Are you ready for it to end yet? The daily pickling of the liver. The hair of the dog. The hangxiety?
The humiliation and shame after you leaned in to give your Uncle Harry a hug, only to pour your mulled wine down his trousers . In a state of panic, you grab a napkin and start mopping his nether regions.
We’ve all been there. You just keep on going, because it’s Christmas and Christmas only comes but once a year. But, my word, do we go for it when it does come! And then we are literally begging for January 1st to roll on in so we can just STOP!
Dry January! Dear lord, bless the incredible human who created such a thing. Pity we barely get past the second week before fading bias schmoozes it’s way in and you’ve forgotten all about how horrendous you felt the morning after Uncle Harry and trouser gate.
Have you ever tried dry January and succeeded? I managed it once. But if I’m honest, my head was only in the game because I had a wedding to attend at the end of February and some extra pounds to shift. My goal was more to restrict anything and everything before the destination wedding.
One thing I’ve learned over the years when it comes to anything health and well-being related, is that education is key. If you don’t know how it works or why it works, then there’s a chance it will not work.
I’m coming up to 2 years sober now. Do not fret, I’m not here to convert you to a life of abstinence from alcohol (unless that’s what you’d like). Instead I’m here to impart some sober wisdom from my own journey because I believe that sobriety, either in the short or long term is not just about cutting out the booze.
Being a non drinker automatically makes people think one of two things; you’re boring or you’re an alcoholic.
Neither have to be true.
More and more people are cutting back on their alcohol consumption for a variety of reasons.
Mental health is a big one. The correlation between the two isn’t talked about enough. But I know from personal experience that the worse my mental health got, the more I drank. We feel anxious, we drink. We are stressed, we drink. But alcohol is a depressant so when we drink we are only fuelling the low, sad, lonely, desperate feelings.
And there are other things too. Having sizeable chunks of your night missing as a result of boozy blackouts. Not being able to handle the 3 day hangovers. Or the long list of unhealthy habits that come with drinking. You might want to improve your overall health. Or even just waking up to the fact that alcohol is nothing more than ethanol – yes the same stuff you put in your car – packaged up in a fancy bottle and served with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.
Whatever your reason, you do not have to justify it to anyone. Drinking or not drinking is a choice. One only you can make.
But if you’re thinking of making it, even just temporarily, here are a few things I’d recommend looking into to make the experience better:
Lisa and Alex are two best friends from Greater Manchester. They both gave up alcohol within a year of each other just as they headed into their 40s. They created the 30 day sober experiment as a resource for others to learn and utilise the techniques and practices that worked for them. You can try this experiment yourself here.
2. Alcohol free beverages.
These days you can go into a pub or a bar and if you’re lucky your options amount to more than just a Diet Coke or J2O. Low and no alcohol beverages are on the increase, even James Bond has switched to Heineken 0. From beers and fizz to a variety of wines and spirits, check out your local supermarket to see what’s available. Or even better, checkout Wise Bartender for an excellent selection. If you use the code BEESOBER5, you can get 5% off your order. My point is, you can skip the drink without actually skipping the drink. Check them out here.
3. Listen and learn.
Podcasts about sobriety or being sober curious are getting increasingly popular. There are some good ones out there that cover all angles. My favourites are The Sober Experiment by Bee Sober (obvs!), Over the Influence and Sober Yoga Girl.
4. Sober socials
Sober influencers are a thing. But only because they’ve…we’ve, knocked it on the head and have discovered how incredible sobriety can be. If you want to explore sobriety for the long haul, I would recommend scrolling sober Instagram and seeing if there’s anyone out there you can relate to. Trust me…there will be!
See what’s happening in your area. Are there are any sober socials? There are a few new alcohol free bars opening up and Club Soda even have a pop up alcohol free off license open until the end of January just off Great Portland Street in London.
About the Author
Shaena is an Empowerment Coach. She shows women how to fall in love with themselves so they can fall in love with life. Not only that, she is also Head Coach at Bee Sober.
If you’d like to know more about the benefits of a sober lifestyle or just want to know where you can get more support feel free to get in touch with the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Shaena’s socials and website below 👇 and if you want top read another of Shaena’s articles, check out Mental Health in the Workplace.