How do you like to spend your weekends? Gettin’ glammed up for a night of aperol spritz’s with your girl-gang, or curled up on the couch watching Gilmore Girls with an oversized Uber Eats order and equally oversized glass of red wine? However you choose to spend your downtime, the likelihood is that it involves alcohol in some way, shape or form, despite the fact that you probably lament the hangovers that truly do grow steadily worse as you get older.
Well, no more! In light of Dry July, we thought it prudent to note the rise of millennials who are making a change towards mindful drinking and sobriety; with the establishment of movements like Club SÖDA NYC (which stands for Sober Or Debating Abstinence) and Soberistas dictating that going out and drinking yourself silly is no longer the only option for those wanting to ‘unwind’.
Here’s what you need to know about the sober curious movement and where to start if you think it could be up your alley.
Sober curious is a term coined by Ruby Warrington, co-founder of CLUB SÖDA NYC, that applies to anyone who is curious about reducing their alcohol intake or quitting altogether. The movement offers gatherings, talks, events and a thriving online community that is dedicated solely to those that are contemplating abstinence.
The rise of the sober curious movement is very much part and parcel of the wellness boom that has taken hold of all age groups—but is particularly popular among millennials.
Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Concern, identifies several causes for the rise in sobriety. He told the Telegraph “there are a range of factors, all of which probably play a role: economics, different ways of socialising, demographics, law enforcement, fashion, and a trend towards healthier lifestyles. In general, there is fresh thinking about what we put in our bodies.”
This wellness revolution is making people increasingly aware of how their lifestyle choices affect their overall sense of wellbeing, believes Ruby Warrington. “Nine times out of 10, drinking does not align with the feel-good factor that comes from cleaning up your diet and taking up yoga and meditation,” she told Culture Trip. “The huge uptake of mindfulness practices has led to people beginning to question how alcohol REALLY makes them feel, i.e. generally not great!”
Anyone who’s had a hangover knows that hitting the booze doesn’t really lend itself to a state of mindfulness and calm; more Uber Eats for every meal and napping the day away. Clearer skin, mental clarity, less hang-xiety and more energy are just some of the benefits you could reasonably expect from easing up on the booze.
If you’re not ready to abstain from alcohol altogether (*raises hand sheepishly*), drinking more mindfully is a step in the right direction to improving your relationship with alcohol. Try drinking a drink that you really enjoy; like spending a decent amount of money on a bottle of wine that you’ll really want to savour. Appreciating the taste as opposed to focusing on the effect that alcohol has on you and the short-lived feeling of ‘bliss’ it provokes will enable you to drink with more intention.
Upping your water intake is another great way of drinking more mindfully. Alternating alcoholic drinks with glasses of water (soda with lime if you’re feeling fancy—and let’s face it, you are) is a good way of saving yourself the next day and staying hydrated AF.
I’ll raise a mocktail to that.