You’ve Heard of Mindful Eating, Now the Latest Trend Is Mindful Drinking

Mindful eating is a way to change your thoughts and relationship with food — it focuses on the awareness, and the experience, of the food. Mindful drinking is, we suppose, its cousin.

Club Soda, a ‘global mindful drinking community’, defines mindful drinking as “becoming more aware of how your body and mind are affected by alcohol, and how you use alcohol to relate to the people around you.” Mindful drinkers aim to develop healthier, more intentional relationships with alcohol — noticing, learning, and taking control of their drinking habits.

You may have already been a participant of it, through something like Dry January. Or maybe you’re looking to change your relationship with alcohol — after all, Australians do top the charts and set global records when it comes to drinking (not always in a good way). You could also be questioning your relationship with alcohol post-COVID; we all drank more. Or maybe you’re just looking to be a bit healthier in all aspects of your life — all valid reasons to undergo mindful drinking.

Carissa Walford — who you probably recognise from your TV — is a wellbeing ‘extraordinaire’, and she spoke to The Latch about how she prioritises upholding a mindful approach to drinking.

What is mindfulness to you?

For Walford, it’s all about being present. “Knowing that each moment is an opportunity to be grateful,” she told The Latch. In addition to this, she spoke about being aware, open-hearted and conscious of her choices.

“I’m passionate about reminding people that we all have the capacity to live mindfully,” she explained, “to live a better quality of life with the people around us.”

How does it extend to all facets of your life?

For her, it’s a “practice of coming back to myself.” She explains that it’s become a lifestyle, “[A] way to keep my mind and body at its healthiest.” Regardless of which facet of her life — social, personal, professional — she carries this mantra. And she sets healthy boundaries, as according to her this is “the key to balance and mindfulness”.

What’s mindful drinking to you?

Boundaries seem to be a recurring theme for Walford here, as she says “It’s about having boundaries.” For her, drinking is not about getting drunk, but more so a celebration with people she cares about.

As for how she starts mindful drinking? “By creating space and making conscious choices around why you drink.” To maintain this balance, she turns to a low-alcohol option, name-checking the new Forty Spotted Raspberry and Rose Half-Strength botanical spirit. As she says, “Low alcohol spirits allow you to remain in the moment when socialising with friends.”

Why do you take part in mindful drinking?

Walford emphasises that she’s never been a big drinker, and that she loves being able to socialise “while still being myself” and enjoy the company of friends and family — another recurring theme throughout her life.

“I’ve always seen drinking as a social ritual that can be enjoyed moderately.” In moments she does want to drink mindfully drink with friends, as before, she turns to “great low-alcohol options.

Should more of us be considering mindful drinking?

Pointing out that we’re all different, Walford does “hope to encourage and empower people to be more aware of how they want to feel when they’re drinking.” In addition to this, she wants them to make choices for what’s right for them — not what the crowd is doing.

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