about five years ago when Rachel Hollis came out with this five to Thrive, and she started preaching about it. And I'm like, there's something with this. And it was really hard for me at first. I had a very negative mindset. I always looked at the glass half empty, and I looked at what wasn't going well. And so this is a reframe into finding the good and finding what's going right. And when you can step back and can look at the past 24 hours for those really small moments, when you get really specific, that is what makes the most difference, because it's really easy to say, okay, I'm grateful for my health, I'm grateful for my family. But when you look for these small moments and when you do this on a consistent basis, you know that you're going to do that the next morning. So you're going to be on the lookout for those small moments that brought you joy, those little things that made you smile. So my kids achieving their next rank advancement in taekwondo, such a huge moment for me. But it can be as simple as watching my kitty, our little kitten, play last night with a little candy soda can thing. And she's five weeks old. She's super cute, but something so small as that, or maybe someone waved at you when you were having a really hard day, and that just made your day. And so really, like you were saying, focusing on, what is this doing for me? Anything in life is not happening to you. It's happening for you. Like Tony Robbins says, because a negative mindset doesn't do us any good. We can think. That why me? But I like to say, why not you? Again, looking for that opportunity. And you don't have to like this practice. It can be really hard, but it's just a lot easier to do it if you do. If you look for that good, you don't have to like it, but it's a lot easier if you do, if you look for those good things. And then the fourth one is reading. So read five pages from a sober book or a personal growth book every single day. And this has been incredibly helpful over the past six, seven years that I started doing this and offering myself clarity and getting insight and also motivation for whatever I'm going through or whatever you're struggling with. There's people that have gone before you that are giving you all their answers, all of their insight, all of their tips and tricks into, like, a ten to $15 book for you to digest and take what you need and then leave the rest. And so there's this quote from Maya Angelou that I always love to remind myself is that when you know better, you do better. When you know more about alcoholiday, what it does to your brain, how it affects your body, what it can do to your relationships, and also how to do it better, what worked for other people. Can I start to apply that to my daily life? You're going to do better. And the more I've done this again, I've gained so much clarity into my own life. Realizing I have ADHD, struggling with anxiety, all of these things has helped me apply these tools to my sober toolkit to do things better. So five pages from a physical book every single day. And if you need a tip or you need a book, I always say, I always give my clients, start with this naked mind and then go from there. If you have not read that, start there and then go from there. The fifth one is one of my favorites, is exercise. So movement. And I'm not saying hit or cardio or CrossFit. I'm saying even things like yoga and walking are fantastic. So working out for 30 minutes every day or five days a week in a way that works for you, it's the best antidepressant it's the best antianxiety medication out there. It's going to help you feel better. It's also a great tool to help get you through a craving. If you're experiencing a craving to just get outside, go on a walk again, it's not the cure, but it's going to help you feel better and process that craving and give you some time and space between doing something you're going to regret and also doing something that's going to have you feel so much better after. It's going to increase blood flow to your brain. It's going to give you structure, reduce anxiety, boost your confidence, gives you a sense of achievement. It's going to boost your mood. It helps you to sleep better, it helps fills your time. And overall, it's going to help you feel good amongst so many other things. And so just like giving up this one thing, alcohol gave me so many other things. By adding in movement, it gave me so many other things. For me to as someone who struggled with anxiety, to keep it manageable on a daily basis, when I move my body, it helps keep my anxiety at bay. It helps me process emotions. It also brings up emotions. It's so fantastic for yourself and also for your brain. And the last one is accountability and community. So checking in with a group or checking in with someone every single day, number one, to know that you're not alone. But when you surround yourself, who you surround yourself with matters and has really a direct impact on your words, on your actions, on your thoughts, on your character and your habits. And so here's the thing, is that if you have a partner or a mom or dad and they're fantastic, they're very supportive of you, I'm so happy that you do because not everybody has that. But at the same time, they're not a part of your toolkit. They're not a part of your sober toolkit. Maybe they're sober too. But that's not the community that I'm talking about. I'm talking about women or men or both who know what it's like, who you feel comfortable with, who knows what it's like to feel uncomfortable and go through a craving and how hard it is to go to a party and not drink or be surrounded by alcohol. When you're around people who that's just what they do. Again, you're influenced by the five people that you hang around with. And so if you hang around the barbershop, there's that saying that's like if you hang around a barbershop for too long, chances are you're going to go in and get a haircut. If you hang around people who are drinking and have not the behaviors that you want, eventually you're going to be more enticed to think, you know what, maybe I can just have one drink who are pressuring you, maybe to just have one, you might. And I can't say it's going to be all the time, but you're going to be more enticed to get in and get that haircut or to have a drink or just think that moderation is possible. So someone or a group or a coach or a therapist who can help keep you accountable, this can be one person. This can be a group. You can start with one person. I know now in my group and in my membership, I really ask us to check in every single day. Really simple. On a scale of one to ten, let us know how you're doing? Are you doing not so good? Are you doing a ten? And every day is going to be different because not every day is going to be great. Things are going to happen. But just let us know how we can support you, how can we help? But again, you can look at the therapists, the sober coaches, like myself, communities. I have my membership. It's so important. And so those are the six habits that I feel are very important. I don't expect people to be perfect at it. I just want you to improve. 1%, just like James Clear says, 1% every single day. Because all of these are meant to help you feel better, is that when we give up alcohol, we're going to feel a little bit low for a bit. So one way to help raise that not saying it's bad, but to help you feel more comfortable is doing these habits, is getting outside, moving your body, reading, connecting with other people who are going through the same thing to boost your brain health and overall live a fulfilling sober life. [00:38:35] Speaker A: Wow. Yeah. I appreciate these six habits. So you had stay sober. So, number one, and I like how you said, if you're going to focus on one thing, it's this. Just don't drink. Yeah, but if you're going to drink, drink a lot of water. How many ounces did you say again, you recommend? [00:38:55] Speaker B: So half your body weight. And I always like to say to women, if that's too much, at least start your day with 8oz of water. I always like to say water before coffee. We have this thing in my group. It's like water before coffee. You've got to hydrate first thing because everyone wakes up dehydrated. And so knowing that. But according to the Mayo Clinic, on average for women, it's about 92oz of water for women. And I think that's like 126 or something for men. [00:39:26] Speaker A: Okay. And then remind us what that looks like. Does that look like a gallon of milk? I'm very visual, right? [00:39:36] Speaker B: And you see, I know they can't see it, but I'm very visual, too. And so these Camelbacks, I have these Camelback plastic and plastic water bottles, but I need to see how much I need to go. And so I would say, get yourself a reusable water bottle. So I like these. I have two of them. I used to have three. My dog chewed one. They don't make this style anymore. I'm like dang it. So I fill it up, and I know there's 25oz of water. So for me, I have to drink at least three of these a day. And I always recommend getting a water bottle with a straw because you're going to get in more with each sip. And when you drink, I want you to be intentional with those sips. You don't just take a measly sip. You really take a sip. And I know you can't see me, but I'll do it right now. That was about 4 seconds. And what I do with my calls is I have everybody bring a water bottle. And your goal is to finish this by the end of my coaching. Now, if that's a Stanley, I say don't, that's a lot of water. But anything less than 25oz of water is doable. So will you pee more? Yes. And that's the whole point. But the most important thing is try not to do this right before bed is to try to get that in earlier in the day so you're not going to be stuck up at night going to the bathroom. But again, if you can start with even half of that goal of half your body weight. So even 40oz of water is better than nothing. And when I say water, I'm not talking sparkling water, I'm not talking water flavored with artificial sweeteners. I'm talking about plain water. And I can even get more into this because I told the women in my group, be picky about it. I said, how do you like your water? I'm picky. I used to buy it. Now we get it from a well. But I like mine ice cold. I like it in this bottle and I like it from my well. Now, if it's lukewarm, will I drink it? Yeah, if I have to. But I know how I like my water. Some of them like it in a glass or how do you like your ice? Do you like it crushed? Do you like it? These big chunks. I always like the hospital ice that they give when you're at the hospital. And if I could just get maybe, I don't know, a sober treat to myself, get a little crushed ice maker. But be picky about that because when you can make it attractive and if you want to go more into the habits, I highly encourage you to check out the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Such a great book. I highly recommend reading it. He has a lot of great visuals. But you want to make these habits attractive. You want to make yourself want to drink it. So if I make my water attractive, I'm going to be more apt to drink it. So make them visual, make them attractive. So you're going to want to do that. [00:42:40] Speaker A: I so appreciate those tips. Water is always something I tell people, like if you want to pick a habit, pick drinking more water. It's going to help you with so many areas of your physical health. And I was noticing, I was looking at your water bottle and it's 750 ML, which is also a bottle of wine. And I always knew like a bottle of wine, 750. [00:43:11] Speaker B: Didn't know that. Whenever they say like milliliters or liters, I'm like, I don't know, do I. [00:43:15] Speaker A: Have a I'm better with that than ounces. [00:43:19] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm just like, okay, what are we talking here? And then I'll have to google it. Got you. I get what that is. Yeah. Switch out that bottle of wine for a bottle of water. Your body and your brain are going to thank you. [00:43:33] Speaker A: Yeah, it's such a good tip. Okay, so then you also said gratitude, practicing gratitude reading and just five pages a. Yeah. And you've already recommended Atomic Habits by James Clear and this Naked Mind by Annie Grace. Are there any other books that are, like, on your favorites? [00:43:58] Speaker B: Oh, there's so many. Those are my top two. I also like alcohol. The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace. I think that just has so many tips that are incredibly helpful. The other one I really love is the unexpected joy of being sober by Catherine Gray. It completely changed my mind and my life. I think it was 2018, 2019 when it came out. It was just a positive spin. And she has so many resources to try out of looking at this in a new way about starting to rebrand sobriety in a new light. And so those would be my top four. Did I say? Four? Yeah, four. Those would be my top four. [00:44:43] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. I love all those books. I'm a big book nerd, and we do a monthly book club, too. Same here. [00:44:50] Speaker B: What are you guys reading right now? [00:44:52] Speaker A: Right now, we are in honor of Matthew Perry, we're reading his memoir. [00:44:58] Speaker B: Got it. [00:44:58] Speaker A: And yeah, what are you reading? [00:45:01] Speaker B: We are reading Level Up by Rob dial. It just came out so good. And he talks about habits. He's not a sober coach, but he is a mindset coach. And if you want to check out a podcast, I love his podcast. They're really short episodes as well. Like 15 to 20 minutes. Super helpful for me with anything from anxiety to other stuff. But he came out with a book called Level Up, and it goes into habits, it goes into dopamine and the importance of that and exercise and all of those things. So highly recommend. It's a short read, shorter read, but that's what we're reading. And then we're going to get into I'm really excited in January, dr. Brooke Scheller's new book, which I think you had her on. I am so excited for her. How to eat, to change how you drink. That is going to be life changing. [00:45:58] Speaker A: Yes. There are so many books out there, and I think that's a good point. Like, you can either kind of go a quit lit route or you can do a self help book and they just guide you towards healthy habits and mindset. Like you said. That's so huge. And five pages a day. Again, that's doable, right? [00:46:20] Speaker B: Yeah. And in my group now, I'm doing ten pages, but I'm like five pages is doable. Get that in in the morning to start your day with, to give you some direction and give you something to think about. And I won't get into morning routines. But when you have a morning routine, all of these habits can kind of stack together one on top of the other. And so you can get it in in this small amount of time. And what I like to look as our bodies and our brains, as kind of like a car, is that you have to fuel yourself. If you want energy, you got to create it. How you start the morning is how you own the day, is how the day is going to play out. If I can give myself some direction and pour into myself first, I'm better able to show up for my job, to show up for my clients, to show up for my kids because I spent that time on myself to get my car ready and tuned up for the day and the energy that I want to have. [00:47:17] Speaker A: And then your last two habits were exercise and then accountability. [00:47:23] Speaker B: Yeah. Amazing. You're like super. I always like to say start with walking. Walking is fantastic. If you haven't exercised in a long time, start by getting outside for 10 minutes and go for a walk. And if that's too much, start with 5 minutes. It has been one of the best things that I've started in the past two years that has made a huge impact on my mental health. And I think it's one of the things that it gets so underrated and it offers so many benefits because we don't look at it as exercise, but for the mental benefits. Oh my gosh, try it. And I started doing these ten minute walks in the summer and it just became a thing because 30 minutes then seemed like too much for what was going on in my life. But I'm like, I can do 10 minutes, like 10 minutes, 5 minutes down, 5 minutes back. And something is better than nothing. So if you can't do anything, start with 5 minutes and start there. [00:48:34] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. Well, how would you handle setbacks? Let's get into that because that's always a common question with people who are changing their drinking. How do you handle setbacks? [00:48:51] Speaker B: I always like to greet it with grace and compassion and to look at it again as a learning opportunity is that this highlighted something that you're struggling with. It highlighted probably a boundary that you need to set. Whether you're triggered by someone else, something happened, you put yourself in a situation. So I really like to offer people and look at it as not as failure, but again as a learning opportunity of something to work on. And I give my clients some journal sheets to like let's just kind of backtrack is there a boundary that we need to set? Kind of what happened? So now you can use that information to make some adjustments to do it better next time. And so, so often I like to say from AA in the Serenity Prayer is accept the things you can't change and change the things you can ruminating over what happened. And beating yourself up is not doing you any good. It does not motivate you to make better decisions. So pick yourself back up. You are not a bad person. Unfortunately, it's part of the process of change, and that learning that those failures are all a part of this process. James Clear actually goes through this, of how incredibly important they are, is that's the process of change is when you redirect, when you have these experiences, then you're mentally getting you to where you want to be. So be like, okay, now I learned my lesson. What can I take from this? And what am I going to do for next time? What adjustment can I make? And is that a boundary I need to set? What is the next right move I can make? And so there's nothing wrong with you, but again, accepting that it happened, it did. There's nothing I can do to change it. But what can I change right now? What needs to change? And then go ahead and do it. [00:50:45] Speaker A: Yeah. Thank you for that. And you're right. Just leading with grace and compassion for yourself during this process. And I like to tell people, like, really focus on the direction that you're going. Focus on direction, not perfection, which is hard for perfectionists. [00:51:05] Speaker B: Right? [00:51:06] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:51:07] Speaker B: And when I couldn't get this, I was like, what is wrong with me? And maybe you've asked yourself that question, what is wrong with me? Why can't I get this until I learned the science behind it? Oh, I now understand what happened and why I did the things I did. And we were just doing the best that we could with the tools that we have. And now if you're actively seeking sobriety, you can have better tools to add to your toolkit. And those tools can change and they adjust as you change. But that's all that we really need, is I didn't have the proper tools and I didn't know better, but now I do because of what I went through, because of all those setbacks. It got me to where I am today. Sobriety is not a straight shot up. There are so many twists and turns. You go down, you go up, you go backwards, you go forwards. But it's all leading you to where you need to be and where you want to be. And so your line is not going to look like someone else's. Your nut line is not going to look like mine. It is going to be your own unique line, and you're exactly where you're supposed to be. Trust that process, because eventually you're going to get to where you want to be. [00:52:23] Speaker A: Yeah, that's lovely. Well, tell people how they can find you and work with you. [00:52:29] Speaker B: Yes. So you can go to my website at join I also like to hang out on Instagram, primarily at jenlehurst, like you said, I have a challenge, a sober challenge coming up January 1 called Dry 100. For Dry January, we're going to start off 2024 with a fresh start with these habits. It's the longest program I've done, but I thought, especially since so many resolutions fall off by February, I wanted to extend this for the most impact and transformation to carry you into the spring. So there's going to be weekly coaching, daily post trackers, which is really important when you do habits, to track those habits and just all of the things. I also have my Lighthouse Sobriety membership, which is a monthly membership with monthly coaching for me. We have daily meetings, a book club just like you, nutrition, workouts, live workshops, and you can all find that on my website. Join Lighthouse yeah, I love the name. [00:53:34] Speaker A: Lighthouse sobriety. How did you come up with that? [00:53:38] Speaker B: Yeah, it was actually last year, I was in the car driving and I struggled for many years with that name. And I heard a conversation between Ed Milette and Dean Graciosi and it just changed. And I always preach the example of raising your hand first, being that light, owning this positive choice. And the more that we can encourage others to do so, the more the people that we can help who are struggling. And so he said, create an example for the people that come behind us to be the lighthouse and light the way for others. And I'm like that's. It that's what we are. We're not pressuring people to stop drinking. We're just casting our light into this world. That's so brainwashed to believe that we need alcohol to have fun, to be more liked, to be more accepted. And Mel Robbins had a podcast recently about lighthouses and she said, the lighthouse has one important job. The lighthouse is always shining its light so that it can bring you home. It lets you know that you're never alone and you're never lost. And that's what I hope our community can do, is that you're never alone and that you're never lost. And to be that light, to be that example for other people who are looking for someone to go first, wow, that's just powerful. [00:54:56] Speaker A: And so well said. So thank you. I'm so glad that we got a chance to talk today. I know I hope that we can have future conversations because you have so much to offer. Let's do that. Let's have a part two with Jen. So, thank you so much for coming on the show today, sharing your story, really talking about these six habits for people who are looking to change their drinking and then having Lighthouse Sobriety as an option moving forward. So. Thank you, Jen. [00:55:29] Speaker B: Yes, thank you so much for having me on. I appreciate it. [00:55:33] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people too. I want you to know I'm always here for you. So please reach out and talk to me on Instagram at Alcohol Tipping Point and check out my website, for free. Resources and Help no matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing, keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week. And until then, talk to you next time you.

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