Sober October is an opportunity for those who are sober curious or simply up for a challenge to cut back on booze. Every year people reduce their alcohol intake to raise money for charities, most notably in the UK, for Macmillan Cancer Support. 2020 has been a ride, to say the least, so the folks at Macmillan have introduced new options for participation by allowing people to choose to commit to 14 days, 21 days or the whole 31.
Sober October is becoming just as important as Dry January to help give our minds and bodies a much-needed rest, especially in this current climate. Sober October feels a little less pressure and comes without the ‘new year new me’ pressures which often fall short!
Let’s look at some of the benefits of taking a break from booze, reasons to get involved with Sober/ Soberish October and some tips to help you make your own decision; to participate or to cheer from the side-lines.
Mental Health Benefits
According to Drink Aware, regular heavy drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain that are vital for good mental health. While you may feel relaxed after a drink, after a while this can build up and cause anxiety and depression. We all know that alcohol is a depressant, so this doesn’t come as a great surprise. Reducing your alcohol intake or turning to non-alcoholic alternatives can help to boost your overall mental wellbeing.
Improvements in sleep
Heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to poor quality sleep. Have you ever had a few glasses of wine and found yourself waking up through the night for a sip of water? Yes, me too and you are not alone!
Alcohol can suppress melatonin production in your body which is a key facilitator of sleep and regular sleep cycles. The REM stage of sleep is important for mental restoration, memory and emotional processing. Drinking alcohol reduces REM sleep and thus leads to sleep disturbance. Sure, a nightcap sounds appealing, but it will only lead to poor quality sleep.
If you are giving Sober October a go, your sleeping will improve, as will your mood and productivity the next day!
A glow up!
We all strive for youthful, healthy skin and many pay hundreds for the latest anti-ageing, collagen-boosting products. Unfortunately, alcohol is one of the worst compounds to harm your skin. Just as alcohol dehydrates you on the inside, it also takes the fluids out of your skin. Cutting back on alcohol will boost your skins hydration, collagen production and reduce inflammations that can occur when drinking.
Consider drinking glasses of water in between alcohol, or at least a pint before bed!
This could be a blog post in itself, but cutting back will lead to healthier organ function, stronger disease resistance, lowered risk of heart disease and a healthier digestive system.
You may also lose some weight. After all, the term beer belly didn’t originate from thin air!
Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, compared to protein and carbohydrate which have around four calories per gram and fat which has nine.
Wine, full-strength beers and mixers are high in sugar and therefore calories, so if you do participate in Sober October you may shift some pounds you didn’t realise would be so easy to lose. That’s not even taking into consideration the questionable hangover food choices the next day either! Drinking less makes it much easier to stick to healthy eating habits.
Check yourself, before you wreck yourself
Taking alcohol out of certain occasions can force you to think about your relationship with alcohol. Are you drinking because you enjoy it? Or, merely as a coping mechanism for social situations. Consider other methods to calm the mind; mindfulness exercises or going for a long walk as examples. It’s a great time to get back into hobbies too; lego, puzzles or taking long bike rides.
For those participating
At Big Drop, we provide top quality choice for the masses. We appreciate that drinking isn’t always appropriate and sometimes you can’t afford the next day hangover.
During this month opt for a Big Drop or two if you’re out celebrating Oktoberfest, Halloween or anything else notable in your diary. Not drinking doesn’t mean you can’t go out to your favourite pubs and restaurants. You can find Big Drop nationwide at Brewhouse and Kitchen sites, All Bar One, O’Neill’s, Miller and Carter, Browns and across Castle and Nicholson’s Pubs.
Follow sober platforms and inspiring people to keep you going!
Our friends over at Club Soda have created a global community that offer support, mindful drinking courses and host some really great events to get involved with. They also have a book on how to be a Mindful Drinker to help you beyond October.
La Maison Wellness founder Cami Vidal is on a mission to bring mindfulness into our drinking glasses! Check out the La Maison Wellness website for some amazing mindful cocktails, guidance and more. We recommend following her personal Instagram page too, for fun and imaginative content.
Sober Girl Society is a platform and safe space for sober and sober curious women who are changing their relationships with alcohol.
Sober and Social is a membership platform that provides sobriety support as well as hosting sober meetups and events.
Sober Dave will give you all the inspiration you need, plus he also offers free 121, 15-minute consultations.
The choice is yours!
Sober October is a great opportunity for a personal reset, to take a well-needed break and raise money for a good cause.
At Big Drop, we appreciate the need for balance, so we strive to supply the best range of alcohol-free craft beers for people looking to cut down, cut out or change their drinking habits.
This shouldn’t be a fearful month for pubs either; drinking habits have changed and if pub owners haven’t picked up on that yet, then it’s a good chance to list some great quality alcohol-free listings. Our metaphorical door is always open!
Visit our online shop to stock up for October and beyond..