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Tired of Social Drinking? You Might Be Sober Curious

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Perhaps you are wondering why you are forcing yourself to drink during parties just to get along with others. Or maybe you are starting to question your reasons for drinking after seeing a friend in recovery and offering words of encouragement for sobriety. If such thoughts have filled your mind and you can no longer ignore the effects of alcohol on your health, it is probably time to consider adopting a sober curious lifestyle.

The term “sober curious” was coined by Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. It essentially means you are choosing to avoid alcohol or changing your drinking habits for your physical or mental health. Instead of drinking mindlessly because everyone else is doing so, you question the drinking culture and the reasons behind your drinking habits. You also become more conscious of the impacts of alcohol in your life.

It is worth noting that sober curious individuals are different from those who live a life of sobriety due to alcohol use disorder. People in recovery have no other choice but to give up drinking permanently. On the other hand, the sober curious culture merely encourages a sober lifestyle. Those who are not willing, ready, or planning on quitting alcohol for good are still welcome.

 

Why Should You Try Being Sober Curious?

Alcohol may be legal for adults and generally regarded as safe, but it is actually a potent substance. Frequent or excessive drinking can result in numerous unpleasant and detrimental effects, from nasty hangovers and trouble sleeping to feelings of anxiety and increased risk for liver disease and other severe medical conditions. Your occasional drink can also lead to alcohol use disorder, making you unable to control your drinking habits. These are just some of the negative health consequences of drinking that you can avoid if you try a sober curious lifestyle.

Besides improving your general health, choosing sobriety and drinking mindfully also offers immediate physical and psychological benefits. Here are some of them:

▪ Longer and deeper sleep
▪ Increased energy
▪ Better weight management
▪ Healthier and better complexion
▪ Improved mental clarity, focus, and memory
▪ Emotional stability
▪ Better mood
▪ Boost in self-confidence

How Can You Succeed in Your Sober Curious Journey?

Without a doubt, staying away from alcohol is good for your health and overall well-being. But the decision to cut back or take an indefinite break could be challenging. To help you succeed in your sober curious journey, consider the following tips:

Know Your Whys

The first step to ensuring a sober lifestyle is being clear about the reasons why you are abstaining. Perhaps you are tired of waking up with a hangover or feeling terrible when you are at work after a night of drinking. Be specific about the reasons and the changes you want to see by modifying your drinking habits. It will help if you write them down in your journal so you can readily read them when you feel tempted to take a drink.

Make a Plan

If you usually spend your time drinking with friends, you need to create a plan on how you can avoid alcohol in such situations. Think about what you are going to say when you turn down a drink because your friends will probably be curious to know why. Keep it brief. A simple, “I’m not drinking at the moment for my health,” will suffice. Be confident with your decision and never apologize for not drinking.

Also, think about your alcohol substitutions. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available today, so finding your new favorite drink will be easy. Opt for something more grown-up than a glass of soda. By planning how you will approach social settings that involve drinking, it will be easier for you to enjoy while sticking to your goal.

Explore New Hobbies

One of the most effective ways to abstain from drinking is by trying different activities that do not involve alcohol. If you usually unwind by getting a drink or two after work, consider inviting your friends to watch a play or go bowling. You can also enroll in a fitness class or try exercise videos online. Working out will not only keep your mind off drinking, but it will also boost your mood, help you lose weight, and make your body stronger and healthier. Below are other activities you can try to keep you busy, entertained, and happy even without alcohol:

▪ Learn painting, poetry, or other forms of art.
▪ Read a book.
▪ Start a journal or blog.
▪ Listen to music or learn how to play a musical instrument.
▪ Host a movie night.
▪ Try camping or hiking.
▪ Take cooking classes. 

Tell Your Friends

Rather than avoiding your friends most of the time, be honest and share your decision to become sober curious. Who knows? Perhaps your journey can inspire them to examine their drinking habits and prioritize their health as well. Your friends can also offer encouragement and support, which you will surely need in the long run.

Whether you are merely trying the lifestyle for a few months or feel committed to achieving total abstinence, sober curiosity has considerable merits. It can help you become more mindful of your drinking habits and their consequences on your overall health. Moreover, avoiding alcohol, even temporarily, provides observable benefits to your mind and body. See what happens if you stop drinking for a while. Chances are you will bid goodbye to social drinking permanently.

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