5 Ways to Stay Sober through October (and Beyond)
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5 Ways to Stay Sober through October (and Beyond)


Could booze-filled Halloween parties in the United Kingdom soon be replaced with mocktails and non-alcoholic tonics?

It’s highly unlikely that would ever become permanent, but many Brits have given up smoking and drinking for the month of October through two abstinence campaigns. Stoptober, run by Public Health England, had more than 190,000 sign ups from people committed to stopping smoking for 31 days. Go Sober For October, meanwhile, has people giving up drinking for the month as a means of raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support. (Over here in America, by the way, we’ve taken on some similar projects.)

While cutting down on smoking and drinking is always a good thing, it’s unclear if these initiatives spark true lifestyle changes or if they’re the equivalent of “resolutioners” with new gym memberships. But with the average British male spending an average of $1,500 per year on booze, it’s plausible that having a heftier wallet could be incentive enough.

New teetotalers might wonder what liquids they’ll drink and how they’ll spend their weekend nights—something that some in recovery also grapple with. So for you, the newly (temporarily) sober as well as those who hope to make this shift more permanent, here are five ways to help stay happy without the booze.

1) Vodka tonic, hold the vodka

More than 18.7 million barrels of non-alcoholic beer were sold worldwide last year, with Japanese brand Kirin even getting in on the action with an alcohol-free beer. Carl Jung wines and Ariel Vineyards have cornered the non-alcoholic wine market, while Arkay beverages recently launched the world’s first non-alcoholic, liquor-flavored drink collection. And let’s not forget about mocktails! Yep, it’s now possible to have a mini bar at your home without a drop of the sauce.

2) Eat your feelings

With a pint of Guinness coming in at 170 calories, a beer belly is a very real thing for those who regularly indulge in big nights out. If you’re forgoing hundreds of calories by not drinking, then treat yourself to dessert or an especially rich dinner. You’re still decreasing your caloric intake at best and merely counterbalancing at worst.

3) Evaluate your social circle

If any of your friends routinely party to excess, this might be a good time to put them on the back burner. This isn’t limited to in-person interactions, though. Facebook oversharers who chronicle their tequila shots and cigarette breaks for the world to see can easily be blocked from your newsfeed.

4) Join a gym

If you’re already taking the initiative to quit smoking and drinking, you might as well go all in and get a gym membership. Not only will you have the money to do this by giving up your former vices, but you also may find a new activity to enjoy on a Saturday night.

5) Switch binge drinking to binge watching

We all need a quiet night in sometimes. Take one or two nights a month to catch up on all your favorite TV shows or movies. With 62 episodes of Breaking Bad available to watch, not to mention Law & Order SVU, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to curl up on the couch.

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About Author

McCarton Ackerman is a writer and editor living in New York City. His work has been featured in Time Out New York, The Advocate, USOpen.org and The Daily Mail. He can also been seen performing stand-up comedy at bars and clubs around the city.