Alcohol—it’s the substance we have a mutual love/hate relationship with. On a good day, it helps us unwind, feels like a reward and can leave us all mellow and loving, while on a bad day, it leads to letting our guard down (too much…), blackouts, heightened anxiety and/or emotions and an epically bad hangover. Regardless of your personal stance on it, according to science, it’s now proven that quitting or eliminating alcohol, especially as women, can only have a positive effect on our wellbeing. In the study, conducted by the University of Hong Kong, when analysing those who were moderate drinkers who quit, mental wellbeing was found to drastically improve, especially in women. And in addition, those who lived in lifetime abstinence showed the highest level of mental wellbeing across the board.
Good mood, all day, every day? It doesn’t sound like such a bad trade-off suddenly hey? And well, if that isn’t a reason to be seriously considering cutting back or quitting, then it still comes at a welcome time with Dry July already in full swing in Australia. With stats showing 80 per cent of Australians drinking in the past year alone and over 1.9 million drinking over 6 standard drinks a day according to Dry July Foundation, it’s safe to say as a nation we could all benefit greatly from going alcohol-free. However, if the fear of no alcohol (FONO) has you all FOMO and you have a tendency to swerve away from sober situations out of fear you won’t be able to fill those awkward gaps, then it can be not so easy to cut out. So, to help you cut back, become more mindful of your drinking habits or quit completely, we’ve curated a few takeaway tips that’ll leave you feeling healthy, happy and totally awkward-free when it comes to your next social gathering.
3 Simple Hacks For Socialising Sober
1. Swap your usual go-to for a similar substitute
Drink gin usually? Opt for Seedlip, a delicious alcohol-free gin or go to town with the tonic instead, choosing a delicious natural flavoured tonic such as Fever Tree Elderflower or Light Cucumber Tonic.
Peer pressure can be one of the hardest challenges to overcome, but if you have a purpose behind what you’re doing and can keep it top of mind it will help keep you on track. Take the time to think about your ‘why,’ then keep it simple and use one meaningful keyword or phrase as a mantra, then, whenever you have a moment of weakness, come back to your mantra and recite it over and over until the moment subsides.
3. Schedule an early morning workout in
By locking in a workout for the day after the night before, it’s likely you’ll stick to your guns (and have a good excuse if someone tries to pester you!). Choose a class you love or book in a walk with a loved one and instead of feeling like you’re missing out that night, think of your next-morning plans as a treat/reward to look forward to. This is the whole premise of alcohol-free movement ‘Hello Sunday Morning’ – to inspire people to seize back their Sundays with a refreshed perspective and early start. For more inspiration or a like minded community to connect to, check out their site here.