Is it worth having a “good time” in the evening to wake up the next morning feeling like a ton of bricks?
Is it worth drinking regularly to feel less productive and less energized in the long run as a result?
Sure it’s tasty, it can help you have a good time, it maybe makes you more social, but there are many benefits of drinking less alcohol.
If you are a young man wanting to know how to have a good time, wake up feeling refreshed the next day, and navigate yourself in the world of alcohol and parties, then this article is for YOU.
Let’s dive into it.
So alcohol is a very interesting topic and I’m just going to disclose right off the bat that no I am not against alcohol and no I am not a non-drinker.
This article is not intended to make you feel bad for wanting to party or for wanting to have a drink. My mission with this article is to share my personal thoughts and experiences in the hope that it can benefit and help you.
Also, this article is not intended to make any radical statements about alcohol nor about alcoholism, it is intended for young adults who want help navigating the young adult life where alcohol is hard to not come by.
Now don’t get me wrong I like to party, celebrate, dance and have a good time with friends just like the next guy, but one thing I do not like is how social pressure and the drink until you drop culture is affecting young adults today.
Also, I think the notion that you need to drink to be funnier, more outgoing, or have a good time is not a good way to view alcohol or how to live life.
I want to show you that you can have a tremendous time at parties, be social, enjoy yourself, and also wake up the next day energized and excited.
I’m also going to share the 5 major benefits I’ve experienced from not drinking and how I’ve navigated myself in young adult life where alcohol can be tough to say no to.
I just want to say that I’ve personally never had a problem with alcohol. But like most people, I have had experiences where I’ve had a drink too many, and I think many would agree that those experiences are fun at the moment but not so much fun the day after.
Nowadays I do occasionally have a drink like having a beer with friends, a glass of wine to an amazing meal, or even sometimes at a party but for the past three years I can sum up my drinking to maybe on average one drink per month.
I still like going to parties, to fun social gatherings, and to many events where alcohol can be involved, but I rarely drink during those events and I still have such a good time.
Even though I still occasionally have a drink I don’t get drunk, and I want to share my story to explain why.
I probably had my first drink when I was around 16, and nowadays it isn’t unusual for 16-year-olds to start drinking a bit and partying with friends.
Of course, that feeling of getting a bit light on your feet, doing stupid stuff, and laughing one’s balls off with friends was exciting and quite funny, a bit of an adventure in a sense.
Now as a 16-year old I didn’t think much more about the consequences, obviously because as a 16-year old I didn’t know any better.
It continued and when I reflect back I can say that the more times I gave in to social pressure and to the world of drinking too much, I slowly but surely became someone I didn’t want to become.
Time went by. I turned 18 and graduated high school with the belief that I’m a young man, I should go out, drink, party, and live the “young and free life” for a while because I thought that that was the status quo.
This led to incredible amounts of confusion. I thought I was living the fun life as an 18-year-old guy but frankly, I was following a path that wasn’t true to me and my values.
This confusion led me to not take good care of my closest relationships, led me to bad habits, and me not taking care of my health.
Now I don’t think that I’m alone on having been confused as a young man. And, by all means, I’m 21 now and definitely still have SO MUCH to figure out and am still confused about many things.
Anyways around that time, I took the chance to travel abroad, and apart from two occasions I basically didn’t touch alcohol for 5 months.
Not only that but I also implemented new habits like journaling and waking up early that had a dramatic effect on how I viewed my life and also how I viewed alcohol.
Since then I rarely drink and it was a long time ago I had a drink too many, and the benefits I’ve experienced have been incredible.
These 5 benefits have come as the long term pleasures of rarely drinking to sacrificing the short term pleasures of drinking, both in small amounts but also excessively.
Also, it’s important to point out that these benefits have come even though I still like to go to parties and to fun social gatherings.
The 5 Major Benefits I’ve Experienced From Not Drinking
1. I don’t make (so many) stupid decisions
Many people can probably agree that drinking and bad decisions have a very close relationship, some might say they could be BFF’s.
Things like that one last shot before going to the club, being very loud on a bus, and treating strangers as if they were best friends are just a few examples of how one can make decisions when drinking 😉
Rest assured many of my stupid decisions have been when I’ve had a drink too many.
Obviously, I still make bad decisions like sleeping too little, checking email too often, and choosing smooth instead of crunchy peanut butter, but they are in a completely different realm than the bad decisions one can make when drinking.
I’m not saying you have to go all-in or nothing when going to a party or if you are having a drink, you can still drink less and make good decisions for yourself.
But one thing I’ve noticed is that not drinking makes it so much easier to have a clear head and not make bad decisions.
Also, I realized that using alcohol as an excuse to do stupid things wasn’t how I wanted to live my life.
Not only that but not drinking means that I’ve saved a lot of money and avoided many scenarios where I could have spent too much money on alcohol and junk food and making bad decisions financially.
I mean that last round of drinks at 3 am before the bar closes is probably the poorest of investments one can make and I don’t think I’m alone in having done that 😉
Of course, it’s appealing at the moment to have that last drink or that midnight snack, but choosing to not take it means that you will gain more in the long term like better health and more money.
Not drinking too much has also been a good way to keep a clear conscience and make good decisions for oneself, and that for me is priceless.
I can wake up every morning feeling proud of myself for not drinking then ashamed that I made stupid decisions, gave in to social pressure, or gave into short term pleasures.
2. I wake up energized and excited, eager to seize this day too.
Thanks to not drinking so much, I don’t wake up feeling hungover and absolutely terrible.
Not only that, but I can wake up on a Saturday morning feeling energized and excited.
Also since there is a lot of calories in many alcoholic drinks, and combine that with the bad food that is easy to eat during a night out, I don’t wake up feeling like my stomach is exploding.
I’ve also noticed that it is so much easier to stay fit and in shape when not drinking.
I can still go to a party or to an event in the evening, not drink, have a great evening, go to bed at a decent time, and wake up early the next day feeling extraordinary and ready to seize the day.
From waking up with this feeling I can, for example, go out for a long run a Saturday morning which in turn makes me feel even better, or I can…
… Spend time journaling and reflect upon life.
… Go to the ocean and challenge myself with some cold exposure.
… Pursue a morning routine that gets me excited for the day.
… Go on a fun morning adventure together with friends, which is exactly how André and I began our journey together and not only created Habithon but also developed an incredible friendship!
In summary, I feel so much better in every way when not drinking.
There is an incredible feeling of clarity, health, and happiness that comes from feeling really good every single day, even on weekends.
3. My productivity has soared
When drinking excessively most of the time a “good night out” means a not so good day the day after, or frankly even the day after that.
Of course one can drink moderately and not feel like a ton of bricks the day after, but one of the best benefits I’ve experienced from not drinking is how much better I feel every day. When I don’t drink I just feel so refreshed and my body feels so good.
My mind feels clearer, my energy is up, and I can wake up on a Saturday at 5 am feeling like a rocket taking off.
From waking up with this feeling I’ve been able to do more in less time and I’ve been able to be more productive.
Now I don’t mean productive in the sense that you have to work on the weekends, I mean being in a state that allows oneself to be at one’s best, regardless of what you want to do be that working, reflecting, reading, or pursuing a hobby.
Not only that but thanks to feeling productive I have felt a lot of progress and growth towards where I want to develop which has increased my happiness levels dramatically.
Personally, when going to parties or other social gatherings, I usually go home around midnight and wake up no later than 7 am the day after. By doing this I will have had the most fun while not sacrificing the next morning, and still be productive and pursue other activities.
4. I’ve replaced pleasures of drinking with genuine enjoyment
From not drinking and feeling good every day, my priorities have definitely changed.
I’ve discovered which things actually help me to feel good in life.
There is obviously a lot of fun about alcohol and parties, but drinking too much is only short term fun that does come with a cost.
It is the cost of living to your best the next day, and of your long term development to become the greatest person you can be.
“When drinking you are just borrowing happiness from tomorrow” is a common but very true saying!
My goal is to always be open to have an amazing time with friends, enjoy life at the most, and do things that fuel my inspiration and drive to live each and every day the best I can.
This means that I’ve prioritized having a great time at parties without alcohol and also do other activities that help me to feel good and bring me a lot of long term happiness.
Some of those other activities have been in the form of early morning trail running, journaling, reading, or working on a project.
Call me boring but man I’ll tell you that those early mornings are so much fun!
It is surely way more fun than spending half a day recovering from the night before. From a time-management perspective, drinking a lot and feeling bad the next day is rarely a good option.
A few examples of how my priorities have changed. If it’s not a fun event I love going to bed on a Friday night and wake up at 5 am on a Saturday to go on an early morning adventure.
Or if I’m at a fun party I usually make my way home shortly after midnight. That way I have experienced so many fun memories while also taking care of my health, and will feel energized the next morning.
Since I have woken up with a clear mind I have had the chance to reflect on where my priorities actually lie, which has been a huge benefit and has made me happier in every way.
The conclusion I come to is that I would rather prioritize working on long term goals than pursue the short term pleasures of drinking.
Of course, as I’ve mentioned before I do occasionally have a drink like having a beer with friends or having a glass of wine to an amazing meal if it elevates that moment, which it sometimes does!
5. I have the freedom of making conscious decisions
I definitely think that it’s easy in young adult life to just go with the flow and pursue one’s freedom in the form of short term pleasures like drinking and activities related to drinking.
But there is another kind of freedom, a freedom that is so much greater, and it is the freedom of knowing who you are, knowing what you stand for, and pursuing things that make you into the person you want to become.
From changing my priorities, from knowing what my values are, and taking conscious decisions to develop into the person I want to become, I’ve felt an incredible sense of freedom, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Sacrificing the short term freedom of drinking has allowed me to gain the long term freedom of knowing what is important to me and growing as a person.
Not only that but doing so has meant that I have gained more social skills and learned to have a lot of fun at parties without alcohol!
From this, I’ve gained a personal sense of freedom that has brought a lot of happiness and security and has replaced all my FOMO with JOMO.
Of course, one should make the best use of one’s years as a young adult, live to the fullest, and use one’s freedom in the best possible way. There is no doubt about that.
I highly encourage you to reflect upon which things will actually make you feel free and prioritize your freedom that will help you create a tremendous future for yourself!
For example, drinking alcohol might bring a sense of freedom at the moment, but working on a project, skill, or becoming fit will give you long term freedom that will make you happier in the future.
Also even though you can drink moderately there is an incredible feeling of freedom knowing you can have so much fun at a party without needing to drink alcohol!
Something that makes me really sad to see is when young adults waste their potential in the pursuit of drinking and related activities.
Seeing drinking as “the only way” to have fun, to be more social or funny, or to feel young and free is a slippery slope with potentially harmful consequences.
I definitely believe that alcohol should be something to be enjoyed and not exploited, and should enhance the positives of an experience without compromising one’s health or conscience, which drinking too much usually does.
The conclusion I land on is that as long as I don’t compromise on my health and conscience, and if it elevates the moment I am in together with others when I have a drink I make sure to enjoy that drink.
Also, I’ve realized that alcohol is even more enjoyable when consumed very lightly, you get the pleasures of having a drink whilst not waking up feeling awful the day after.
Life is a lot of fun and it should be enjoyed in the best way possible, with a good relationship with one’s health and well being, and of course to things like alcohol.
I highly encourage you to reflect on how you drink and reflect on how your life would benefit from consuming less alcohol.
Personally, I can definitely say that not drinking has made me more naturally social, more outgoing, and made me feel more free and happy than when I previously drank!
So that’s it those are the 5 major benefits I have experienced from not drinking.
I don’t make (as many) stupid decisions
I wake up energized and excited, eager to seize this day too
My productivity has soared
I’ve replaced the short term pleasures of alcohol with genuine enjoyment
I have the freedom of making conscious decisions
As I’ve mentioned before, this article has only been with the intention of sharing my thoughts and experiences and I hope you have found some value from it.
This is also in no way an article to make anyone feel bad or guilty for wanting to drink. By all means, have a drink if you want to, but make sure to drink in a conscious way.
Just make sure to have a healthy relationship with it and don’t let it compromise your health and conscience.
And I will mention that for those of you who decide to drink way less, I can definitely say that there will be many rewards waiting for you at the other end, even if the short term fun of it is hard to resist.
Also, I want to hear from you, what are your thoughts on alcohol? I would love to hear your answers and get a discussion going.
All the best and take care of yourself, your relationships, and your relationship with alcohol!
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