Taking a month-long break from drinking has become so popular that we can now refer to periods on the calendar with sober-related puns – Febfast, Dry July and Octsober.
If you are planning to take a break from the booze but don’t want to spend the month hibernating in front of the television and declining all social events, try these three tips:
Experiment with alcohol-free drinks
A month off the booze doesn’t mean limiting yourself to soda water and soft drinks.
There is a wide range of alcohol-free options that look and taste great without the nasty side effects of a hangover and lack of energy the next day.
There are plenty of mocktail recipes online so have some fun and create your own summer concoction. My favourite is a non-alcohol spirit with soda, a squeeze of lime, a sprig of mint and plenty of ice for my own version of a mojito.
And the best bit? You can have as many gin and tonics, a rum and cokes or vodka and sodas as you like and still drive home. More importantly you won’t wake up the next day regretting the late-night karaoke performance.
During the past few years, the range of alcohol-free wines and beers has grown and there are some great options available.
Of course, like regular wines and beers there is also a wide variation in quality so it’s worth shopping around and checking out reviews.
Many bottle shops now stock alcohol-free drinks and there are also ranges available at supermarkets and online (see Sans Drinks to view some of the alcohol-free drinks available, reviews and mocktail recipes).
Organise alcohol-free activities
Just because you’ve sidelined alcohol doesn’t mean that your social life should come to a screaming halt.
One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to organise something active to do in the morning.
If you’ve planned to go for a long hike with a friend on a Saturday morning, you’ll be less inclined to get on the sauce the night before.
After all, nursing a hangover while doing anything more energetic than downing a couple of painkillers is not an appealing prospect.
Just imagine how smug you’ll feel getting up early on a weekend morning and going for a run, hike, surf or yoga session.
Add in a brunch of an acai bowl and green tea, upload your morning’s activities to Instagram and you’ll soon be envisaging your new career as a wellness influencer.
Just because you’re banning booze for the month doesn’t mean you have to avoid any occasion where others will be drinking.
However, it is important that you plan ahead otherwise you risk a massive case of FOMO.
Unless you are a big water drinker, you may want something a bit more interesting than glasses of H2O to get you through the night.
If you’re going to a restaurant or venue, check out their drinks list to see what non-alcoholic options are available.
I recently went to a music venue expecting to order my usual tipple of tonic and lime, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they served a non-alcoholic spirit (Seedlip), so I could indulge in alcohol-free G&Ts all night.
And the added bonus was that I drove my friends home afterwards without having to worry about rideshares or taxis.
If you’re entertaining at home or going to someone’s place, it is even easier.
Check out some the alcohol-free options available or concoct your own mocktail recipe.
Kombucha, ginger beer, soda water and tonic are some of the other options that don’t make you feel like a kid at a six-year-old’s party.
If you go into a social situation knowing what, you’ll drink you’re less likely to succumb.
Whether you’re a weekend tippler or a daily drinker, your body will thank you for a month-long rest from alcohol.
And, with any luck, your bank balance will be healthier, your skin more glowing and your head much clearer.
Cheers to that!