Did you complete a Sober October, but are unsure of how to navigate the upcoming party season alcohol free?
It can be a fixed belief that we can’t enjoy a social event without alcohol, and that it won’t be as fun if you’re sober, but we can assure you that a good event is a good event, with or without alcohol. Plus the benefits of not drinking (no hangovers, no saying or doing anything stupid, being safe to drive home) far outweigh the perceived benefits of drinking alcohol!
If you need some tips and tools on how to get through your first party season, then fear not, here at Sobriety Sisterhood, I have you covered!
MY TOP TIPS FOR NAVIGATING AN ALCOHOL-FREE PARTY SEASON
Do you need to go?
In the early days of your sober journey, ask yourself why you are going to the event. Do you really want to go, or is it out of a feeling of obligation or guilt? creating a sober bubble sets you up for success until you feel in a stronger place to face the people and places you have associated with alcohol up until this point. put you and your sobriety first whenever possible!
Set your intentions
If you decide that you want to go to the event, then before you get there, set your intentions and write them down! be clear on What your intention is (to stay alcohol free), why you want to (are you clear on your reasons why?) and how you are going to stay true to the intention (swipe right for ideas!)
Find a sober buddy
The chances are that you won't be the only person not drinking alcohol at the event. there will be a designated driver, or somebody else who simply chooses not to drink. buddy up with these people during the event, the more the alcohol flows the more you'll appreciate some coherent conversation!
Have a plan if you want to leave early
If you choose to go to the event, make sure you can leave when you want. when you are not drinking, you'll realise that as the alcohol flows, the more boring the evening becomes! if you are designated driver, make sure you aren't' having to wait until the bitter end to take back friends that have been drinking!
Tell people in advance that you won't be drinking
When you are invited somewhere, simply drop the host a text to say, 'Thanks so much for the invite, I am really looking forward to seeing you, just to let you know that I don't drink alcohol, so can bring my own AF options'. Saying that you don't drink closes the door for people feeling they can persuade you to have just one. If you don't feel comfortable saying you don't drink try saying 'I am not drinking at the moment'. Remember though....you don't owe anyone an explanation!
Take your own alcohol free drinks
Most bars and restaurants will have some sort of AF option, but you can always ring in advance to check. If you are going to a friend's house, then just drop them a message to say you'll take your own options. There are so many AF alternatives (AF wine, beer, spirits etc) but we love drinks like ginger ale or tonic just as much! Take whatever you like to drink.
Ask for your drink in a fancy glass
Just because you aren't drinking alcohol, doesn't mean you can't join in with the ritual of having a fancy glass, with ice and a slice! Don't be afraid to ask for what you want.
Go into the event thinking like a non drinker
When walking in, think like a non-drinker...you aren't somebody that can't drink alcohol, you are somebody that chooses not to! Be proud about your choice to do something that is good for you.
Turn FOMO into JOMO
So often, we have a fear of missing out when it comes to drinking (why can everybody else enjoy it, but not me) but we would invite you to sit back and watch how people act after a few drinks, and realise that there is actually a joy to missing out. Missing out on the sloppy behaviour, the inability to respect people's personal space, the inevitable hangovers, and waste of the day after. The reality is, you aren't missing out on anything.
Play the tape forward
If you feel tempted to have 'just the one' then hit the pause button and be honest with yourself about what will happen. Have you been able to have 'just the one' up until now? what will happen once you have the second and third? How will you feel physically and emotionally tomorrow morning? Will you regret drinking? One thing is for sure, we have never regretted not drinking alcohol!
Reach out to your sober community
If you have a strong craving to drink, then have a sober community (like Be Sober) that you know you can reach out to. Having people that understand exactly what you are going through, and can help you come to a rational decision about how you move forward is an extremely powerful tool.
Plan something fun for the next morning
Whilst everybody else is nursing a hangover, plan something fun for the next morning. A massage, meeting a friend for a walk, a yoga class, whatever you want to do, celebrate the fact that you'll feel as fresh as a daisy!
Give yourself a pat on the back
Making it through those first few events alcohol free is a fantastic achievement, be sure to take the time to give yourself a pat on the back, connect with your sober community so they too can celebrate your sober win! Don't forget to take a sober selfie when you get home so you can remember how it feels to come home looking just as good as when you went out! you should feel incredibly proud of yourself for taking back control from alcohol.
If you need more support in your sobriety journey, do not hesitate to join the Sobriety Sisterhood Community at https://www.sobrietysisterhood.com/awareness-experience