6

votes

Relaxing, paleo style? (That is, without booze...)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 24, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I'm a student, and I tend to get wound up studying all day. At the end of the day, I really want a drink (well, more than just one). I know some people can kick back with a NorCal Margarita or a glass of wine - but I have really have a hard time moderating myself when it comes to alcohol. And it usually leads to non-paleo foods as well.

So, for those of you who have given up drinking, what did you replace it with in order to relax. Any little rituals or anything? Working out? Bubble bath? Just looking for some ideas for when I get that stressed out, 'I could use drink' feeling.

By the way, I'm planning on trying to cut back on my coffee. I think part of feeling of being wound up comes from guzzling coffee all day.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on May 11, 2012
at 09:40 AM

good answer, what does the GABA do?

A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on October 26, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Yes, I agree... walking meditation is great and has the added benefit of getting you some exercise.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on October 25, 2011
at 04:18 PM

I recommend meditation in motion. For people like me that will go stark raving mad doing tradition meditation (yes I have tried a ton!)-moving while making that same dedication to freeing your mind is a wonderful thing. I like to walk at sunset in a rarely used hiking trail and take my mind away from to-do's and events -noticing the colors, the bugs, the sounds of the birds, etc.

Ef7d3b8fc06ab34e7b5d85a4f4d737a9

(140)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:41 PM

My "Natural Calm" magnesium supplement mellows me out so much that I barely finish my Coconut Banana Rooibos tea.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:10 PM

I got drowsy and mellow just reading your answer, Slightly. :) And *thank you* for sharing your ginger/tea/cream creation...I'm going to try that straightaway.

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on October 24, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I, second meditation. I've been sober for almost three months now. My stress levels are through the floor. I've also been working on the stoic and Epicurus ways of life. Once you stop focusing on past and future thoughts, time slows way down.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

...as long as you play as if no one is listening

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:52 PM

I think both would work. But, if you really want it to work, get a drum set, bang on if for awhile, and then move to the guitar for full relaxation

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Unless your surroundings consist of heavy traffic, sirens and dogs barking.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Ginger is often recommended for drinking before a meal, to stimulate appetite and get your system prepped for digestion. Either way, it's awesome!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:31 PM

Interestingly, I think ginger is stimulating for me -- the beverage was wonderful, but it got me buzzed for HOURS. I tried it again as an AM substitute for coffee, and ZOWWWIE... I was off and runnin' till well after lunch!

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:14 PM

+1 for ginger tea. I usually steep about an inch of chopped up ginger with juice from half a lemon. It is very relaxing.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 24, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Do you have to play it or just listen?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:27 PM

You drank to relax? If I drank it was to PARTEH

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Definitely with you on the no electronic media. It's nice to just sit and listen to your surroundings; even if it's your own home.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:22 PM

For those who might not be familiar with the concept, morning pages are a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise explained in detail in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:32 AM

And chamomile at that :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:18 AM

A cup of tea is traditional, if you are British at least.

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15 Answers

6
9ffe43c6c5990ed710c7c49b12d6ee7f

on October 24, 2011
at 11:54 AM

Bathing is good, as is watching a movie and doing some kind of pampering like manicures, hair masks, etc. Lying wrapped in a warm towel or in a warm bed, in the dark, with Sigur Ros or Harry Connick Jr. playing in the background.

Do you have a Korean-style spa or bathhouse in your area? Those usually charge an entrance fee and you can spend all day in the steam rooms, saunas, and baths.

Consumption-wise it has to be a hot beverage. Ginger root minced up and stirred in hot water is good - but even better is to boil skinned ginger root chunks until you have a very spicy tea, and then add cream. I hope you can appreciate this as I was reluctant to share this creation of mine on the interwebs (due to petty, childish selfishness).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:31 PM

Interestingly, I think ginger is stimulating for me -- the beverage was wonderful, but it got me buzzed for HOURS. I tried it again as an AM substitute for coffee, and ZOWWWIE... I was off and runnin' till well after lunch!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Ginger is often recommended for drinking before a meal, to stimulate appetite and get your system prepped for digestion. Either way, it's awesome!

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:14 PM

+1 for ginger tea. I usually steep about an inch of chopped up ginger with juice from half a lemon. It is very relaxing.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:10 PM

I got drowsy and mellow just reading your answer, Slightly. :) And *thank you* for sharing your ginger/tea/cream creation...I'm going to try that straightaway.

5
76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:43 AM

I don't have any food or drink that I really use to unwind -- I just get outside for a few minutes. Take a slow walk or find someplace to sit in quiet (or people-watch) for a minute and get some good fresh air.

4
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:20 PM

I don't really use food or drink to wind down so I can't give you any suggestions there, but I do have several other things I do:

  • A nice hot bath with a scented candle and a good book
  • Write "morning pages" on my balcony (beautiful natural view) while burning incense
  • Meditate
  • Walk (in nature is best, if possible)
  • Work on a craft/hobby I enjoy
  • Read easy fiction (I love non-fiction and challenging fiction, too, but they aren't good choices for winding down.)
  • Spend a specific time period each day with no electronic media (no tv, podcasts, radio, computer, phone, video games, etc.)
  • Listen to music without words (new age, classical, world, etc.)

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:22 PM

For those who might not be familiar with the concept, morning pages are a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise explained in detail in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on October 24, 2011
at 12:27 PM

Definitely with you on the no electronic media. It's nice to just sit and listen to your surroundings; even if it's your own home.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Unless your surroundings consist of heavy traffic, sirens and dogs barking.

3
E42367abfb8229d2f7126f4825380e2e

on January 11, 2012
at 12:08 AM

there is a clubhouse I go to... they say if you cannot control yourself after the first drink you might be one of us...

4 years ago I stopped the drink... best thing I ever did

3
A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on October 24, 2011
at 04:38 PM

Meditation is extremely relaxing. I say this as a person who is entirely non-spiritual... meditation simply helps to turn off that low-level fight or flight response that many of us experience almost constantly, and to replace it with a state of mind that is much calmer and more aware. It's actually pretty amazing just how relaxing a short (5 min even) meditation session can be... it's almost a slightly euphoric feeling afterwards.

And btw I love my booze, but if the objective is just to relax, meditation works better.

There was a PH thread on how to get started: http://paleohacks.com/questions/25757/what-advice-would-you-give-a-beginner-to-meditation#axzz1be4mwIwn

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on October 25, 2011
at 04:18 PM

I recommend meditation in motion. For people like me that will go stark raving mad doing tradition meditation (yes I have tried a ton!)-moving while making that same dedication to freeing your mind is a wonderful thing. I like to walk at sunset in a rarely used hiking trail and take my mind away from to-do's and events -noticing the colors, the bugs, the sounds of the birds, etc.

A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on October 26, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Yes, I agree... walking meditation is great and has the added benefit of getting you some exercise.

3
306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:34 AM

I've recently given up the wine and find that a 100% cocoa with some warmed and frothed coconut milk is an ideal way to wind down. I sweeten mine with a bit of stevia, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and if feeling tense, pop open a valerian capsule and stir that in as well.

Sleep comes easily after that...

h

2
A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

on January 11, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Hey Kids -

Nobody mentioned the original "Paleo Style" way to relax that goes way, way back to the beginning of time. Chamomile tea, magnesium and meditation sound great and all, but you should try relaxing like Mr. Furley does - get naked with your favorite gal (or guy if that's your thing - no judging). I realize that I may have a one track mind, but the method is effective.

2
5b1533b47aaac7171db2115c3b6b107b

(20)

on January 11, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Boy did I need to read this thread today. I've been struggling with the "whether to quit" issue and it's so helpful to see many alternatives.

2
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 24, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I have a set of evening "rituals" that have helped me not only fall asleep easier, but also to sleep better, even with the light pollution from the apartment complex we live in.

  1. No TV or electronic stimulation after 8pm (90 minutes before I go to bed). Computer off, radio off... everything that buzzes or lights up put to bed.

  2. A tepid/lukewarm shower under very low flow... like gentle rain...

  3. A high-fat drink (2 oz of heavy cream or coconut cream in m. officionalis tea with stevia) or a piece of hard cheese

  4. magnesium supplement

  5. Reading by candlelight

  6. Sleep at the same time [nearly] every night (9:30p)

Ef7d3b8fc06ab34e7b5d85a4f4d737a9

(140)

on October 25, 2011
at 03:41 PM

My "Natural Calm" magnesium supplement mellows me out so much that I barely finish my Coconut Banana Rooibos tea.

2
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 24, 2011
at 03:36 PM

I don't drink anymore for a variety of reasons, so I have an ever expanding bag of tricks in lieu of a stiff drink. I think your pointing out that you use alcohol to relax is an important self observation...here are some things I do when I'm wanting help unwinding; I take a little GABA powder right under my tongue, then go lie down in a quiet dark place and focus on my breathing, I brew a strong cup of tulsi (holy basil) tea, and sip it slowly, I go for a slower paced walk, preferably somewhere beautiful, I go soak in some hotsprings, or sweat in a sauna, I take a yoga class, I listen to music that feels soothing to me, I listen to a guided meditation cd, I watch a really hilarious movie, I get together with a friend who I love and we talk for hours...wow! This has been a great exercise for me to see how far I've come in taking responsibility for my own mood! Thanks for asking this question.

2f6ef8ed84e943285c1386254d3c66ea

(195)

on May 11, 2012
at 09:40 AM

good answer, what does the GABA do?

1
E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on October 24, 2011
at 09:48 PM

I second Ruth. I'm really fortunate that I now live near a small urban lake park with nicely maintained grass and sidewalks. One mile around the long way - 3/4 if you hug the shoreline - lots of people with their dogs, little kids in the play area, and a flock of ducks and geese. I try to get out there - barefoot! - at least 4 times a week.

In fact, I am thinking of adjusting my work schedule to an earlier start so I don't miss my walk now that it is getting dark sooner and I am SO NOT a morning person. But, the relaxation effect is something I am not willing to give up just to sleep in a little longer. (And if my mom ever heard me say that she would probably fall down in a dead faint!)

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 24, 2011
at 11:57 AM

Try some Hawaiian slack key guitar music

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

...as long as you play as if no one is listening

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 24, 2011
at 02:44 PM

Do you have to play it or just listen?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on October 24, 2011
at 08:52 PM

I think both would work. But, if you really want it to work, get a drum set, bang on if for awhile, and then move to the guitar for full relaxation

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 11, 2012
at 03:34 PM

I have a walk in Central Park pond during my lunch hour to get some sunlight and enjoy the view. I usually listen to a podcast that I enjoy as well. I then eat lunch at my desk when I return.

Totally kills all the stress.

0
99d6abd84c40866a56f668185c0173fa

on October 24, 2011
at 03:10 PM

Make a list of your triggers, it's prolly more than just wanting to wind down or relax, your head is looking for a reason to go blotto, and booze fits the need. More sleep is always a great replacement for drinking, so after school to lights out needs a cadence (homework, light w/o, stumbl, tub, bed) that will put you on track mentally and physically. If you're watching a sitcom with everyone drinking you'll want one too. And coffee after lunch is flirting with trouble at night for me.

0
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on October 24, 2011
at 01:38 PM

I had to give up regular alcohol as it was a gateway drug to overeating for me. I've replaced it with what I call "assisted meditation." The more I do it, the more I see the usefulness ... I think the biggest plus is learning how to switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode easily. And that involves building up a base, not just using it as a way to relax.

954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on October 24, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I, second meditation. I've been sober for almost three months now. My stress levels are through the floor. I've also been working on the stoic and Epicurus ways of life. Once you stop focusing on past and future thoughts, time slows way down.

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