Whether you’re taking a short-term break from booze or you’re saying thank you, next to booze for a while, these tips might come in handy in setting you up for success (they really helped me when I cut down in 2016).
1. Surround yourself with supportive and caring friends. Seriously. It seems obvious to me now, but it took me sometime before I realised the reason I was finding it difficult not to drink at events, was because the company I was surrounding myself with actually were not that pleasant. After I cut down drinking and continued to hang out with the same friendship group, I realised I didn’t have anything in common with them and spending my time with them just made me feel more and more lonely. I now have a very supportive and caring group of pals around me that make me feel grounded. Essentially this tip is summed up in the words of Queen Emperor of the World Michelle Obama - “Choose friends who lift you up.”
2. Have lots of booze free options available. There are so many A+ non-alcoholic drinks you can buy online or in the shops these days. Gone are the days when you had to drink water or soft drinks (mega gross) as a non-drinker. People want more variety and healthier options and beverage manufacturers are listening. You can buy some legit good non-alcoholic beers, non-alcoholic wines, or non-alcoholic spirits, like Seedlip throughout Australia, both online and offline. For online purchases, buy non-alcoholic drinks online through Club Soda Australia (#TotallySponsoredPost). My absolute favourite is the TeeTotal GnT. It was created by a Research Scientist (f*ck yeah, science) in the U.K. who spent a heck of a long time developing the recipe to get it to taste like a GnT (and oh boy, it tastes very similar).
3. Go to events you actually enjoy. Again, seriously, this seems obvious now. When I stopped drinking I was blown away by how many things I had only been going to because I was drinking - for example, clubbing (do the kids still call it that?). Man, I hate clubbing. It’s loud, there are so many people, and I have to get dressed up to go – no thank you. My kind of fun is board games, books and banter – and in terms of a Venn diagram of things I enjoy, and clubbing, there is zero overlap (albeit, a drowned out version of banter). When I was sober at a club one of the first times I had cut down drinking, I had an epiphany – Clubbing. Totally. Sucks. And that was one of the last times I attended a nightclub. You might have something else in your life that you think sucks, could be clubbing, could be board games - whatever it is – gravitate towards the things in your life that spark a fire in your heart. It’s much easier not to drink when you’re heart is alight.
4. Attend events where booze is not the centre focus of socialising. This was a huge one for me. Instead of going to events where it is completely about the booze, find and attend events where it is about having true social interaction and connection with other people. Find that thing you love talking about and spending time doing, and sign up to all their events. Like their Facebook page, Instagram page and MySpace page (Vale MySpace) and get involved with the people and community around that activity.
Hope they’ve helped.
Drink yourself sober.