Joyful hour: Sober Tips
This week marks Alcohol Awareness Week. Alcohol Change UK have noticed how the pandemic has left us all feeling ‘a little more stressed and anxious than usual’. As we find ourselves in the midst of Lockdown 2.0 and entering an unfamiliar festive season, it’s no secret that we’re all craving hope and positivity like never before. As such, Alcohol Change UK is centring this year’s awareness week around the relationship between alcohol and mental health.
Last week, we had the pleasure of partnering with leading sobriety expert Ruby Warrington, author of ’Sober Curious’ and ‘The Sober Curious Reset’, for our Joyful Hour first ever virtual panel talk. We want to share some of Ruby’s top tips to help people navigate the next couple of months in a way that’s healthier, more balanced and as joyful as ever!
Ruby’s top tips:
- Be kind to yourself. This year has been so intense that it’s no wonder that people have been turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism! If that’s the case for you, be kind to yourself, because there’s a reason behind your drinking and it doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Just remember that alcohol is a depressant and can exacerbate anxiety, so if you’re feeling a bit low it’s only going to make things worse. So why not use this strange time to look after yourself and focus on some self-care and think about what other things (other than a drink) helps you feel better.
- Maximise your alcohol-free weekends. When I first stopped drinking, I thought weekends were going to be so boring! But now I’ve found so many new interests that I wake up at 6am on Saturdays and can’t wait to get going with my day. It can take time to work out what weekends that are not dominated by alcohol will look like, but give yourself some time to work it out and weekends will be just as much fun – if not more…
- Tackle what I call “FOMA” (fear of missing alcohol). Make a list of the five things that you want more of in your life and that removing alcohol is going to help you achieve. It’s a great way to stay focused on your goal.
- Take some time to meditate. Meditation is an amazing tool and if you do it regularly it can really help you manage any negative thoughts and feelings you might have, especially at this time, and help you focus on something else. You only need to do 5 – 10 minutes a day!
- Be positive about this change in your life. Instead of approaching alcohol-free / freer living as a challenge or a chore, treat it like something amazing and expect it to enjoy it! “Stopping” and “quitting” are such negative words, but this is an amazing change you are making and you should look ahead and say: this is going to be the best month of my life. If you feel positive about this important change you’re making, it will feel good!
Wherever you may be on your mindful drinking journey, embrace moments of zen by taking regular meditation or spend some quality time with some much-deserved self care. Check out our post here for some joyful self-care tips. Hopefully some top tips to shine a brighter light on this coming winter.
For more information about Alcohol Awareness Week, head to Alcohol Change UK’s website.