Have the words ‘Dry January’ been popping up across your feed lately? Either filling you with guilt for not attempting it, or curiosity about what a month with alcohol would feel like? This trend piggy backs on to another popular trend this new year: the Sober Curious Trend.
Being ‘Sober Curious’ is a term that refers to a growing trend of people who are choosing either to take a break from alcohol for a short period of time or even permanently. It’s describing people who are curious about experimenting with different levels of ‘being sober’.
The trend is driven by a number of factors, including concerns about the negative health effects of heavy drinking, the desire to improve overall wellness, and a growing awareness of the role that alcohol plays in our lives.
In this article we’re going to explore the sober curious movement and talk about some ways that you can experiment with drinking less, without confining yourself to the categories of ‘being sober’ or ‘drinking.’
We always believe that life hangs in the balance of taking care of yourself, being mindful of your wellness, but not restricting yourself in parts of your life that you enjoy, and that bring you joy. We aim to explore the concept of sober curiosity without judgment and help you find ways to experiment with this movement if it’s something you’ve been thinking about this year.
Exploring the Sober Curious Movement in 2023
First let’s talk about the reasons that people are becoming sober curious. Usually the main reason is because of the negative health side effects of drinking too much alcohol. Heavy drinking has been linked to a number of serious health issues, including liver damage, heart disease and cancer. In addition to these, alcohol can also cause a number of mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety.
As people become more aware of these risks, they are choosing to take a break from alcohol in order to improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Another reason that people are becoming sober curious is because of the role that alcohol plays in our lives. Many people find that they are relying on alcohol to cope with stress, to relax after a long day, or to socialize with friends and family. However, as people become more aware of the negative effects of alcohol, they are experimenting with alternative ways to cope with stress, relax and socialize without relying on alcohol.
And finally, the sober curious movement is driven by the desire to improve overall wellness. Many people find that they feel better physically, mentally and emotionally when they take a break from alcohol or make an effort to drink less. They might have more energy, sleep better and feel more in control of their lives.
This improved sense of wellbeing can be very motivating and it can lead to people rethinking their relationship with alcohol altogether!
What being ‘sober curious’ might look like for you
Being sober curious is not the same as being sober. So it’s not putting a restriction on yourself that you’re not allowed to drink – or adding any stigma to your decision like ‘being an alcoholic’. You don’t need to be an alcoholic to explore your sober curiosity. In fact, it’s important that you don’t label yourself that way while you’re on this journey.
Sober curious is about being mindful of your drinking habits and making conscious decisions about your alcohol consumption. This can mean taking a break from drinking for a certain period of time, or it can mean cutting back on the amount of alcohol consumed on a regular basis.
Forming new habits and routines through sober curiosity
Exploring sober curiosity can also help you form new routines and habits. If you’ve been struggling to make new habits stick, or put a new routine in place, a month without drinking could be just the thing to try. When you’re not drinking, you might find that you have more time and energy to devote to other activities, such as exercise, hobbies or other wellness practices.
Some activities that you could invite into your life during this time could be:
- Connecting with your inner child
- Exploring an easy and new self care routine
- Date yourself! (explore 30 solo date activities and ideas)
Other benefits of the sober curious trend
Being sober curious can also have financial benefits in your life. Alcohol tends to be an expensive habit and cutting back on drinking can help you save money. Additionally, sober curious people may find that they are more productive in their work and more engaged in their personal lives, leading to greater success and fulfillment in these areas.
Sober curious can often have a positive impact on relationships. Alcohol can be a contributing factor in fights and conflicts that come up in your relationships and can be a barrier to intimacy and connection. When people are sober, they’re able to better communicate and connect with others, leading to strong, healthier relationships.
Here’s what happens to your body after 3 weeks without alcohol:
- Liver health improves
- Blood pressure stabilises
- Heart health improves
- Improved sleep quality
- Increased clarity
- Better kidney health
- Sleep patterns regulate
Most importantly, we have to note that being sober curious is a personal choice and one that everyone is not going to choose. Some people may feel pressured to change their drinking habits and may feel guilty or ashamed if they don’t want to change. It’s so important to remember that everyone’s journey is different. There is no right or wrong way to approach the sober curious lifestyle.
If someone in your life is exploring sober curiosity, it’s important to support their decision and never push them to do one thing or another simply because that’s how you feel. And on the other hand, if you are exploring being sober curious, but your friends are ready for that right now, be gentle and don’t push your beliefs on them. There is space in (good) relationships for people on every end of the drinking spectrum.
Resources if you’re sober curious
There are a growing number of resources and support groups available for people who are sober curious. This includes new sober bars where people can socialize and have fun without alcohol! It also includes online communities and support groups where people can share their experiences and get advice and support from others who are going through the same thing.
Here are a few books and resources available for people who are sober curious or want to learn more about the sober curious movement:
- “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober” by Catherine Gray: This book explores the author’s own experience with alcohol and her decision to quit drinking. It offers practical advice and inspiration for anyone considering a sober lifestyle.
- “Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol” by Rosamund Dean: This book is a guide for those who want to explore the sober curious lifestyle, with a focus on the benefits of sobriety and the tools to achieve it.
- “The Alcohol Experiment: A 30-Day, Alcohol-Free Challenge to Interrupt Your Habits and Help You Take Control” by Annie Grace: This book provides a 30-day challenge that helps you to take a break from alcohol, and it offers strategies for building a happier, healthier life without alcohol.
- “Sober Stick Figure: A Memoir” by Amber Tozer: This book is a memoir of the author’s journey to sobriety, and it offers a raw, honest and humorous look at the challenges and rewards of quitting drinking.
- “The Sober Lifestyle” podcast: This podcast features interviews with people who have quit drinking and are living sober lives, sharing their stories and providing inspiration and advice to listeners.
- Club Soda: Club Soda is a UK-based organization that offers a range of resources and support for people who are sober curious, including events, a community forum, and a sober social app.
- Hello Sunday Morning: Hello Sunday Morning is an Australian organization that offers a range of resources and support for people who are sober curious, including a community forum, a sober social app, and a blog with articles and advice on the sober lifestyle.
Remember that what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s a good idea to explore different resources until you find what works best for you. Also, you might find support groups or even therapy sessions as a good alternative or complement to these resources.
Nonalcoholic alternatives for the sober curious
Luckily, with the rise of the sober curious movement, there are more and more brands making nonalcoholic options available for people.
Here are a few of the brands that are making nonalcoholic alternatives to wine, beer and even liquor:
- Athletic Brewing: Athletic Brewing is a brand that specializes in nonalcoholic beers. They offer a wide range of styles including IPAs, stouts, and pilsners.
- Heineken 0.0: Heineken 0.0 is a nonalcoholic beer made by Heineken. It has a clean and crisp taste, similar to the original Heineken beer, but without the alcohol content.
- Seedlip: Seedlip is a brand that makes nonalcoholic spirits. They offer a variety of flavors such as Garden 108, Grove 42, and Spice 94. They are great alternatives for those who want to enjoy a cocktail without the alcohol.
- Noughty: Noughty is a nonalcoholic wine brand that offers a range of red, white, and rosé wines with no alcohol content.
- Everleaf: Everleaf is a brand that makes a range of nonalcoholic aperitifs and mixers. They are infused with botanicals and can be enjoyed on their own or mixed with other non-alcoholic beverages.
- Big Drop: Big Drop is a non-alcoholic beer brand that makes a range of styles including lagers, stouts, and ales.
- Ritual Zero Proof: Ritual Zero Proof is a brand that makes a range of non-alcoholic spirits. They offer a variety of flavors such as gin, whiskey, and tequila alternatives.
- Stryyk Not Gin and Not Rum: Stryyk makes a range of nonalcoholic spirits, including a Not Gin and Not Rum, which are alcohol-free alternatives to gin and rum, respectively.
These are just a few examples! There are many other brands that are making nonalcoholic alternatives to beer, wine and spirits. With the growing trend of sober curious, the market is evolving and more options become available every day.
If you’re exploring sober curious to save money however, these options aren’t really going to save you any money. Instead you can always drink fruit infused water, iced or herbal tea, coconut water, smoothies and of course, water!
Finally, sober curiosity is driven by the desire to live a more authentic, meaningful or healthy life. Many people find that alcohol gets in the way of their ability to be fully present and engaged in their lives. By taking a break from alcohol, they are able to experience life in a more authentic and meaningful way.
In conclusion, being sober curious is a growing trend that is driven by a desire to improve overall health and wellbeing, form new habits and routines, save more and improve relationships. It’s about making conscious decisions about alcohol consumption and understanding the role that alcohol plays in your life. It can be a powerful tool for making positive changes, but more than anything, it’s important to remember that it’s a personal choice and that everyone is on a different journey.
Have you learned something new about the sober curious movement? Is this something you’re looking to explore more in 2023?
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