‘Sober Curious’ and embracing ‘Mindful Drinking’
If you are mulling over whether reducing your alcohol intake might have a positive impact on your life, you’re not alone! There are a rapidly growing number of ‘sober curious’ people taking a closer look at the role alcohol plays in their lives.
Sober curious is not necessarily synonymous with sobriety - resulting from alcohol addiction or abuse. It basically means you’ve made a choice to reduce (or avoid) drinking alcohol for personal or health reasons - albeit physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It also involves some questioning of the culture of drinking and curiosity about the patterns of alcohol use in your life.
Sober Curious is not a new phenomenon, challenges to ‘drop the bottle’ during Dry January or Sober October have been around for a while and have the same intent – health, wellness and re-evaluating our relationship with alcohol. What is however different, is that the sober curious movement leans towards a lifestyle of ‘mindful drinking’ - an ongoing lifestyle choice of being aware why and how much alcohol we drink, with the sentiment to reduce the frequency and amount of alcohol we consume, to improve our health.
What are the reasons we choose to pick up a drink?
These are really good questions to ask yourself…
And there are a myriad of reasons we do, often seemingly good reasons too - like wanting to unwind from a long stressful day, wanting to socialise and bond with friends, coping with anxiety and stress, sparking creativity or a finding a way to feel safe and vulnerable in our close relationships.
The question is: Why do I feel that I need alcohol in these situations? What would happen to me if I didn’t drink?
You may not need to cut out alcohol entirely, but pausing for a while to reflect could help you find more productive ways of navigating yourself in those situations. It’s not just about feeling better the next day because you are not hungover or foggy in your head. It’s how you will feel in the days and weeks that follow, as you pursue constructive ways to deal with some of the reasons why you choose to pick up a drink and pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Navigating those familiar drinking reasons
It's not always easy to turn down a drink, especially in a social setting and this is often where we come across the biggest obstacles. Applying some tactics to navigate these situations by avoiding certain locations and settings, or responding with answers like “I’m driving tonight”, “I want to focus at work tomorrow” or “I’m heading out for an early run in the morning” can help you avoid some of those familiar pitfalls where you may end up drinking too much.
Sober curious is about taking a pause to reflect and then break some of those drinking habits that are not enriching your life. You can then move on to be a ‘mindful drinker’ where you are fully in control of when and how much you drink, while not compromising your health – physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually.
So, what are the benefits of reducing your alcohol intake?
Glad you asked...
👍🏽 Your overall health will improve
👍🏽 Your liver will get a well-deserved holiday 😆
👍🏽 You’ll achieve your fitness goals quicker
👍🏽 You’ll sleep better
👍🏽 It will help improve your mood
👍🏽 Your sex life will be better 😍
👍🏽 It improves memory & focus
👍🏽 Your immune system will be stronger
👍🏽 It helps with weight loss
👍🏽 Your skin will look better
👍🏽 You’ll feel more energized
Help me out, how do I do this?
👉🏼 Set yourself some (achievable) goals
👉🏼 Switch up your routine, specifically around those times you normally have a drink
👉🏼 Start a new workout routine or sport
👉🏼 If already working out or playing a sport, increase the intensity of your exercise
👉🏼 Find a friend to partner with and support each other to cut back on drinking
👉🏼 Do fun things to distract you from otherwise having a drink
👉🏼 Find healthy, non-alcoholic alternatives – Zero Drinks* can help with that 😉
* Zero Drinks is South Africa’s leading Non-Alcoholic Specialist online store and was founded to offer worthy alternatives to alcoholic drinks that are not only alcohol-free, but also much healthier for you