According to research, the UK is the only European country that saw alcohol consumption rise at the start of the pandemic. It is thought that this occurred as the UK was more stressed than other countries as the nation experienced higher death tolls and financial instability. This is in line with previous reports of Britain getting drunk more often than 35 other nations and having higher levels of binge drinking than a lot of other countries.
However, that being said, there are those who have actually reduced their alcohol intake in the pandemic and are looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle. Where one in three people increased their alcohol consumption during lockdown, many opted for sobriety and jumped on board the “sober curious” trend.
What is sober curious?
Often, the hangovers, fuzzy head, and nausea after a night out can make us feel like drinking just isn’t worth it. Not only can drinking affect our bodies but it can even leave us feeling anxious, which has been dubbed “hangxiety”. More people are deciding to stay sober without meeting the criteria for alcohol dependency or disorders – they just prefer to live a sober life out of personal choice or for wellness reasons.
If you’re starting to wonder whether becoming teetotal might have a positive impact on your life, you’re not alone. There is a growing number of “sober curious” people cutting alcohol out of their lives.
What is encouraging sobriety?
It seems that there are more younger people abstaining from alcohol than there are older people. There are several reasons why fewer people are drinking. A prime one may be economic factors, with young people having less time and money to spend on alcohol.
Furthermore, we are becoming more aware of the health risks of alcohol and the benefits of looking after ourselves. Particularly after living through a pandemic, many of us are taking our wellbeing more seriously and eliminating things from our lives that may compromise our immune systems and general health.
Plus, there are more non-alcoholic drink options available than there once was, helping encourage sobriety without making it difficult or unenjoyable. We’ve all experienced the disappointing and flat soda gun at pubs and bars. Flat cola and limited options make the thought of not drinking alcohol undesirable, but now there are more and more drinks out there to try. Instead of a boring drink, you can choose from exciting flavours like rose lemonade or elderflower.
How you can go sober
Choosing to go teetotal doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life – far from it. Here is an easy guide to balancing it with your newfound wellness.
Firstly, if you want to join your friends at the pub, suggest going somewhere you know has great non-alcoholic or mocktail options. You can buy craft-style sodas with natural ingredients and unique flavours, or botanical mixers that can be enjoyed on their own. Check out menus online to see what you can sip on while staying social with your friends.
Take up a new hobby in something that interests you, like sports or crafts. Here, you might find like-minded individuals who will be up for hanging out without the addition of alcohol. If you’re not drinking for health reasons, you could take up some cooking lessons to make the most of your meals and get all the nutrients and nourishment you need.
You’ll find that your weekends will seem longer and that you have more free time, so focusing on yourself and your personal development are great ways to make the most of these newfound sober perks.
For some individuals, going sober can be the best option. The sober curious movement could be just the thing you needed for your social life, development, and wellbeing!