Gone are the days where booze-free meant boring, it’s 2022 and we have 8 ways to break the booze-free boundaries to keep you balanced, blissful and beautiful. Your life and your mindful drinking journey will have many exciting chapters, all of which can take place at any stage of your life. There’s no need to feel bound by the choice to cut down or give up alcohol, you can feel freed and fabulous every step of the way.
- Going out? BYOB
If you’re going somewhere that it’s appropriate, why not bring your own bottle? Family gatherings, office drinks, house parties and picnics are all great opportunities to pop a selection of your fave AF drinks in your bag and wow your friends and loved ones with your bountiful choices as a non-drinker. It’ll also be infinitely more exciting than the usual OJ that’s on offer.
- Dip your toe into a new sober social scene.
Socialising can be one of the tougher challenges to face when you’re not drinking so why not actively choose activities with other sober people? There are amazing organisations such as Sober Girl Society or Sober & Social who offer different opportunities across the width and breadth of the UK where you’ll meet likeminded people and experience new connections in an authentic and genuine space to make new sober friends.
- You have options!
If you like trying new things and want to be surprised by the truly endless NA offerings there are today, why don’t you head over to apps such as Better Without or NonToxicated which (both available on iTunes, Android etc) will literally have you scrolling for hours. You can browse by taste, price or occasions… warning: you’ll probably want to try them all!
- Don’t make excuses.
You don’t need to make any excuses for your choice to not drink alcohol. Pretending to be on antibiotics or other medication used to be a really popular way of saying ‘I’m not drinking’, but nowadays we can just be honest. No one with any common sense is going to make you feel bad for not drinking and if they do it says more about them than it does about you.
Try these on for size:
“No thanks, I’m off alcohol right now’’
“Alcohol doesn't really agree with me.”
“I used to drink too much so now I don’t drink at all.”
“I just feel so much healthier without a hangover”
- Focus on the positives.
Once you’re settled into an alcohol-free journey, you’ll be noticing positive changes in every aspect of your life. No more 3am McDonalds trips, clearer focus, brighter skin, more energy, better sleep, losing weight, increased clarity and memory… this list could go on and on, but I know you get the picture. Instead of romanticising alcohol use, try and take the time to look at all the positives and don’t let FOMO cloud your vision.
- Take time to praise yourself.
Culturally we are programmed from a super young age to equate drinking alcohol with all sorts of weirdly distorted positive things when in actuality we all know that it’s a depressive, addictive and potentially dangerous substance. So, when you’ve broken free from those bizarre and outdated ideas, you need to remember to praise yourself because it’s not an easy decision or path to take. Everything seems stacked up to make you feel like drinking excessively is normal and okay, when it’s not, so don’t forget to take stock and look how far you’ve come.
- Count your blessings. Literally.
Sometimes it’s really eye opening to take a moment to count the time you would have spent either drinking or being hungover and reallocate that time to something else that you enjoy. This could be productive activities like honing your latest skills or simply doing some self-care, in whatever form that presents itself. The best part being you can reallocate this time GUILT-FREE! That’s time that you have bought back by being booze-free and therefor it’s to be celebrated. The same could be said for your money, what would you have spent in a month on your drinking/ hangover curing? Put that money aside and spend it on something special for yourself. You deserve it.
- Go gently on yourself.
There is no blueprint to mindful drinking, the rules don’t have to be hard and fast and it’s not a game of snakes and ladders. Newsflash, you can make it up as you go along. Taking each day as it comes and making good decisions for yourself and others around you means taking it slow and steady. Don’t punish yourself for mistakes (past or present) and just take it easy. Your journey won’t be the same as someone else’s and there’s no such thing as a pass or fail. Focus on you and your own goals and let everything else naturally fall into place around that. It’s not about keeping up with anyone, you’re only keeping up with yourself.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you got something out of the article. And remember, it’s a journey but it doesn’t mean it has a beginning, middle and end – it means it flows and it has ups and downs, ins and outs and highs and lows. When you decide to take steps to truly love yourself honestly and unapologetically, you’ll break down imaginary barriers that’ll open doors for you that you never even realised were closed.