Both Dry January and Try February are over, meaning you're probably ready to reunite with alcohol asap. Well, surprise: a month of mindful drinking, or Mindful March, as we like to call it, has just arrived. But what is mindfulness exactly, besides a buzzword? Is it endless meditations? Or biohacking? Noticing the thoughts you’d rather never notice? Maybe it’s Goop or crystals? And how can drinking be mindful at all?
Mindfulness is using your brain and body in a meditative way to bring your attention to the current moment. Mindfulness is presence, basically. However, even though staying in the moment might indeed seem like a positive thing, with mindful drinking there’s a caveat: what if you’re drinking to escape? According to the National Center of Biotech Information report, we mostly drink alcohol for two reasons — to cope and to be sociable, or simply to forget and to remember (although the two tend to intertwine). Whatever mindfulness means to you and whether your motives for drinking are bright or grim, instead of simply suggesting to live in the moment, we’ll focus on how to make this moment bearable in the first place: partially, through mindful drinking. Below are our tips on how to get the most of Mindful March and use it for the rest of the year, or beyond.
Find out who makes you drink (spoiler: it’s you, but why?)
Since you’re welcome to start imbibing again, use that as an opportunity to make a clear picture of when and why you crave alcohol. This sounds like a boring piece of advice, because it is, but logging your motives, even if only for a month, will immensely enhance the effect you’ve already accumulated throughout the months of moderation. It will elevate the process from the physical level to the upper management level of your body, which largely dictates your behavior–your subconscious.
Start by simply writing down what prompts you to drink—a quick 5 second note on your phone after you take that first sip—and then forgetting about it until you have enough entries to take a closer look at your motives, should they bother you or at least spark curiosity. Are you drinking from anxiety? Did you have an extra glass of wine due to sadness or overwhelm? Are you feeling lonely? Once you understand these emotions, it will help you be more precise and intentional about what you quench them with. More on that below.
Choose the right fuel for you and your emotions
Loosely quoting Rick and Morty, ‘you can’t fill the void inside with a smoothie.’ This is undoubtedly true, but it’s also important to remember that a healthy mind needs the right fuel. A lot has been said about the importance of gut health and its relation to our emotional and mental state, and certain drinks, just like foods, can promote energy and vitality, while others might lead to or exacerbate depression.
While functional drinks can’t make your life suck less, what they can do is make your brain and body feel a little better about it—now, in the present moment, and later, in the future, which will come even for the most mindful of us—and quite often, along with a hangover. There are functional beverages whose benefits range from energizing, uplifting, soothing, calming, and healing, so you can pick whatever fits your scenario to recalibrate your motives for drinking. Some of our favorites:
The agave-based blend is finished off with select active adaptogens: ashwagandha, ginseng, GABA, and L-Theanine that help ease anxiety and stress, improve immunity, and inspire a wakeful sense of calm. Sip the stress away in The Spiced Piñarita cocktail – a pineapple-based, botanical-infused mix that strikes a lovely balance of fruit, smoke, and spice–a proof that stress management blends are not always bland.
Calme is a functional, non-alcoholic spirit to serve alongside thoughtful conversation or introspection – which is exactly what we’re looking for. The active compounds (called cannabinoids) in hemp interact with your endocannabinoid system—which regulates things like mood, appetite, sleep—and affect everyone differently, just like coffee. With 20 mg of broad-spectrum hemp per serving, most feel a gentle, calming feeling within 15-30 minutes after just one or two servings. A complex blend of citrus and herbal botanicals is infused with broad-spectrum hemp to create a spirit that calms and relaxes without the negative effects of alcohol.
Mood-enhancing elixirs from London-based Three Spirit are a collection of beverages designed to carry you through your evening, from start to finish. The Livener is Three Spirit’s big, bold elixir made to energize, refresh and prime you for the night. Juicy red fruits complement active plant compounds to invigorate the body and mind. Guayusa is a sustainable, magical source of caffeine sourced from the Amazon Rainforest; it pairs with the L-Theanine found in green tea to pack an energizing punch without the crash. The Siberian, adaptogenic berry schisandra gives a feeling of balanced euphoria and blends well with the fruity flavors of watermelon and hibiscus. With its exotic ingredients, this spirit turns up the heat and inspires the brightest, most energetic version of you.
In short, just drink the Livener when you’re feeling too tired or introverted to go out.
Go out prepared
If you’re afraid that your mindfulness might suddenly look the other way right when someone says ‘Another round?’, we wrote a step-by-step instruction on how to prepare yourself for a night out and get home alive, especially if you’re a lightweight and perhaps also a little impulsive.
Look up and pin bars with NA cocktails
Here and here we made a map of bars in NYC either fully sober or serving great non-alcoholic options, which we highly recommend to look up and pin in your maps. When it’s a night out and you’re too tired to research which spots serve NA, chances are you’ll end up somewhere where the only vessel that doesn’t contain alcohol is you, and not for long. Besides, somehow, when you’re drunk enough, all roads lead to dive bars, and dive bars are not particularly the type of place to practice mindfulness.
Drink Tracking Apps & Meditations
We always understood the power of reflecting on our relationship with alcohol, and a while ago, we even tested out some of the most popular sobriety tracking apps out there. We tried it all—from tracking sobriety milestones and savings to breathing meditations—yes, breathing meditations in the city where it’s sometimes better not to breathe at all. We didn’t spare ourselves, so now you have our heartfelt and hopefully immensely useful app reviews.
Mindful purchasing and mindful shipping
No action needed here, just wanted you to know you’re already being pretty mindful and that it’s you who motivates us to stay mindful and do good. With our sustainable supply chain, carbon neutral shipping, delivery bikes vs actual cars and plethora of additional eco-initiatives, we make sure that the products are harmless for everyone. Mindful drinking, mindful you... and mindful us!