It's such an interesting thing what a conscious shift in habits and consumption can illustrate, isn't it? I too am used to a "nice glass of wine" at the end of the day to wind down, relax and take that first deep-breath-kids-are-in-bed-office-is-closed moment. No joke, I'm missing it too! The funny thing is, when I really started thinking about why I was jonesing for a glass of wine, I realized something: I am self-medicating. What?!?! Ok, a glass of wine at the end of the day is not an opiate or meth habit, but still....yikes.
Self-medication is not necessarily a bad realization and wine consumption is not a habit that -particularly- needs to change after the completion of Whole30; God bless all those French studies about the health benefits of a glass of red wine! It was, however, quite a jolt to realize that I am not having a glass of wine for 'health' reasons, I'm having a glass of wine because I'm freaked out and looking for liquid relaxation at the end of the day. Now....wine or no wine....what needs to change here?
But, I think the initial question is how to get through -and positively mark- that part of the day when you and I would otherwise reach for the bottle. A few things I have found helpful:
being outside; I bring a book or a journal if I'm feeling sedentary, head for the garden or out into the forest with the pooch if not.
keeping up a Whole30 journal - how am I feeling? What did I eat today? Am I hydrated? What is success today? What is challenging? Have I actively wanted to choke someone today because I'm also in the middle of sugar withdrawal? I somehow feel a bit more accomplished if I put these things down on the page.
find some activity that I haven't done for awhile and pick it up again. The truth of it is that having that glass of wine takes time and for those 30-45 minutes I usually find myself staring into the middle distance considering the universe. Chemically therapeutic.....but definitely a time suck. So what haven't I done recently? Unpacked those last three boxes still sitting there from the last move? That annoying cross stitch project that I put down last Christmas and haven't picked up again? Or something fun - tonight I will learn to make those Danish cucumber pickles that I keep meaning to try! Tonight I will call that long-lost childhood friend with whom I've been trading Facebook messages. Tonight I will.... fill in the blanks with some intention before you even get home. Then it becomes something to look forward to rather than dead space to fill.
I know you're really not supposed to 'substitute' (breaking the emotional relationship to food and all that) but I have found that getting out a really fancy champagne flute (the ones you got for a wedding present and then never use?), dropping three black currents in the bottom and them filling the thing with fruit-infused seltzer is really fun. The currents ride the bubbles up to the top just like with real champagne. You can place a bet on which berry will get there first and feel like you are treating yourself well at the same time.
If you've got a significant other, this might be the time to find other ways to 'relax'. Hee hee...there's more than one way to get your partner to support your Whole30 journey.
The above list is all self-indulgent, of course, but if you are reaching the end of the day completely freaked-out, tapped-out and possibly Mommyied-out (as I am) I think that this is not the time to pick up another shift at the soup kitchen, join the block patrol, or do more volunteering for your local non-profit. Spend a little time on you - that's what that glass of wine was for in the first place, wasn't it? Good luck @Lunarose!