5 Tips For Surviving Sober October | sheerluxe.com

5 Tips For Surviving Sober October

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If you’re considering a break from booze, Sober October is a great way to raise money for charity while reviewing your drinking habits. Can you really keep off the sauce for a month? What (or who) are your triggers? Where are the opportunities for you to swap out a few alcoholic drinks in the longer term? Whatever your motivation, SheerLuxe have teamed up with mindful drinking movement Club Soda to help keep you on track…

Plan Ahead

Winging it won’t work. A bad day at work or an impromptu night out could scupper your best intentions. Planning ahead means you’re more likely to stick to your goals. Swap pub nights for the cinema or an immersive experience, avoid (temporarily) mates that will be less than supportive and make sure you know what you’ll do if your work day turns stressful. How will you relax or console yourself if this happens? At Club Soda, we use a method called WOOP to help plan for obstacles. WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. It can be used to set your goal for the month or just planning for a night ahead. For example…

Wish: I wish to be sober for October.

Outcome: If I do this I will be chuffed I raised so much cash for charity.

Obstacle: My best mate will encourage me to drink.

Plan: If this happens I will be clear with them that this is a charity goal I need their help with, ask them not to pressure me into drinking, and then escape to the loo and look at how much I have raised so far to keep me on track!

Look To Alcohol-Free Alternatives

Drinks with an alcohol-content under 0.5% only have a trace of alcohol, so they’re considered basically alcohol-free. To look at this another way, a ripe banana can contain as much as 0.3% alcohol, and you would have to drink several bottles of Eisberg alcohol-free wine (which is less than 0.05% alcohol) to get one unit of alcohol.

Even better, alcohol-free beers and wines are often low in calories and have no added sugar. So if you’re worried about hitting the fizzy pop instead, then these drinks will literally dilute your fears. Using Sober October to explore alcohol-free options will also mean you know what you like when you fancy a night off during the rest of the year. Check-out the new alcohol-free section in Tesco; it contains a wide range of alcohol-free wines, gin and tonic and several beers too.

Stay Strong

After two drinks no one will notice what you’re drinking. The more people drink, the less they care about what you’re having – and once you’ve said no to the first drink, it gets easier. You’ll start to see the effects on everyone else and can flash forward to their foggy head tomorrow and feel a little bit smug.
And what about pushy mates? Some people make it seem like you’ve personally let them down by choosing not to drink. Don’t get defensive, and if they won’t take a simple explanation don’t get drawn in either. Try to turn the discussion onto something different or, if necessary, make an excuse and talk to someone else. Remember: it’s your choice, not theirs, and you don't owe them an explanation beyond a simple 'I’m doing Sober October'.

Fake It If Necessary

Sometimes it’s worth ‘faking it’ a little, just to avoid a boring discussion about the merits and demerits of being out at the weekend sober. So here are a few ideas for flying below the radar as a secret sober person…

Have a drink in hand: The easiest way to fake drinking is just to have a drink in your hand. Show up five minutes early and get your drink in first. You can even ask the bar staff to keep your drinks virgin all night, or set up a prearranged ‘usual’ if you want to keep your non-drinking under wraps. Bar staff know this trick already, and will conspire with their customers to make it happen.

Turn down a drink: Once you’ve got your drink, your standard response can be a simple ‘I’ve got a drink thanks’, or you can ask for a soft drink and let them think you’re alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This also gives people a chance to be generous and include you in a round. You can still buy other people drinks as well. Be generous back and people are less likely to mind whether you drink or not.

Try bitters: Bitters are basically the answer to the ‘non-alcoholic drinks taste like they're for kids’ problem. Try orange bitters mixed with alcohol-free wine and/or soda for a fake Aperol spritz; with tonic for a fake G&T; or with ginger beer, soda and a muddle of mint for an alcohol-free mojito. Most places will have Angostura bitters, but if you’re lucky or pick your location well, they might have some more exotic offerings like chocolate, cherry or peach.

Reward Yourself

Raising money for charity is always a great reward in itself, but if you know you’ll find an evening out a bit hard, then make sure you’ve planned a special reward for when you get home. It could be an episode of a box set, a relaxing bath, or some frozen yoghurt. Whatever your reward is, plan it in advance so you know you’ve achieved another night out sober.

Club Soda is FREE to join and great if you’re looking to change your drinking habits. Their next Mindful Drinking Festival is on November 24th and 25th at Spitalfields, London from 12 noon to 8 pm.
Visit JoinClubSoda.co.uk



Inspiration Credits: MaurizioDiiorio.com
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