Sober Curious? Here Are Some Great Ways to Cut Back and Feel Free
Alcohol has taken quite a hit in recent months from scientific research on offering zero value to your health. If you're looking to taper your happy hour drinks, here are some fantastic ways.
I will start by being completely transparent so I don’t seem entirely biased. Over the past couple of years, I have led an alcohol-free lifestyle. Aside from having an allergy to it, as I got older, it affected my mental and emotional (and physical) health in too many ways. Hangovers got longer and harder, anxiety got worse, panic attacks, feeling low and depressed after a big night out, and the happy hour went from one or two drinks– to three or four.
As someone who knows more than enough to do better and be more temperate, I realized it was all or nothing for me, and I chose “nothing.” That, in fact, gifted me everything. I, unlike most, could not be temperate. But my life has become measurably better in many ways, and I do not have to hang out at home alone or avoid my favorite restaurants or friends’ parties.
On social media, I openly share about being sober, and I am always astonished at how many strangers reach out to get advice, talk about ways to cut back or offer tips on what to do at parties. I welcome it with open arms.
This article is not in any way intended to promote an alcohol-free lifestyle. Eighty percent of my friends still drink. This article aims to support and encourage you to find other ways to destress, enjoy yourself and still have a good time.
Enough of the heavy stuff; here are some fun, easy, and simple ways to booze a little less and much better:
Ask For What You Want
I initially hated going to restaurants when everyone else was drinking, mainly because soda or sparkling water were the only options to not drink. Blah, boring, no thanks. Instead, I started asking for what I wanted. Bartenders and mixologists love a challenge, and when you ask for a mocktail – they deliver! Bitters, juices, garnishes, even an umbrella – anyone will make you a fancy drink and feel special. I always request a fancy glass when? soda or sparkling water are the only options. And a straw.
Hot tip: Bring your own mocktail if you know your local spot well and are a regular. They will pour it for you and have zero problems if they don’t offer good mocktails; they get it and will support your decision.
If you want to go out and have a couple but your other party members like to, well, party…put a 1:1 rule in place: one alcoholic drink to every non-alcoholic glass. No one will notice, not even you, and you will feel better. Non-alcoholic beer is a GREAT way to do this because it tastes almost identical.
Don’t be Everyone’s Drinking Buddy
You don’t need to go or do everything. Pick your moments and make sure what you’re doing, you WANT TO DO. So often, I would join others for drinks and be that person for everyone else. Is a friend having a bad day? Be their drinking buddy. Someone else’s marital problem? Be there, drinking buddy. A friend is going through a tough time? Be there, drinking buddy. Pick your moments; you don’t have to be everything to everyone. Stick to YOUR goals. Suggest a walk, a movie or a workout class. You can support others and not have to drink. They should be equally supporting your goals.
The last suggestion segues into this one – find alternatives to “take the edge off” or “have happy hour.” My neighbor and I go for WHINE WALKS. We walk and whine without the wine. What some fresh air and a girlfriend will do for your well-being is impressive. Take a workout class – endorphins are a far better high than a buzz. And along with activities, find drinks you like and have them on hand. If you visit my Instagram, I offer many fun canned mocktails that will not disappoint the greatest cocktail connoisseurs.
With all the momentum gained in scientific research on what alcohol does to your body and, most importantly, mind, it will make even the biggest drinkers rethink their consumption. But as a health coach and not a medical professional, I’ll let you do your research!
Whoever said no good story started with a salad has never had one of mine. (It was me, I used to say that).
But here’s the truth: I am not naturally fit or thin and don’t naturally reach for vegetables. I am not a chef, but I’m good at assembling ingredients. I put in the work. I believe in feeling and looking my best — but not compromising! So, here you will find good ingredients, real wellness, and made fun!
More formally, I cook up clean comfort food, am a passionate health coach, ritual maker and health product queen and a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with a specialty in hormone health.