There are many reasons why someone might choose to give up alcohol. Nowadays, the great alcohol-free drink options available make the decision a whole lot easier than it once was. However, giving it up can still be extremely challenging, even for those with the best of willpower. Ultimately, deciding whether to go teetotal or not is an extremely personal choice, but it should never be met with assumption or judgement.
In recent years, studies have shown that younger generations are giving up alcohol in increasing numbers. Now, nearly one in four young people are opting for sobriety. Celebrities are also becoming a lot more vocal about their choice to ditch the booze. But, as interest in non-alcoholic alternatives continues to gain prominence in the drinks market, what is it about the sober lifestyle that’s making this trend stick?
Many factors contribute towards why many people are opting for drinks with no and low alcohol (NOLO). One of these factors is the recent shift in aspirational culture towards health consciousness. Sober public figures are leading the way in sending the message that living a happy, interesting, and still very social lifestyle is more than possible without alcohol.
In the past, a lot of celebrities have had very public issues with alcohol consumption, and this excess was even often celebrated as part of the celebrity lifestyle. But high profile celebrities are speaking out and causing attitudes towards sobriety to change. Supermodel Kate Moss has spoken openly about her often overly indulgent ‘party-girl’ lifestyle and how she now maintains a much more holistic approach. Similarly, actor Tom Hardy hasn’t hidden his previous addiction to alcohol, and how after a brief stint in rehab his acting career has been his main focus and reason for staying sober.
Social media also plays a significant part in the waning popularity of drinking to excess, among both younger generations and celebrities. Even young people who drink are doing it differently. As opposed to previous generations, the younger generation isn’t binge-drinking. An increasing number of people are avoiding drinking for fear of an embarrassing photograph or video ending up on the internet and staying there forever. Celebrities are aware now, more than ever, that one bad photo or one wrong move, can tarnish a reputation that has taken years to build.
The rise of the sober-curious movement
The sober-curious trend is linked to society’s desire to be more conscious in all areas of life. More and more, people are choosing ethical options, whether that is shopping sustainably or adopting energy-saving solutions in the home.
Celebrity culture, Gen Z, and Millennials have seen a huge shift in attitude. They’re questioning the impact our actions and decisions have on the planet, as well as on our physical and mental well-being.
Giving up alcohol can still feel like a difficult step when drinking is so ingrained in socialising. Some people even argue that non-alcoholic cocktails or equivalents are pointless when soft drinks are available. However, tasty non-alcoholic alternatives help immeasurably and can make non-drinkers feel as though they aren’t ‘missing out’.
The hospitality industry is taking the sober-curious movement seriously too. Almost any alcoholic drink on the menu can be found or recreated without alcohol. Brands such as Seedlip and Fentimans have completely shaken up the alcohol-free beverages industry, creating high-quality and tasty options that are raging in popularity which means there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out!
This new movement is creating change for groups that had seen little visibility in the past. Recovering addicts, people with alcohol allergies or taking medication that isn’t compatible with alcohol, people who are abstinent for their faith, and pregnant women now have multiple options available where they were often isolated. Millennials may have been branded ‘Generation Sensible’, but as attitudes change the impact of this shift may be seen much more positively.
You can ‘cheers’ without beers!
For those looking to start on their alcohol-free journey, one of the easiest places to start is dry January. Adapting your lifestyle for a month feels much less ominous than going entirely cold turkey. Another option is to look at your reasons for drinking and make sure they’re positive. It’s always better to drink for celebration than commiseration. If you’re going to drink, drink to celebrate a graduation or promotion, not because you’ve had a bad day at work or an argument with a loved one.
Adopting a sober-curious lifestyle and being more mindful of alcohol is about knowing when a drink is worth it. Toasting your best friend’s engagement? Worth it. Still, plenty of people are taking the teetotal lifestyle to heart and are looking for non-alcoholic drinks to sip when they make that all-important toast.