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5 Tips for Socializing Sober 

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More and more Americans are adopting the sober curious lifestyle, which means many are abstaining or reducing their alcohol intake for health reasons. Unlike people in recovery who have no choice but to shun drinking permanently, sober curious individuals are merely scrutinizing their drinking habits and the effects of alcohol on the body. They are free to live a sober lifestyle either temporarily or for good.

Perhaps you jumped on the sober curious bandwagon after extending words of encouragement for sobriety to a friend who is cutting back on alcohol. Seeing the positive impact of this lifestyle can be inspiring. However, you may still have concerns about going out without joining in the drinking. Before you lose your resolve, know that having fun and socializing sober is possible. Here are several tips to help you out.

 

Be Prepared

Abstaining from alcohol is always a good thing, but you have to accept that not everyone will be thrilled by your decision. Some of your friends could make fun of you or pressure you to drink even a little. Receiving such reactions can make your sobriety journey more challenging. That is why you should be prepared. Think about what you are going to say if your friends offer you a drink or ask why you are not drinking. A simple “I am not drinking today,” should be enough. However, you may elaborate if you believe that an honest explanation will help your friends understand your lifestyle change. The bottom line is, you may feel more confident going out with friends if you plan ahead.

 

Explore Alcohol-Free Places

If you think that hanging out in a bar where everybody is drinking would be too much for you, try changing your routine. Invite your friends to places that do not serve alcohol. You can try museums, theaters, libraries, or coffee shops. Besides avoiding the temptation to drink, exploring such places will give you and your friends something different and more beneficial to do. For example, catching up over coffee can give you a chance to sincerely talk about things that matter, while looking at beautiful artworks in a museum could relieve stress and boost your mood.

 

Choose to Have Fun

Whenever you go out with friends or attend social functions, make a firm resolve to have a good time. You may not be in control of the people around you or the situation, but you can always control your attitude. Be positive and choose to have fun. Do not focus on what you are “giving up” but on what you are gaining. Remember the times you can hardly recall where you have been or what happened because you had too much to drink? Sobriety allows you to appreciate the company of your friends and the details of your time together without forgetting them or suffering from a nasty hangover in the morning.

 

Socialize During the Day

Instead of meeting people during happy hour, make plans early in the day when drinking alcohol is less likely to occur. You can ask your friends to join you for a run in the neighborhood park or explore fairs and festivals. You can also go shopping or try out new cafes. Besides making it easier for you to avoid drinking, socializing during the day will also give you more time to sleep and recharge at night.

 

Meet Like-Minded People

If drinking is your main bonding activity with friends, you should consider expanding your social circle to include other sober curious individuals. Having friends who adopt the same lifestyle can help you maintain your no-drinking plan and introduce you to other fun activities that do not involve alcohol. You may even find such activities more enjoyable than sipping a cocktail in a bar. Here are several ideas on how you can meet sober people:

 

Sign-up for a fitness class. 

Exercising is one of the best things you can do to care for your overall well-being. It is also an activity that can help you meet sober and health-conscious people. Join a group exercise class that you can delight in, and do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Wear a friendly smile and introduce yourself to other members. 

Join a club. 

If physical activity is not your thing, join a club where you can meet people who enjoy similar interests like a book club or an art club. Joining such groups is a perfect opportunity to develop new friendships and experience interesting hobbies that do not include drinking.

Explore social media platforms.

You can also use the internet to find other sober curious people. For instance, Facebook has tons of groups dedicated to sober curiosity. You can join these groups, so you can readily connect with like-minded people, discuss your concerns, and get much-needed inspiration.

Do volunteer work. 

Not only is volunteering a great way to meet new friends, but it also provides numerous physical and mental health benefits. Doing volunteer work can reduce the risk of depression, boost your mood and self-confidence, and make you happy. Choose a cause that you are passionate about to make the activity more worthwhile. 

Socializing sober can be scary at first, especially if drinking alcohol has been your go-to bonding activity with friends. However, once you try it out a few times and meet other sober curious people, you will realize that drinking alcohol is not a requirement for having a good time. In reality, you get to experience more and feel deeper when you are mingling with others while sober.

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