Initially started as a fundraising campaign by Macmillan Cancer Support back in 2014, the ritual of ‘Sober October’ has since become widespread over the whole country. And it’s not hard to see why. Going sober for a month has many benefits; from improved sleep and energy, through to improved immune functioning, and much more in between.
Knowing that you want to go sober for a month is one thing; however, being able to commit to (and stick to) it is quite another. With that in mind, we’ve put together some top tips on how you can put a pause to your drinking this coming October. First, though, why exactly do people drink in the first place?
Why Do People Drink?
There are many reasons people drink, and an understanding of that ‘why’ can lead to an easier ‘how’ when it comes to stopping for a month. Reasons people drink alcoholic drinks include:
- Because they enjoy it! Probably the most common reason people drink alcohol is that they enjoy the ‘buzz’ it gives them. In a scientific context, even low volumes of alcohol lead to a release of dopamine, one of our ‘feel-good’ chemicals called neurotransmitters. In other words, when we drink alcohol, there’s a temporary change in our biochemistry akin to when we eat a piece of chocolate.
- Many also reach for a can of beer or a bottle of wine merely out of boredom. It’s in the same way we’re all also more inclined to spend hours scrolling on social media these days. It simply gives “something to do”.
- When we drink, our inhibitions are lowered and, as such, many of us find it easier to socialise with others. This widely-recognised feature of drinking is also backed up by science, with studies having found that moderate drinking can enhance social bonding in groups.
- Escapism/drinking to cope. One of the more dangerous and destructive reasons for drinking alcohol is as a means of escapism – where drinking is used as a “way to forget” or to cope with other areas of life one is unsatisfied with.
What Can You Do Instead of Drinking?
Many people make sober October out to be some gargantuan, unachievable task. “A whole month without drinking”, they say, with mouths agape and eyes of disbelief. Fortunately, however, this is completely untrue. And there are actually lots of (healthier) substitutes to drinking that you can pick up – not just for October either, but indefinitely.
You can get that same mellow feeling you do from a large glass of red, for instance, by simply introducing CBD oil (or patches) into your daily routine. CBD oils and patches make you feel great, and have the additional benefit of not leaving you with a hangover the following morning. That’s a win-win in our books!
You can also ask your friends to help you out for the month; if your usual social activities as a group revolve around going on nights out, then why not ask them if – just for October – you can mix up the group activities. Why not go to the cinema, instead, or out for a restaurant meal. An activity where the focus isn’t solely on the drinking aspect.
4 Helpful Tips to Help Go Sober This October
Drink ‘Mocktails’ and No-Alcohol Alternatives
If you went back even five years, then you’d see that the quality of low/no-alcohol drinks was, at best, average. Cut to today and that quality has well and truly skyrocketed. This means you can go on a night out and have all the drinks you want, with them tasting exactly the same as their alcoholic counterparts. Just without the alcohol.
Get Those Endorphins Flowing
There are plenty of ways to get that ‘buzz’ we talked about without having to turn to the booze, and exercise is one of the best methods out there. When we exercise, our bodies release hormones called endorphins which can create a feeling of euphoria within the body; that’s why we have the phrase “runner’s high”.
Plus, exercise has the added bonus of being good for you, too, so whether you go for a 5K run or lift some weights in the gym, it’ll help your month of sobriety go by much more easily.
Switch From Alcohol to CBD Products
We’ve already touched briefly on how CBD can offer the same good feeling that alcohol does; but CBD products also come with a whole host of other benefits that alcohol doesn’t.
These include: helping with sore muscles and joint pain, relief for anxiety and stress, and improved sleep, to name just three. What’s more, getting yourself some CBD patches, gummies or oil isn’t going to set you back any more than a few rounds of drinks on a night out would, either. Save money, boost wellness.
Eat Balanced (and Regular) Meals
The more nourished we are with a balanced array of nutrients, the less prone we are to fluctuations in our mood and energy. And, the more balanced and consistent our mental state, the less we’ll want to turn to an alcoholic drink to provide that temporary good feeling or relief.
Whether you’re doing it for charity or just as your own personal challenge, going sober for October is certainly a worthwhile endeavour. To summarise:
- People drink for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from enjoyment to escapism.
- There are substitutes you can swap in, instead of alcohol, such as CBD.
- Top tips for getting through a month of sobriety include drinking no-alcohol alternatives and exercising a bit more regularly to release endorphins.
If you want to find out more about our range of CBD products, then get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! Contact us by filling out one of our enquiry forms on our website.