Things have changed a lot in the last decade and particularly in the last few years. First of all, attitudes towards drinking have evolved. 10 years ago, if you took part in an alcohol abstinence challenge you would probably have been met with a fair amount of resistance from your friends. These days, with more of us drinking more mindfully, you're more likely to inspire your mates to join you.
The other thing that has changed is the availability of good quality zero alcohol drinks, specifically non-alcoholic wines thanks to brands like Next Destination Wines, Thomson & Scott, 1920 Wines and Two Hoots which have been game-changers for the category.
Enjoy non-alcoholic drinks
In the last few years this zero alcohol drinks market has exploded. Whether you like beer, wine or spirits, there is a non-alcoholic equivalent waiting for you here at Sans Drinks. Customers tell me that once they discovered a zero wine or beer that they like, it was easy to cut back on alcohol - not just for a month, but long term.
Non-alcoholic drinks are a great solution to the age-old dry-month problem, ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’. They’re an adult drink that enables you to join in when socialising and an easy substitute for the times you fancy a drink.
If you’re new to alcohol-free drinks then I recommend checking out the various guides in my blog section. I’ve also put together lots of mixed bundles including specific 30 day packs to get you started.
30 Day Zero-Alcohol Pack
If you are socialising during your dry month I recommend checking out the venue you’re going to to see if they offer good zero alcohol drinks. If they don’t, it’s worth emailing them to ask if you can bring a bottle of your own non-alcoholic wine. I did this recently when going to dinner for a friend's birthday - the restaurant was happy for me to bring a bottle of Next Destination Barossa Shiraz with me. It meant that I could join in with my friends and not be stuck drinking water all night.
Enjoy the benefits of mindful drinking
Even in moderate amounts, alcohol can have a profound effect on our physical and mental health. Conversely, taking a break from alcohol can yield an array of health benefits. Leaning into these benefits will give you the extra motivation you need to go the distance.
When I decided to take a break from alcohol the first thing I noticed was the improvement in my sleep. This is because alcohol disrupts our circadian rhythms. Research from the US found that alcohol suppresses the production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles) - just one unit of alcohol can reduce melatonin production by 20 per cent. Alcohol also disrupts the REM sleep which is vital for mental restoration.
You might also notice an improvement in your skin (alcohol is a diuretic so the more you drink the more dehydrated you become), your mood (all that extra sleep!) and energy.
Enjoy sober socialising
If you tend to socialise over a few drinks then you might be nervous about sober socialising. It can be tempting to hunker down and stay home during your dry month, but sober socialising isn’t as hard as you might think.
A good approach is to shake up the way you socialise. Instead of catching up with friends over a bottle of wine, catch up over breakfast or organise an activity such as pottery or Pilates. When you socialise without alcohol, you remove the temptation to drink - making it much easier to stick to the challenge.
Another strategy is to socialise with alcohol-free drinks. A dry month is a great time to embark on a journey of discovery and find some alcohol-free drinks that you enjoy. You might surprise yourself and make alcohol-free your go-to drink.