Ah, there's nothing quite like waking up with a hangover to make you contemplate swearing off the Cuervo forever. The pulsating head, parched tongue, and rebellious stomach send you into a frenzy of questions: Was it all worth it? But hold on, my intrepid adventurer, because in this tale, the punchline is changing, and spirits are not the only things evolving.
Picture this: a cheerful band of modern teetotalers, donning the banner "sober curiosity." It's a term as flexible as a backbend, encompassing those ready to bid farewell to spirits altogether and those just dipping their toes into the realm of moderation. In 2024, it's a dance between the desire to dry out, consciously reduce your alcohol, and increase mindfulness around it.
In the past year, the collective narrative has taken a turn. Your comrades, and maybe even you, are avoiding the liquor store. Nielsen says nearly half of the entire U.S. adult population is now on the quest to limit their intoxicating indulgences. Among the millennial crowd, at a sizzling 66%.
Why the sudden flirt with sobriety? Enter the modern wellness revolution. We're in an era where people care deeply about what they put into and onto their bodies. Organic produce, hormone-free meat to no meat at all, non-dairy milk – the whole shebang. And guess what? The allure of alcohol is losing its luster. The more we invest in our overall well-being, the less tempting the toxicity and health risks of a boozy night become.
Ruby Warrington, the author behind the term 'sober curiosity' believes that as we spend time, money, and energy on our well-being, the justification for drowning in spirits becomes a harder sell. Picture it: blissful sleep, greater focus, limitless presence, and deep connection – all awaiting us on the other side of the bottle.
But wait, there's more. Beneath the surface, there are numerous health risks that may not manifest immediately, but yet hold great significance to our longevity. Hundreds if not thousands of studies today link alcohol to 7 different types of common cancers and a long list of diseases, cardiovascular perils, and more. It's a sobering thought, isn't it?
Now, for those who've been partaking in the drink since their late teens, cutting back or quitting may start as a playful game. Getting with the Dry January trend just to test the waters. But oh, the benefits! Within days or weeks, the effects become irresistible – better sleep, more energy, heightened happiness, and less anxiety. Even moderate mindful drinkers experience the thrill.
But we all know, the journey isn't just about health. After all, how many of us jump in a car knowing the percentages of accidents. It's about more than that. We humans, wired for connection, truly look for more fulfilling social lives, greater connection to others, and of course, peace of mind. As alternatives to unwind have reached "household name" status – yoga, meditation, CBD, and even cannabis – the stage is set for a life without the negative side effects of booze.
While the seriousness of sobriety may leave some feeling exasperated, the rising wave of those "exploring sobriety" is, in essence, a harmless exploration. So, if you find yourself in curiosity about what life could be like without the hard juice, fear not, here's a quick list of resources ideas to start your journey:
Top 8 Things for going Sober Curious
1. Read: Ruby Warrington's book 'Sober Curious'
She coined the term in 2018 with her book that explores the liquor-free-ish lifestyle, beckoning to those caught in the dance. Drawing from nearly a decade of her own intoxicating experiences, Warrington's work becomes a captivating guide for those seeking open discussions about the pleasures and challenges of being delightfully, flirtatiously sober.
2. Attend a Sober Curious event in your area
At Sansorium, we host workshops, talks and tasting events often, so follow our instagram page to hear about the next one.
3. Get a friend who's interested in exploring their relationship to alcohol with you.
Ask a friend if they'd be willing to go "dry" with you for a month or two. Catch is you're still drinking, you're just drinking something else. Alcohol-free wine, cocktails, beer, of course. Go out with that friend, to parties, concerts, dinners and so on.
4. Friday nights are great, but have you met Saturday mornings?
When you do go out, make a plan to do something you love the next morning. A run, hike, brunch with your partner. Give yourself a good reason to go home after all the fun on Friday night, so that you're well rested for Saturday morning. If alcohol gets in the way of your hobbies and interests, they're not a good friend.
5. Alcohol-free drinks are choices not options
Stock up at the beginning of the month with a basket full of brands you're excited about. Have ready-to-drinks and beers in the fridge, wine in the cooler, spirits on the shelf. Don't go to a dinner party without bringing your own juice (unless the host has thoughtfully curated their bar) and feel free to bring a bottle to a restaurant – they rarely charge corkage for non-alcoholic drinks.
6. Allow yourself the space to be new
You might feel uncomfortable, awkward or shy and this is normal. You're trying something new and we all resemble Bambi's first steps when we first socialize without alcohol. Remember why you're exploring sobriety: to feel different, discover yourself without the aid of a substance, and ultimately, to connect with yourself and those around you more authentically.
7. Let your sober curious flag fly
Friends *might* ask an ignorant question or wish you were drinking alcohol with them. Don't apologize for choosing your self. We often create a positive ripple effect when we stand in confidence, not a negative one.
8. Don't be afraid to be the first
So all your friends are into alcohol. Maybe even a lot of it. And you're wondering if this is right for you. But you're worried of being isolated, uninvited, or worse, bullied for you choice. Fear not. What is meant for you will not pass you by. The answers to the questions you're asking require a big drink of....clarity. And life will only get sweeter after that sip.