The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Mel Pegley on mindfulness, meditation, and support to change your drinking

It’s the middle of January, and you may be feeling a bit flat after the exciting rush to start of your month of change. If willpower and motivation are ebbing, then leaning into mindfulness can be the new tool that helps you to build the life that you want to live.

There is good research and evidence out there that practising mindfulness can actually help us create and sustain change. Whether that’s a formal practice, like sitting and meditating, or informal practice, like mindful walking, journaling, or even a mindful colouring book. Mindfulness can mean different things to different people. It is always, though, the business of paying attention to our thoughts and feelings. It’s about not being judgmental of ourselves, treating ourselves kindly, learning to notice, slow down, and act with intention. There are all really useful life skills when it comes to negotiating the business of change.

In this week’s podcast episode, Club Soda co-founder and mindfulness geek Dru Jaeger talks with Mel Pegley, a mindfulness-based recovery coach. Their discussion centres around how mindfulness helped Mel to step away from a stressful, alcohol-based lifestyle.

What is mindfulness?

The practice of mindfulness is for me very much about learning that core learning to check in with myself. You know, what’s going on? Why am I feeling stressed? Why am I snacking right now? What’s happening for me? And, you know, I do believe that if you’re a drinker, and that’s what you like to do, there’ll be times when your mind will say ‘yeah, it’d be fine go and have a drink’. Or, ‘you can do what you can do this it won’t impact your future life’. That’s why it’s important to have awareness of what makes us want to go and have a drink. Is it that we can’t sit with our emotions if it’s too difficult? That’s where mindfulness is so really helpful, because it starts with the awareness to our thinking, our decision making, and sticking to our goals.

Mel Pegley

Mindfulness describes the human ability to pay attention to what is happening in and around us. This is something that we’re all capable of. Many people associate mindfulness with the feelings of being calm and happy. While the practice of mindfulness can bring about these lovely feelings, it’s important to note that we have to pay attention to all feelings. Recognising pain and discomfort helps us to create real change. Noticing that you’re having cravings? Automatically reaching into the fridge for a beer? Mindfulness brings us back into the moment so that we can act in a more conscious way, making purposeful, well-thought-out decisions about our drinking.

Who is our guest speaker?

This week’s guest speaker is holistic recovery coach Mel Pegley. Mel specialises in mindfulness-based addiction recovery and leads a weekly Eight Step Recovery meeting, which our members can join online in the Events section on the Club Soda website.

I’m on a mission to help people transition from a place of isolation and despair, to one of connection with themselves and others and on the journey, hopefully helping them restore their peace of mind and move forward to a healthier, happier life.

Mel Pegley

Mel’s weekly Eight Step Revovery meetings begins on the 16th January from 6 pm GMT, and offers a safe space to share, support and resonate with each other with a focus on kindness, compassion and understanding. Join the free group sessions here.

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