This Sober October can be your opportunity to assess your relationship with alcohol or with whatever substances you gravitate towards. Make a lasting change in your way of drinking and living. Alcohol abuse has been linked to several conditions, including seven different cancers. Giving up alcohol or drugs even for a month can dramatically affect your day-to-day life, your long-term health, and how you feel.
Where did Sober October start and how can it benefit you?
Sober October originally started in 2014 when a charity in the UK called Macmillan Cancer Support initiated a challenge not to drink alcohol for the entire month of October to raise money for a cancer center. Using Sober October as a chance to take a break from alcohol is great for your body and mind, to help you make this positive change, here are 5 tips to stay sober this October.
1. Be Mentally and Emotionally Prepared
If you embark on the Sober October challenge, look ahead in the coming month to minimize temptation. Know your schedule and plan ahead. By knowing the life events coming your way, you will be able to foresee what’s going to happen and can create solutions and ways to help you avoid social gatherings or parties that can cause you to do excessive drinking.
2. Understand the Negative Effects of Alcohol on Your Body
We all know that excessive alcohol drinking has a lot of negative impacts on our bodies. Knowing and understanding the negative effects alcohol has on your mind and body can help motivate you to stay on track. According to CDC’s website, excessive alcohol drinking can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious long-term risks and problems such as:
- High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.
- Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
- Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.
Between 2015 and 2019, excessive alcohol use in the United States caused more than 140,000 fatalities and 3.6 million years of potential life loss, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 26 years.
3. Know Your Triggers and Learn to Manage It
A trigger reminds you of drinking or makes you want to drink alcohol. It could be something significant and symbolic, or it could be something completely random related to your previous drinking. Certain moods, feelings, people, places, and even things can trigger and can cause intense cravings and urges to drink that can lead to alcohol relapse.
Triggers can lead to an alcohol relapse, which is a risky behavior because it can restart addiction and lead to overdose and alcohol poisoning. You can reduce your chances of relapse and stay sober by recognizing your triggers, understanding their relationship to cravings, and taking action.
4. Find Alcohol-free Drinks for Alternatives
Drinking significantly affects how we socialize, celebrate, unwind, and, for many people, manage stress. But if you are sober-curious, staying sober, or just wanting a more enjoyable night off, there are so many tasty drinks that you can use as a substitute.
Fortunately, the non-alcoholic beverage market has exploded in recent years. Today, you can even buy craft sparkling waters in beer bottles, gin, and tequila imitators that make your favorite mixed drinks with no alcohol at all, and a variety of mixers that add an herbaceous flavor to sober cocktails or mocktails.
With this in mind, it is fascinating to explore and look for delicious alternative drinks to enjoy instead of drinking alcohol and getting the dreaded hangover. You can check out our beverage recipes for yummy non-alcoholic drinks that will truly healthily satiate your thirst!
5. Challenge Others and Support Each Other
Having a support group like your friends and family can make all the difference in recovery and sober living. Having other people do the Sober October challenge with you can make it more fun, interesting, and easier.
Go. Challenge your friends and family! Or if you don’t have anyone to do it with, feel free to connect with the Sober Talk family! You can reach us and message us on our Facebook page!
Let’s be Sober together this October!