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5 things we learnt after completing Sober October

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5 things we learnt after completing Sober October


Changing your typical drinking ‘routine’ can take a while to get used to (Picture: Getty/ Ella Byworth)

Sober October is, naturally, quite difficult for Bar Fox. No cocktails, craft beer or champagne for an entire 31 days. How could we possibly get through?

Well, thankfully it is all for a very good cause. Go Sober for October is organised by MacMillan Cancer Support and asks people to go sober for either 31, 21 or 14 days in order to raise money for the charity.

We have made it through 31 whole days without booze and learnt a lot in the process.

Here are seven of our biggest takeaways from the month.

1. Remember the first week is the hardest

Getting used to a new routine without ‘just a small glass of red wine’ after a stressful day is quite tricky to begin with.

Whether you use alcohol as a confidence booster or a way to relax, living without that will seem challenging at first.

As with everything, it takes a little bit of time to get used to. But do not stop at this point and cave in, you will soon find yourself in a new routine.

2. Do not avoid social outings

It might seem like you have to give up meeting friends during the month if you visit the pub regularly.

While it will seem strange at first and you may get asked why you are not drinking, you will realise it’s not really a big deal at all.

3. Find alcohol-free alternatives

Some of the best alcohol-free alternatives

It will make things easier to sit down for the evening if you have some sort of drink in your hand, it just doesn’t have to be alcoholic.



Our top 5 non-alcoholic tipples during Sober October

Kombucha: There is something seriously satisfying about kombucha. I imagine it’s the fizz. I really found the Equinox Ginger kombucha (available at Waitrose and elsewhere, £1.80) and the LA Ginger Kombucha (available at Leon and elsewhere, £2.75) helped with alcohol cravings.

Hot chocolate: A warming, rich drink I enjoyed when I wanted something like a glass of dark red.

Alcohol free Peroni Libera: I had previously been really unimpressed with alcohol free beer a few years ago. But Peroni Libera hit the spot. It tastes extremely similar to the regular beer and has the satisfying refreshing quality you can expect from a cold beer after a long day (£4.50 for four, Tesco). If you order at the pub, though, do make sure it is definitely alcohol free. I got served two pints of Peroni during Sober October and it took all my moral strength to turn them down.

Alcohol free spirit mixed with tonic water: If you want to feel a bit more bougie on a Friday night, you can make a quick cocktail with an alcohol free spirit like the juniper and acai berry Caleño. Add some chilled tonic water to the spirit and some mint for a 1 minute delicious drink. I’m not a massive gin drinker, but it tastes very much like a gin and tonic. It’s more of a treat, though, given the price tag (£20 for 70cl).

Diet lemonade: Very affordable and refreshing, available anywhere.

Find out other top alcoholc-free picks here.

4. Use the money you are saving to treat yourself

It is quite remarkable how much you can save during a month of sobriety. Of course, it depends where you live and how much you drink.

But a typical Londoner might find they save £200-£300 a month from not drinking. That’s… a lot.

I really suggest using the money wisely to treat yourself during the month. You deserve it after your restraint.

5. Download a sobriety app

I downloaded the sobriety app Sober Time to keep track of my progress.

Everyday I received a motivational quote and an update on how long I have been sober for. It was extremely helpful during the first week and kept me on track.

So those are our lessons for sticking to sobriety during October. I’m definitely going to keep moderating my alcohol intake and I might even keep going to make it a whole 90 days. And of course, I’m going to donate what I would have spent at the pub to charity.

See you again in October 2021?

MORE: Guiness launches alcohol-free stout

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