There have been tons of wellness movements in the last decade, one of which you might have missed because of its relative obscurity: the sober curious movement. You probably know at least one person that doesn’t drink at all but identifying as sober curious is distinct from complete sobriety. The popular take on sobriety at a social gathering is that the one abstaining from alcohol is likely a recovering alcoholic. Being sober is associated with shame, privacy or an underlying assumption that the sober one might be a teetotaller who doesn’t know how to have fun. But the sober curious movement is looking to change this. What is it, and how could you incorporate it into your New Year’s Eve?
What does sober curious mean?
The sober curious are those who keep their alcohol consumption to a minimum or abstain altogether, and may choose to broadcast this abstinence with pride. The justification for being sober curious is that almost everyone could benefit from reducing alcohol intake in order to evaluate their relationship with booze.
Most people that join the sober curious movement may have found that alcohol doesn’t always make them feel that great. However, it doesn’t mean one needs to put an extreme label on oneself either. The sober curious movement may well have been a long time coming, as society in general moves towards healthier ways of life. Healthier diets, workout regimens, and wellness practices mean that people want to treat their bodies better. Alcohol, a pretty powerful inflammatory agent, was bound to fall under the radar at some point.
Those that are part of the movement say that being sober curious has led to greater energy levels, not to mention no hangovers. But the greater gift that it gives you is making you understand your equation with alcohol. Why do you drink – because you want to? Or because of social pressure? Being curious about these things makes it so much easier to be consistent. Moreover, because the sober curious movement doesn’t prohibit alcohol entirely, it doesn’t feel like as much of a commitment as going cold turkey. This actually ends up reducing cravings, since alcohol isn’t exactly ‘forbidden’.
If you’re looking at embracing this new (and frankly, pretty fun) way of life in the new year, there’s no better time to start than New Year’s Eve! Here are some ways to make the most of it.
A breakfast rave.
This one’s originally a concept from New York City, but don’t let that stop you from doing one wherever you are. Breakfast raves typically begin in the wee hours of the morning (think 6 – 6:30 am) and offer dance floors, coffee, meditation and mindfulness exercises and more! If you’re throwing one yourself, you can add whatever you like.
Plan a getaway.
This new year does happen to start on a weekday. Nevertheless, if you can afford to take the time off, going away can be a great way to have fun without a booze-filled environment. A hike, camp, or cabin are all great places to be and will have you recharged, refreshed and ready for the new decade.
A mocktail party.
Mocktails are an easy way to avoid the temptation of alcohol, and can taste incredible! Holding a non-alcoholic beverage in hand is a simple ‘trick’ to feel comfortable if it’s your first sober curious experience. It also helps if your drink contains sugar since our bodies can sometimes confuse a sugar craving for an alcohol craving. You could also go ahead and add some CBD or cannabidiol to your drink. Not only will it make you feel more at ease, but CBD can also bring balance to bodily processes and therefore possibly help with cravings.
Find a sober partner.
Finding a buddy to stay sober with you through the night will make both of you feel less alone as well as accountable to each other.
Plan an evening of food.
Most people would agree that they prefer an evening of great food over an evening of drinking. Whipping up a New Year’s Eve feast for friends and family is a fulfilling activity – and with tons of great food, no one’s going to miss the booze.
Plan different activities.
Contrary to popular opinion, activities like game nights and dancing are just as fun without alcohol. Plan a fun meal, followed by games and a night of dancing. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much longer you can go without alcohol weighing you down!
Sober social media influencers and social movements like sober curious are a great way to make being sober feel like an experiment. Almost like experimenting with a new substance, it encourages a healthy discourse about how it feels to be substance-free. Hopefully, we’re looking at a new movement that helps people choose when they want to drink, as opposed to feeling like they must.