Health and fitness tips to make the most of your sober month!
Top tips by Drinkaware
By Drinkaware on
When you decide to give up alcohol it’s good to have a plan. Here are some tips from charity, Drinkaware, to help you have a successful Sober October.
Discover the benefits
As well as reducing the risk of long-term health harms, reducing the amount you drink can have a lot of short-term benefits too. Your sleep will improve, you’ll have more energy, you might feel less anxious and you could even lose weight. Understanding the short term benefits of cutting back and noting the changes as they happen can be a good way to help keep you motivated through the month.
Tell people about your plan
Telling family and friends about your plan to stop drinking can help keep you on track. This way, you can share your successes with them, and they’ll understand why you’ve started turning down drinks or trips to the pub. It could even encourage others to cut down – or stop – with you.
Know your triggers… and your excuses!
Understanding when you would usually drink alcohol and whether you use excuses to drink can help you make an alternative plan. Think about what events and activities you have coming up and be aware of any automatic habits that involve drinking. For example, if you tend to have a drink on a Friday after work, plan ahead by researching alcohol-free alternatives on offer, or suggest a different activity to try instead of a trip to the pub. Or, if you reach for a drink after a tough day, plan a different way to relax, like having a bath or going for a run.
Understand the labels
Alcohol-free drinks can be useful alternatives when you’re trying to reduce the amount you drink. But it’s important to know understand the differences between alcohol-free, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks. If you’re looking to abstain completely, stick to non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails, cola or juice, or alcohol-free drinks that are under 0.05% ABV.
Try new activities
There are plenty of ways to have fun and relax without drinking, and now is a great time to try some. You could try painting, a new online exercise class or even learning a musical instrument. Planning fun things to do with your time will help you keep on track.
Celebrate your success
Making changes to your lifestyle can be difficult so it’s good to reward yourself with something if you are making progress. Find some ways to celebrate success that don’t involve alcohol – a great habit to get into for the rest of the year too, not just October.
Remember why you’re going sober
Whether you’re looking to get healthier or doing it for a good cause, keeping in mind why you decided to go sober is a strong motivator. If it helps you, stick reminders to your fridge!
Keep up the good work
Keep up the good work after October by increasing your number of drink-free days each week and by making sure you stick within the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low-risk drinking guidelines of not drinking more than 14 units a week.
You can find more tips and information about how to reduce your drinking here.