Five Tips for Succeeding with Sober October
If you want to reduce (or eliminate) alcohol to boost your health, wellness, and mood, consider embarking on the Sober October challenge where you are asked to go booze-free for 31 days.
The Sober October challenge is an initiative of Macmillan Cancer Support to raise money for people with cancer. Since its inception in 2014, they have raised over £33 million!
Did you know that just one week after giving up alcohol, you may experience:
- Improved sleep – normal REM sleep cycles are restored.
- Clearer thinking – no more “foggy” brain.
- Enhanced creativity.
- Better nutritional intake – alcohol depletes minerals and vitamins, especially B1.
After four weeks, the benefits could look even more impressive:
- No more acid reflux; your stomach no longer overproduces enzymes to aid your digestive process.
- Reduction in blood pressure; the less you drink, the lower the risk of hypertension.
- Better looking, well-hydrated skin; alcohol causes dehydration.
- Liver cleansed of contaminants.
- A lot of money saved!
Add to these benefits significant improvements in mental health. A study from the University of Hong Kong found that adults, and women in particular, who give up drinking entirely, experienced a significant boost in mental well-being.
How do you motivate yourself to go without alcohol for a month?
Regardless of the specific habit you're trying to kick, going cold turkey rarely helps. Here are some tips to smoothly transition and thrive during a month of sobriety.
- What you resist, persists. Habits are cured by other habits. Don’t fight booze head-on – replace it with fun non-alcoholic options like mocktails. Go as playful and whimsical with your recipes as you can to capture the spirit of the season!
- As the saying goes, “you alone can do it, but you can never do it alone!” Get a friend or two to join in order to have each other’s backs when the going gets tough. Agree to exchange texts or short calls weekly to keep each other accountable.
- “Out of sight, out of mind.” Try to avoid places and activities that involve alcohol. Those environmental triggers are a big part of the habit.
- Engage in non-alcoholic activities and explore non-alcoholic beverages such as alcohol-free ciders, beer, and wine. Most large brands now offer attractive and tasty alternatives.
- Finally, have a ready response for social situations when someone urges you to drink. Say something like: “No, thanks. I am taking a break this month.” Keep the tone casual, and avoid the self-righteous moral superiority; instead, use it as a conversation starter.
Sober October is a wonderful opportunity to support a great cause, and become healthier and happier in the process.
Best of luck!