The Damp Drinking Lifestyle
In this episode of “Breaking the Bottle Legacy,” Molly focuses on the concept of a “damp lifestyle,” which is presented as sobriety’s cousin and gaining traction, especially among Millennials and Gen Z. Molly discusses the rising interest in reevaluating alcohol relationships, referencing a TikTok user, Hannah Elson, who introduced the term “damp lifestyle” and gained significant views. She notes the shift in drinking patterns among Millennials and Gen Z, who are choosing mindful consumption and exploring alternative alcohol-free products. She differentiates the damp lifestyle from alcohol minimalism, highlighting the emphasis on drinking less and the positive aspects of mindful alcohol consumption.
Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October, you can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got grises I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from well, it’s a very dark morning still here in Oregon. Those dark long days of December. Cold definitely pulled out and it’s been raining. But I see on the forecast that it’s going to be dry this week, which means that it’ll be colder. We get this great cold, dry weather and never any snow and then cold enough to still be unpleasant but just rain when it’s not dry. Yeah, you know, I think I talked about it last week how much I wish there was snow all the time and it just doesn’t happen here in Oregon very often. So anyway, that’s what it looks like this morning. still dark out. What would you do without the forecast from Oregon every time at the top of my podcast right. Okay, on to this week’s show. Before we get there, I want to remind you all that my hybrid online course and coaching program step one is open for January. And I am super excited about the fact that I’m doing it in January because I’ve got some extra bonuses that I’ve partnered with my some of the people that I work with to be able to offer the first bonus that you get. So if you enroll in step one for a January start, you will get free the premium stir drive version of dry weary through moderation management. And that means that now even if you’re not planning on doing the whole month dry though, I would highly recommend it I’m going to be doing it. The dry weary program gives you support all 31 days, you get to be part of a private Facebook group that’s just for the extra dry members of dry weary, you get some group coaching calls, you get some mixology courses, there’s some gonna be some a lot of fun stuff and a daily email that helps you with tools and tactics and resources. So highly recommend participating in dry you weary and if you do step one, you will get the premium membership for extra dry, dry, you weary included. It’s a $25 value right now. You will also get a 90 day trial to sunny side, it’s a 90 day trial and that’s an $30 value. So both of these things are included for the price of step one, that price is $249 and for $249 You have lifetime access to the step one course materials, you get a 50 minute one on one coaching session with me and that is to help you really make the the course material real specific to your challenges. And really, there’s no one else in this space doing one on one coaching, and a 15 minute one on one coaching session for people. And so I really know this is a great way to get you going and moving in the right direction. The course is self directed. It is dripped out over six weeks, but it is self directed. And like I said, I’m constantly updating it and adding materials to it. So you will pay for it once you will have access to it for the rest of your life. And anytime that you want to come in, I always say this is a meta skill. This is more than changing your relationship with alcohol. So step one is going to be a great resource for you in all areas of habits that don’t serve you go to www dot Molly watts.com/step, one, Ste p o n e, and you can click on the get registered button and sign up that way. So if you have any questions, feel free to email me Molly at Molly watts.com. I’m always happy to answer and I look forward to seeing you in there. All right, on to this week’s show. So I’m just putting this out there. I don’t have a tick tock account. I’m not getting a tick tock account. And I don’t follow tick tock so I would say I’m a reluctant social media contract contributor when it comes to alcohol minimalist, I have chosen to focus my efforts for alcohol minimalists on the biggest platforms, Facebook and YouTube. And even in saying that, really my efforts are minimalistic. The highest effort is with my private Facebook group. And I truly love what happens in there. So if you’re not in that group, I would again encourage you to check it out. You can search groups on Facebook, or there’s always a link in the show notes too. Now, I don’t hate social media at all. I just don’t love it. And I do worry sometimes for young people about this idea of influencer marketing from social media, because influencers aren’t always experts. It’s one of those Venn diagram situations. All experts are influencers, but all influencers aren’t experts, right. They aren’t always trained. They haven’t researched information. They haven’t sought additional education, yet they are influential. Celebrities and world leaders have always been influencers. It’s nothing new, except that now with social media, anyone can become an influencer by regularly posting and building a following. Now, sometimes it’s not anything too important. Fashions, humor, snacks, cars, not a lot of potential harm there. So what’s the deal? Why am I bringing any of it up? Well, again, this isn’t because it’s harmful. But I think it’s very interesting about how weekly social influence can spread. And it’s important when we’re talking about alcohol, right? I saw an article recently talking about the damn lifestyle, quote, unquote. And in this article, the term damp lifestyle was credited to a tick tock user named Hannah Elson. I checked it out, and currently Hannah Elson has 37,000 to 500 followers. Wow. Now mind you, she’s simply a 24 year old now an attractive 24 year old female I will subjectively throw out there who decided back in January this year to reevaluate her relationship with alcohol. Basically, she made the connection in these videos that I watched between her binge drinking over drinking nights and her mental health and decided she would cut back and she started to share her experiences on Tik Tok. Those posts where she first talked about following a quote unquote damp lifestyle have now over 600,000 views 600,000. And what that tells me is that people well, at least Millennials are highly interested in reevaluating their relationship with alcohol. And the damp lifestyle sounded like something new, right? Interestingly enough, millennials already drink less than their parents, the Gen Xers and the baby boomers. Millennials and Gen Z are drinking more mindfully and consuming much less alcohol than previous generations, if at all. And this isn’t just a passing trend. Sales for alcohol free beers and spirits are through the roof and showing no signs of losing momentum, with the numbers continuing to helpfully rise. Interestingly enough market leading beer companies now spent 30% of their marketing budget on non alcoholic beer. Think about that. So millennials and Gen Z dislike drinking between Monday and Friday, supposedly, now again, these are from from articles that I’ve read. But they’re not necessarily less social during the week. So that means they’re still going out, they simply want to drink less regularly. And for many, they actively avoid a life controlled by alcohol and are open to sampling alternative products, which I think is phenomenal. By the way. Previously, there was a lot of pressure associated with not drinking, but there’s been a big shift in respecting people’s personal choices. Now, I think that’s wonderful, too. Because whether it’s pressure to drink, when you’re not drinking, or pressure to not drink, and be sober or sober, curious, I think that anything that we can do to get us to a more neutral state around alcohol, and the supporting people’s personal choices is, is perfect. And obviously, with alcohol, it’s a health conscious decision, right? drinkers understand the impact that alcohol has on our bodies and our mental health. And we just simply want to escape the feeling of dread that follows the next day. Happily, skipping the hangover, is something that millennials are choosing, and they just don’t see boozing as cool anymore. And instead, they know the side effects, the end are consuming more consciously. Now, that’s a really fantastic statement about the younger generations. And I think that Gen X and baby boomers need to pay attention. And I think that, you know, we can learn from those younger influencers in a positive way in this regard. And while I think it’s totally awesome that this term has caught on, the idea of moderating alcohol is certainly not new, right? Act mindful drinking has been around at least since 2017, when the book of that name was published. So what is it about a damp lifestyle that sounds so appealing? And why did it get so much attention? Now, here’s the how the damp lifestyle is described. I won’t say defined because honestly, I think that’s the biggest part of the appeal. There isn’t a strict definition. Damp living refers to operating somewhere in between sobriety and heavy drinking. Someone who chooses to live dry or sober is choosing to completely remove alcohol from their life, whereas a damp lifestyle is about choosing moderation. Hmm. Interesting, moderation, like no one’s ever done that before. Anyway, living damp means that you still drink from time to time but you avoid going overboard. Here’s from the Irish Times. And I don’t know how you say her name, Emer mix slight. I have no idea how to say that it’s Irish. She says a damp lifestyle involves drinking in moderation, drinking to savor a drink or drinking a little on special occasions. It’s basically the avoidance of binge drinking. But because this way of living is less black and white than a fully sober lifestyle. There aren’t really any set rules. The most significant factor is that you’re focusing on moderation and trying to avoid binge drinking. Again, people that are involved with moderation management, myself included kind of like Yes, right. That’s what moderation is. Hey, everyone, just a quick break to talk with you about sunny side. Now, you’ve heard me mentioned Sunny Side many times before. You’ve heard me talk with Nick and II and the founders of Sunnyside and I just want to share with you why I am so passionate about this company. They are way more than just a drink tracking app. They are really about helping people create a mindful relationship with alcohol and they stand for a life that is about having more, not less. Right. There are more rested mornings more days when you’re feeling your absolute best when you have more energy and positivity. Sunnyside is not there to tell you to never go out to never drink but they are there to help you enjoy your life and to wake up and be ready to be your shining best. It is not an all or nothing approach. It is friendly. It is approachable, and it is absolutely judgment free. They want to be a solution that fits into your unique lifestyle. And I think that’s exactly what they’ve created. You can register for a Free 15 day trial, go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist To get started, that’s www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to try Sunnyside today. As a reminder, the CDC says that moderate drinking should be one drink a day for or less for women and two drinks or less for men. And on this show, I talk a lot about low risk limits for alcohol use, which were established by the NIA AA. They are the same weekly totals as the CDC. But also low risk limits address binge drinking limits, which are no more than three drinks in any one setting for women and no more than four drinks in any one setting for men, four or more drinks for women is considered a binge five or more for men. So let’s be clear, none of the articles I found and for November 2022 alone there or eight on the damp lifestyle, okay, including articles from the New York Post and Psychology Today. So this is kind of where I’m going with this conversation. Something that starts as a tick tock viral video is then picked up by writers and by publications like The New York Post in Psychology Today. And none of these articles again shared guidelines. They talked about the damp lifestyle being the newest drinking trend, the newest drinking trend, and one title exclaims why this viral wellness trend may be the key to a healthy life. Did you catch that why this viral wellness trend may be the key to a healthy life. A damp lifestyle is basically sobriety is cousin and many people are giving it a try. That’s what the article that was the title. It’s just amazing to me how social media can propel ideas into the zeitgeist as if they were new. And then a writer picks up the idea and says it might be the key to a healthy lifestyle. Now, certainly, I’m not disagreeing that moderating alcohol is key to a healthy life. I’m just in power. I’m just in awe at how power of social media and these viral videos from bustle.com the session. Essentially the damp lifestyle allows you to consume alcohol in moderation. So you can choose whether you want to have a drink with dinner, go out with friends, or order a fancy beverage while on vacation. A damp lifestyle can also include drinking beverages that have a lower alcohol content according to sell. If you usually go for vodka or ticularly. For a vodka or tequila drink two types of alcohol with a higher alcohol by volume, a day of choice might be a glass of wine, or a seltzer or a cider instead. So Are you sensing a correlation between the damp lifestyle and my alcohol minimalist approach? I’m not sure if I should be jealous that I didn’t think up the term damp drinking. But honestly, I’m encouraged by anything that gets us away from the black white, right wrong constructs of alcohol misuse and, and a healthy alcohol choices. And I am fully aligned with harm reduction practices, which at its core is what the damp lifestyle is. I’ve always maintained that paying attention to the number of drinks you’re having isn’t a burden. It’s logical and natural. Once you understand that all the stories you’ve believed about alcohol aren’t true. We choose ahead of time how we’re going to include alcohol in our lives. And if we’re doing it from a mindful conscious perspective, using science to help guide our decisions, understanding how alcohol impacts our neuro chemistry, then we will not want to over drink. We will want to minimize alcohol in our lives. In one of her tick tock videos, Hannah Elson says, I’m thinking about all the different mindsets that go into what drinking for moderation means. Learning what makes you tipsy. How many drinks in what environment makes you feel safe? When do you mix in waters? All those little things? Should you mix alcohols? And I really love this. Now, while Hannah may not be as intrigued by the science as I am, what she is basically saying is what I always say, whenever you drink it’s like your own personal petri dish and you need to pay attention. You want to pay attention Whether you’ve had one, two or three drinks, if you can feel yourself getting tipsy, take it as a sign that you’ve had enough dial into the whole story. Drinking another drink right now won’t make things more fun, more better, it will actually just increase your chances. We’re feeling anxious tomorrow, or even possibly hungover. Ask yourself Is this next drink really worth it? One thing that I think differentiates a damp lifestyle from our alcohol minimalist approach is the emphasis. I put on keys and minimizing alcohol in our lives. I don’t know how many millennials were really worrying about their alcohol use. They’re just curious kind of like, kind of the way they’re curious about a vegan lifestyle, right? Like, I wonder if I’ll feel better if I don’t drink as much alcohol, not as much worry around it. For me there was a lot of worry associated with it. And so I wanted the piece that I found from an end release of anxiety. Now, the amp lifestyle errs are definitely drinking less, and that is fantastic and really positive. Alcohol minimalist, take it just the next step, we want alcohol to be a minimal part of our lives. Here are the characteristics of an alcohol minimalist and PDF will be in the show notes. So if you want to check that out, you can always grab it there and download it. The alcohol minimalists. Number one, they prioritize their peaceful relationship with alcohol. So again, we prioritize that peaceful relationship. An alcohol minimalis includes alcohol in their lives in a way that minimizes health risks through science. Number three, they drink according to values and principles, not external cues. Number four, they don’t waste time and energy worrying about their drinking. Number five, they are intentional about their alcohol consumption. Number six, they don’t turn to alcohol to numb negative emotions. Number eight, they don’t need alcohol to fit in, chill out or have fun. And number nine, they have more time and energy to devote to living life. Now again, it’s really another Venn diagram situation for me. All alcohol minimalists are living a damp lifestyle. But I don’t think all people living a damp lifestyle are alcohol minimalists. I’m a reluctant influencer, I guess, I have strived to become an expert and a mentor. I’ve educated myself. I’ve gotten certified and I do a lot of research. I also have a platform and I share content through this podcast and on social media. I have followers on these channels, a position that I am extremely cognizant of, and cautious of. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. I will remind you again, I am not a doctor, I am not a psychiatrist. I am not an addiction expert. And if you are wondering and struggling with physical signs of dependence on alcohol, then I encourage you to seek professional help. I have applied what I’ve learned, and I’ve changed my life for the better. And I hope that all of you who have learned from me will become influencers, so to speak in your own lives and circles. Be an example of what’s possible to people around you. You don’t need the social media channel to do it. Damp lifestyle or alcohol minimalist. I want you to keep going. Keep asking yourself better questions. Have many reasons for why you want to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol and revisit those reasons often. Now, you won’t find me on Tik Tok, but I will be here next week. And until then, choose peace my friends. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible you have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com