Wellbeing Hub

Check out our Wellbeing Hub with health and fitness tips to make the most of your sober month!

10 Hacks to get you through Go Sober

By Juliet Hodges, Bupa UK on

Bupa UK’s behaviour change advisor Juliet Hodges shares her top ten hacks to help all those who are going booze-free.

Believe in yourself

You might be feeling apprehensive about a whole month without alcohol and wondering if you have the willpower to last a full 31 days. Research shows that yes, you do – as long as you believe you do. People who believe that willpower is unlimited tend to be better at dealing with tasks that require self-control, and also tend to be happier. Tell yourself that you can do it, and it’s more likely that you will!

Get your friends on board

Our friends and family are vital to our success with this kind of thing , – they can either be your biggest supporters, or biggest liability if they’re determined to get you to drink. Making sure your friends are on side is really important, and better yet see if some can take on the challenge with you. If nothing else, let them know you’re giving up alcohol will make you less likely to quit, just to avoid the embarrassment of doing so!

Try urge-surfing

One thing you can try is urge surfing, a mindfulness technique which has been used to help people with addictions . When you feel the urge to drink, you’re encouraged to pay attention to it without trying to change it or get rid of it. We know that when you try not to think about something, it often makes the compulsion to think about it much stronger. So instead of trying to push away the urge, really think about it: what the sensations are that come with it, what you’re thinking about, and why. The point is that urges pass, whether you give into them or not. If you can confront the uncomfortable sensation, accept it and handle it, you’re much more likely to be able to get through it without giving in.

Change your environment

Studies have shown that people who have the most willpower actually use it the least. In other words, the way they shape their surroundings means they’re less likely to come into contact with temptation. This month is a good opportunity to ‘soberlise’ and try activities that don’t involve alcohol.

Have a plan for alternatives

Most of us have a favourite tipple that we’ll automatically choose when we find ourselves at a bar, whether that’s a pint of Guinness or a gin and tonic. Have you thought about what your non-alcoholic drink will be for the month? Having a plan in place for what you’ll order if you find yourself at the bar will help you to avoid falling into old habits.

Break up the month into smaller chunks

Small goals feel easier and more achievable, so break up your big overarching goal of 31 days in your mind. Think about individual days or specific events that you need to get through, and reward yourself for doing it. Did you make it through a party without having a drink? Brilliant, that deserves a massage or a shopping trip. Thinking about the challenge in terms of a few days or a week at a time will make it feel much easier, as will celebrating those small wins (without alcohol of course!).

Have self-compassion

If you’re used to drinking a lot of alcohol and your social life is geared towards it, this challenge will be really difficult. It’s important to remember that you’re only human, and to treat yourself with kindness even when you’re struggling. Don’t be afraid to let yourself have other treats instead of alcohol, reward yourself with other activities you enjoy so you don’t feel too deprived.

Beware the ‘what the hell’ effect

One thing that has been well-documented is the ‘what the hell’ effect, where people slip up once and think, “What the hell!” and break their resolution. For example, someone on a diet might have some birthday cake in the office – then order a takeaway when they get home, as their diet is already ‘broken’. If you do slip up and have a drink, it’s not an excuse to go mad – get back on the wagon as soon as you can, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Focus on what you’ve already achieved

Some studies have found that people trying to achieve a goal feel more motivated when they think about the smallest area of progress. In other words, when you’ve only just started, you’ll be more motivated by thinking about the few days you’ve gone without a drink than the few weeks left to go. However, when people are nearly at the end, to maintain your motivation, focus on the small number of days you have left.

Remember why you’re doing it

Whatever your reasons for going sober, they’ll be a powerful motivator when things get tough. Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, if you are supporting a friend who is going through a difficult time, or you’re just doing it to help a good cause, remembering why you signed up in the first place will help you stay on track.

Now’s the time! Go Sober this October

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Setting goals

By Mel Ingram on

Many of us set ourselves tasks and goals to achieve what we feel will make a difference to our lives. Sometimes we find it difficult to achieve these goals as the journey becomes too long, too hard or it simply gets overshadowed by other ‘higher priority’ tasks and therefore these goals are pushed to the side.

Start by asking yourself some simple questions that can help you take control of your life and achieve your goals –

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • What are your habits and what do you want to change?
  • What have you achieved in life?
  • Do you live in the moment?

What are trying to achieve and what is your ultimate goal?

Is it to live cleanly, train for a 10km fun run, sleep better, lose weight, drink more water, change careers, start a...

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Tips on cutting down after your Sober October

By Go Sober Team on

Carry on your good work from October through to November and beyond. Here are some practical tips if you want to try to cut down on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking.

Quench your thirst! 

Before you start drinking, quench your thirst with a non-alcoholic drink.

Drink slowly

Have a drink of water with your alcoholic drink.

Make every second drink non-alcoholic

Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This will help space out your drinks.

Eat when you drink

Eat food when you’re drinking, but avoid salty foods – these make you thirstier.

Dilute your alcoholic drinks

For example, a shandy (beer with lemonade) or a wine spritzer (wine with mineral water).

Treat yourself

Alcohol isn’t the only thing you can indulge in. Why not try...

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Top Skincare Tips from Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor Aliyah Mughal

By Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor Aliyah Mughal on

There are so many benefits to looking after your skin, and a big benefit of going booze-free for the month is that your skin will thank you for it.

Aliyah Mughal has been a Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisor since 2016. Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are No7 Advisors trained by Macmillan and Boots to give face to face advice to help people cope with visible side effects of cancer. From defining sparse brows and lashes to caring for nails that are suddenly more brittle, they offer lots of tips to help people feel, and look, more like themselves again.

Suddenly the colder weather is upon us, so having dryness and getting dreaded spots is very common right now. Let’s get stuck in with Aliyah’s top tips for healthier skin:

  • Always cleanse every...
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