Whether it is for a week, a month, or forever, giving up alcohol has its challenges. If you're embarking on a sober curious journey or participating in a no-alcohol challenge, check out our top tips for going alcohol-free:
1. Have alternatives on hand
This is our #1 tip based on our personal experiences! Whether it is a flavored seltzer, non-alcoholic beer, or a fancy mocktail, we’ve found that no one really notices that you aren’t imbibing if you're sipping on something. Plus, you won’t feel like you're missing out!
Note: mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages may be triggering for some individuals who are in recovery. Always follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and/or sponsor before making these drink alternatives a part of your regular routine.
2. Fake it until you make it
Serve mocktails in proper glassware (i.e. in a wine glass or lowball glass), rim glasses when called for, and garnish your drinks. We find that this really adds to the experience. The more a drink looks like a cocktail, the less you and others will think otherwise - no one will question what's in your drink (except maybe to ask you for a recipe!).
3. Plan ahead
If you know you’ll be at a social gathering where alcohol will be present, bring your own alcohol-free alternatives or think about what you’ll drink instead.
Look up restaurant menus before going out. But, if you don’t see anything on the menu, don’t get discouraged. Often, restaurants can make alcohol-free versions of cocktails that are on their menu, or they may even have off-menu options.
4. Put your blinders on
Don’t let the opinions of others derail or discourage you: after all, this is your choice and your journey!
Avoid the comparison trap. Some individuals may find the transition easy, others may face more challenges. Some may find alcohol-free alternatives beneficial, others may find them to be triggering or just not enjoyable. No two alcohol-free journeys will look alike, and that's okay.
You don't have to justify your choice to not drink to anyone. However, depending on your comfort level, it can be helpful to think about how you will respond to people who may ask why you aren’t drinking (not that it’s anyone’s business!). For example, if you're going out with a group, you can offer to be the designated driver, or you can say you have to work early.
5. Take care of yourself
Be gentle with yourself. Making a lifestyle change is not easy and takes time!
Find alternative methods for practicing self-care and coping with stress, such as journaling, calling a friend, going for a walk, taking a bath, or doing yoga.
6. Don't go at it alone
Find support from family, friends, or social media groups. Share your delicious mocktail and alcohol-free recipes, or host a taste testing event to try out new non-alcoholic products! Check out our favorite products here.
7. Track your progress
Use an app or journal to track your booze-free days. This can help keep you accountable and motivated.
8. Stay positive!
Focus on what you're gaining, not what you're giving up. When things get tough, remind yourself of why you’re doing it in the first place. Taking a break from alcohol may lead to better sleep quality, increased energy, and financial benefits! To learn about the health benefits of taking a break from alcohol, read this blog.
Reward yourself when you reach milestones - they don’t have to be “big,” it’s just fun to find reasons to celebrate. Reached 30 days without drinking? Treat yourself to a spa day!
9. Keep the momentum going
Remember, the real benefits come with a long-term reduction in alcohol intake!
Need mocktail inspiration? Pre-order our book Mocktail Party!