We used to drink without thinking anything of it. But somehow, during those years of drinking, we started to question why we consumed so much. Recently, we've been through the process of trying to drink less. Luckily for us, "sober curious" has become more common, as more and more people are seeking out new and different ways to live healthier lives.
And while we're HAPPY to see more people mindful about drinking, most people still don't react well to the word "sober." When you look up the definition in the dictionary, "sober" is synonymous with "serious," "solemn," and "somber." So, it's really not surprising that the word is viewed negatively. When you tell someone you're sober, the usual response is a concerned look and maybe even a question or two about if you have a problem or are an alcoholic. We think it's pretty bizarre how even the bravest of people can feel frightened to take the first step towards consuming less alcohol because of the fear of scrutiny.
If you're sober or exploring ways to reduce your drinking, you probably have been nodding along with us. So, how do you take these responses and continue down your path? We've been in your shoes, so here are some tips that worked well for us…
Tip 1: Overcome the Sober Stigma
"I don't want to give up the fun of drinking." "I don't want to be the wet blanket at parties." "I don't know how to talk to people when I'm sober." "There's no point in going to a party if you're not drinking."
These statements are all pretty standard; you may have heard a friend say them....or even said them yourself. There's a real stigma surrounding being "sober" or deciding to drink less. But, if you ask us, it takes real strength and courage to do something a little unconventional.
To focus on this strength, you'll have to navigate and cut through some of the BS sober stigma. With time, you'll learn to see this as an empowering trait rather than a weakness.
Tip 2: Remind Yourself Why You're Doing This
Your motivation for doing this will be different from the person next to you. Learning what motivates you, especially when stopping or cutting back on alcohol, is a huge step. Ultimately, your reasons are all your own.
Tip 3: Be Mindful of How You Feel
Sometimes, we don't realize how alcohol has impacted our bodies, minds, and relationships until we're no longer drinking. So even if you're just cutting back, you might see some changes you never expected.
Maybe you'll notice you have more energy. Or you might sleep better, get sick less often, crave healthier foods, and feel less stressed. And while some may notice changes, others might not notice unless you're looking for them.
With that in mind, try keeping a journal to be more aware of any changes. Document how you feel each day and watch your progress change over time. Plus, these positive changes can add to your list of motivations too!
Tip 4: Stay Connected to People You Love
Getting support from people around you, especially people you love, can be really motivating. Nobody likes to be lonely because when you're alone, you can feel like you're in a dark place and start a perpetual cycle of negativity, making it harder to stay motivated.
Find people with similar goals or who, even if they aren't sober or sober curious, support you. Staying connected to people around you can help you find motivation even when you can't find it yourself. These people will be crucial in offering words of encouragement and acting as a sounding board to bounce thoughts and ideas off of. Most importantly, they’ll be there as a companion in all of the non-alcohol related fun you’ll be having!
Tip 5: Take Small Steps
Understand that cutting back on alcohol doesn't happen overnight, and that's okay! In some cases, you might start by finding new drinks with less alcohol, or subbing water with every other drink, which can help you drink less and still have a good time when you're out with friends.
Staying Sober or Sober Curious: 5 Tips for Ongoing Success Takeaways
We hope you find these tips helpful, and we hope they've helped you realize that being good to yourself can be fun. If you're ready to ditch alcohol and replace your conventional cocktails with something nonalcoholic, check out our TNB collection for some great options.