How to approach that Sober Curious Lifestyle with confidence
Jan 03, 2022
By Leah Jereb
This article discusses experimenting with a sober curious lifestyle. If you face a serious alcohol use disorder or struggle with addiction or alcohol dependence, please reach out to a therapist or professional counselor for guidance.
Whether you're celebrating, socializing, or stress-relieving, the go-to party guest is usually alcohol. Ding-dong, who's there? Wine. Cocktails. Hard seltzer. Moonshine? Ok, I see you! But chances are if you've made it this far into this paragraph, you may have considered cutting back on alcohol or trying a sober curious lifestyle.
Alcohol and drinking culture permeate our daily lives, whether it's buzz around the newest spiked seltzer or Super Bowl beer ads featuring the cutest puppies known to humanity. I used to live in a city where the two main social activities were boozy brunches and post-work happy hours, so I know (1) that drinking sometimes happens as a default routine and (2) I've literally never seen an 8-week-old golden retriever show up at a bar.
Puppies aside, if you've been feeling like you want to start reassessing and cultivating intentionality when it comes to your relationship with alcohol, it could be time to experiment with being sober curious. You just might gain more self-awareness and improved health in the process.
Speaking of health, we've all seen headlines like, "Doctors Say Two Glasses of Wine Daily Good for Healthy Heart" and then clutched onto that idea with the goddamn jaws of life.
"IT'S GOOD FOR MY HEART!!!!" she screamed through her Merlot-stained teeth. Ma'am, you're alone in your apartment. Please calm down.
The truth is, while wine is touted for its antioxidant content and perceived cardiovascular perks, the downside to routine alcohol consumption outweighs the benefits. Studies have shown that even a couple glasses of wine daily can have adverse impacts on brain health, compromise liver health, and lead to up to a 50% increased risk in cancer overtime. If you've ever woken up in the middle of the night after drinking too many G&Ts, you probably know that alcohol consumption also compromises healthy sleep, which can exacerbate a long list of high-key struggle bus issues, including development of mood disorders or anxiety. "But I thought wine was supposed to calm me down?" Me too, babe. Me too...
I've skipped alcohol for the past couple years, and while the payoff has been huge for my mental and physical health, my biggest hurdle has been the social component. "Let's grab drinks!" — I still get a little nervous when I get this proposition, because sometimes I feel totally uncool showing up and saying I won't be drinking. But the choice to not drink, for anyone, is very personal, and recommitting myself to my own reasons why I'd rather skip the booze makes me feel more confident about the decision overall.
Ultimately, once you feel grounded in why you're opting-out of alcohol (even for just one outing or more long-term), you'll care less about what others think and focus on enjoying yourself. Plus, staying true to you might even inspire someone else to assess their own drinking habits. Ok, influencer!
If you're considering a sober curious lifestyle, here are some tips:
1. Raise a Glass Without Feeling Like Ass:
My go-to swap drink is sparkling water with lime and sometimes a splash of juice or coconut water. It's simple but refreshing, and I'll even ask for it in a fancy glass if I'm feeling saucy at the bar. You could even try making a cocktail with Apothékary's new Stop Your Wine-ing blend, which includes organic aronia berry, motherwort extract, and acai for all the benefits of wine (antioxidant delivering, cardiovascular supporting, anxiety reducing) without the downsides of drinking alcohol. If you're going out, just slip the bottle in your bag to go. Once you order a sparkling water and lime from the bartender, add a little spoonful of the blend to your glass and prepare to hear, "I'll have what she's having!" (Which is not a hangover.)
2. Create New Rituals, Keep Spirits High
If your go-to routine is pouring a glass of wine when you get home from work, experiment with a new ritual that will bring you the same sense of fulfillment. Some of my favorite things to do after work are going for a walk, calling a friend, or dedicating time to one of my projects and hobbies that light me up. And if you do want something to drink, experiment with an alcohol-free cocktail like the recipe below.
3. Breathe In, Booze Out
If you're someone who opts for alcohol to wine down after work, try integrating moments of stress relief and relaxation throughout your day so that you're not a ticking time bomb by EOD. Try deep breathing (like the box breathing method), dance breaks (I'm serious), or meditation. If you can't get into meditation, try going for a walk or putting on music as the background for a deep stretch session. You deserve it.
So, cheers to you, honey! If you're ready to explore a sober curious life, that means you're already one step closer to deeper self-connection and big benefits health-wise. After cutting back on alcohol, you just might even (quite literally) sleep better at night.
Recipe: Stop Your Wine-ing Nightcap
1 tsp Stop Your Wine-ing
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 oz warm water
1/4 tsp raw honey (optional)
3 oz cranberry or tart cherry juice*
*Tart cherry juice is recommended if you want the mild sedative effects, but cranberry is often easier to find in the store.
Add blend, cinnamon, and raw honey (if using) to a mug, and pour warm water over the blend.
Add juice and mix together with a hand frother (just to thoroughly combine the herbs, not to froth).
Pour your mixture into a wine glass if you want to be fancy! (You do.)
Sip, sip, hooray.
About the Author
Leah Jereb is a copywriter, comedy writer, performer, and voice actor. You can follow her online @ljsayshey or leahjereb.com.