While staying home with my 5-year-old and husband since March, I've gradually gotten in the habit of pouring myself a glass of wine as soon as 5 p.m. rolls around. It started as a small glass to help me unwind while preparing dinner, but over the course of a few months, it has turned into a crutch to help me relax after another bonkers day of juggling the responsibilities that come with working from home while being a full-time mom.
Yes, drinking a daily glass of wine can have some health benefits. But it can also contribute to some not so great side effects, from feeling dehydrated to not getting quality sleep. For me, the effects of a daily drink were starting to show. Additionally, I didn't love having my daughter see her mom needing a glass of wine to make it through the day. Being a mom during COVID-19 has been challenging, but I could feel myself creating a habit that I knew wasn't great for my body long-term. I was starting to fall into a cycle of not sleeping well, caffeinating in the morning to make up for it, and then needing a glass of wine to help undo the coffee stimulation. Wash, rinse, repeat.
To break the pattern, I tried to find an alternative to alcohol to help me relax. My mocktail creations weren't doing the trick, and midday breathing exercises helped me chill for maybe five minutes max. When I finally discovered Sunwink Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic ($48 for 12), I was sceptical at first. I'll be honest — I'm a sucker for pretty packageing and mostly tried it because I wanted to drink from such an Instagram-worthy bottle. My expectations were otherwise pretty low.
The product is made with natural adaptogens, or herbs that help the body adapt to stress. I was certain that something with herbal ingredients would taste like medicine, but I'm always willing to try something at least once. With my wine already poured as a backup plan, I took a taste.
My first sip was met with an effervescent, slightly minty, and super-refreshing surprise. This tonic actually tasted good. Not like wine, but good. But the selling point came after I finished the bottle. Gradually, I started to feel like the edge was taken off. Not as much as if I downed a huge glass of wine, but enough to make me feel relaxed and able to make it through dinnertime, bath time, bedtime, cleanup time, and all of the other "times" that I had to look forward to.
I've now replaced my evening glass of wine completely with a bottle of Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic. I made the switch cold turkey and never looked back. Not only do I have a booze-free drink that helps me unwind, but I'm also finding that I feel more hydrated and get better quality sleep at night. The coffee-wine cycle has stopped, and overall, I feel much better. I'm officially a convert.