Having the Best Sober Summer Yet

Having the Best Sober Summer Yet

Summer is FINALLY HERE and we are so ready for it! However, we know that it can be a difficult time for some people in their sobriety. The sun is out, drinks are flowing, and reaching for an alcoholic tipple can seem tempting.

That’s why we’ve put together our top tips to help you have the best sober summer yet!

1. Discover your favourite AF drink

Would your go-to normally be an Aperol as soon as the sun appears? Feel like you’re going to miss out on cocktails in the sunshine? We got you! Make it your mission this summer to find the ultimate AF summer drink! Have fun with different recipes, play around with boozeless spirits, and mix things up a bit. 

2. Find fun things to do that don’t revolve around alcohol

Instead of hitting up the beer gardens or heading for boozey picnics in the park, why not find some new activities that don’t revolve around alcohol? Of course we wouldn’t leave you without any inspiration…get started by selecting something from this list:

  • Go for a hike
  • Try wild swimming
  • Go camping
  • Hold an AF cocktail party
  • Explore a new place

3. Set firm boundaries with yourself and others

If you’re newly sober, setting firm boundaries can be particularly helpful. Boundaries might look like telling your close friends that you’re not drinking so they can respect that, only staying out until 11pm or going home as soon as you no longer feel up for socialising. Establish what your boundaries are, and stick to them

4. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good

There’s nothing worse than sober socialising with people who bring you down. Oh wait, yes there is – drunk people who bring you down! So, surround yourself with people who genuinely make you feel good, lift you up, and support your sobriety. This doesn’t mean that everyone you socialise with needs to be sober, but ensure whoever you’re socialising with fully supports and respects the fact that you are sober!

5. Have FUN sober socialising

Don’t forget to have FUN this summer! At Sober & Social, we’re on a mission to prove that it is possible to have fun without alcohol. So aside from establishing firm boundaries, having a strong support system, and all the other tips and tricks we can give you…don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way!

Sober Socialising After Lockdown

Sober Socialising After Lockdown

Let’s be honest – our social lives have been turned upside down over the past 12 months and the thought of life resuming can feel super daunting. Especially if we have gone sober over lockdown and are yet to flex our sober socialising muscles! The thought of going to a bar, a pub garden, nightclub, festival and summer BBQ’s really can feel quite overwhelming. 

To help you with this, we are sharing our top tips and tricks to help you navigate sober socialising with confidence, ease and excitement!

1. Reframe your perspective

Think of it as an adventure – a chance to explore a new part of you, a chance to make deeper connections and remember conversations, a chance to figure out exactly what YOU like and don’t like. Re-framing this as an exploration of self can really help to take worries and fears of sober socialising into a space of self-enquiry and adventure. 

2. Call ahead

Call the bar ahead of time and make sure they have some AF options. Not only does this take away the worry about somewhere not having something you can drink but it also means it takes away that battle in your head which tells you ‘just have one’. We know where one can lead so make sure you already know what you are going to drink before you get there.

3. Have a power hour

If a situation seems really triggering but you REALLY want to go, set yourself the goal of a power hour. Go for one hour but after this time if you aren’t having a good time or feel triggered give yourself permission to leave. 

4. Be the organiser

Offer to organise the day, night, or afternoon out. This way you could suggest a non-alcohol related activity or make sure wherever you are going has a fabulous AF drinks selection. By doing this, you are helping your friends by taking a task off their hands, whilst making sure it’s somewhere you feel comfortable.

5. Have an exit strategy

Know how you will get home, whether this is knowing where the nearest tube or bus stop is, bringing a local taxi number with you or pre-booking someone to pick you up. Having this in mind really helps take the pressure off thinking you have to stay all night or relying on anyone else. The last thing you want is to be waiting around for a drunken pal who has decided they want to stay out all night. An exit strategy allows you to sober socialise on your own terms.

6. Don’t be afraid to leave

You don’t owe anyone an apology, you don’t need to feel guilty and you certainly don’t need to go into details. If you’re not feeling it, you feel triggered, or everyone keeps repeating the same story…whatever it is, give yourself permission to leave and not feel bad about it.

How to be more mindful in drinking for the rest of 2021

How to be more mindful in drinking for the rest of 2021

If there is anything that the past few months have taught us, it’s to be more mindful. More mindful of our health, more mindful to live in the present, and more mindful about what we are putting into our bodies. 

 

Mindful drinking can be summarised as being more aware of our drinking habits. It can be deciding to only drink alcohol at special occasions, limiting yourself to a couple drinks on a night out, or simply checking in with yourself mentally. With the year in full swing, why not consider how you could practise mindful drinking for the rest of 2021. 

See below our top tips for cultivating a healthier relationship with alcohol:

1. Ask yourself the right questions

Asking yourself the right questions before you drink is such an important habit to get into. It allows you to fully think about your decision before going into auto-pilot and having that extra glass of wine or bottle of beer. Questions to ask yourself could sound like: Do I feel good in myself? Do I have anything important I need to do in the morning? Is this decision going to empower my best self?

2. Be mindful in every area

Being a mindful drinker is about becoming mindful in all that we do. The more we look after ourselves in all areas of our life, the less we will want to engage in unhealthy drinking habits. This means eating the right foods, exercising, sticking to our commitments, making sure we have enough time for ourselves, being present for our friends and family, creating goals for ourselves and talking to ourselves in a loving way. If we have a more mindful approach to our life as a whole, it will be easier to translate this when it comes to our drinking too.

3. Find mindful friends

Finding friends, communities and support groups that allow you to connect with like-minded people is a big part in becoming a mindful drinker. It allows you to talk to others that understand the mindful journey you are on and gives new depth to your social life – one of the most exciting parts in becoming a mindful drinker!

4. Experiment with alternatives

To become a mindful drinker, finding an alcohol free or lower percentage drink you love is key. This will enable you to still have a drink that you enjoy but without having to feel like you are missing out and minus the big hangover in the morning. If you aren’t into AF cocktails, try experimenting with all the non-alcoholic beers on the market – some of them taste better than the real thing!

5. Be aware of your limits

Become aware of the amount of alcohol that works for you (or doesn’t work for you). For most of us there is a PONR (point of no return) and we suggest finding out what this is for you, then making it a non-negotiable limit for yourself.

6. Go low ABV

This is a great way to still enjoy your favourite tipple but with less alcohol and therefore less risk of overdoing it. More and more brands are tuning into low-alcohol options, as are bars and restaurants!

7. Notice how you feel

Do a little introspective work every time you go to pick up a drink. Ask yourself, ‘is my drinking coming from a positive or negative place?’ For example, you’re at your best friend’s wedding, feeling fabulous and want to have a glass of champagne to celebrate (positive place) as opposed to having had a stressful day at work and wanting to escape (negative place). This will help you to understand yourself a little better and your motivation for drinking.

10 Surprising Benefits of Living an AF Life

10 Surprising Benefits of Living an AF Life

Going sober brings about a whole new range of experiences, obstacles and emotions; so many of which have had an amazingly positive impact on the lives of the AF community. If you didn’t know it before, you’ll know it now – sobriety just gets better and better! 

Here are our ten surprising benefits of living an AF life:

1. You have more confidence

There is a big misconception that alcohol gives you confidence yet never will you feel more confident than in your sobriety. Knowing you are putting your best foot forward at all times, being more present and showing up as the real you, brings about an inner confidence you’ve never encountered before going sober.

2. You become kinder

You think before you speak, you don’t argue or cause unnecessary drama, and you are able to walk away from situations that might normally escalate if you were drinking. 

3. You care more about your wellbeing

In sobriety it’s much clearer as to why it’s important to practice self-love and treat your body as the temple it is. You’re more likely to appreciate what your body does for you and make a conscious effort to give back to it by looking after yourself and treating yourself kindly.

4. You have an improved love life

Being single and sober results in better boundaries. You only want to date people that are in alignment with you and your lifestyle and are able to recognise red flags sooner. If you are in a relationship, your clarity of life can equate to feeling more connected to your partner and fewer arguments over trivial things.

5. You have fewer regrets

Everyone knows the feeling of awful hangxiety (as they say). Going sober means you will never have to wake up with the looming feeling of dread and embarrassment ever again. You are able to make well informed decisions and put situations from your social interactions into perspective, swerving those days on end of regret.

6. You say NO more

You are able to stand in your power and have the inner confidence to say no to the things you really don’t want to do. You are more aware of who and what drains your energy and can use this to bring peace into your life.

7. You find even more fabulous drinks

The AF drinks market is booming and not drinking is actually A LOT more exciting than you would think. You have amazing AF spirits such as Caleno Drinks, Lyre’s, Seedlip, Three Spirit, epic bubbles and wine like Jukes Cordialities, Wildlife Botanicals, Noughty AF, and delicious beers like Big Drop Brew Co and Lucky Saint.

8. You feel safer

If you can never guarantee where or with who you would end up with after a night out, going alcohol free will ensure your safety is of top priority. Sobriety means you are aware at all times and can make healthier and safer choices for yourself. 

9. You achieve more

Think of all the days you waste hungover, unmotivated and in a low mood. When you are sober you gain clarity, enabling you to come up with more creative ideas alongside the motivation and impetus to go out and achieve them.

10. You realise you can have it all

The BEST thing about an AF life is that you can quite literally have it ALL. You don’t need to worry about whether you will be able to make your plans the next day or if you will be too hungover to go out two nights in a row. You can go out to the early hours AND make the gym class, go for the brunch you booked AND make the family lunch, all the while showing up as your best shiny sober self!

What to say and do with your friends when you’re not drinking

What to say and do with your friends when you’re not drinking

When embarking on your journey to sobriety, there’s one hurdle to overcome before you can live your best AF life – telling your friends you’re ‘no longer drinking’. If you have always been the life and soul of the party or the up-for-anything kinda person, this can feel like a huge obstacle to overcome. From the feeling of lost identity to the worry that your friends are no longer getting the ‘you’ they signed up for, it is important to find new ways to navigate your friendships away from alcohol and present your new shiny self to the world. 

Here are our top tips on what to say and do with your friends when you’re skipping the alcohol:

 

1. Be honest

The more honest you are with yourself in regards to ‘not drinking’, the more rewarding and deeper your friendships will become. Letting people know the why behind your sobriety gives them a chance to understand your reasoning and support you on this. You will be surprised when your friends know your why, how much more they will support your choice.

2. Suggest fun activities

Suggest other ideas away from your usual drinking environments that could be fun for everyone involved. Go to an exercise class, meet for brunch, go for a walk and grab coffee. This can also be a good thing for your friendships as it gives you both an opportunity to do something new together and get to know each other on a deeper level (AKA not just getting smashed).  

3. Set boundaries

Be realistic. For example, if you are going on a boozy night out and you know everyone will be drinking, manage expectations and let them know you will be attending but not be staying the whole night. If it’s something that is too triggering, remember you can politely decline and schedule a lunch for a future date. Don’t feel like you have to attend everything you get invited to.

4. Don’t worry if they don’t get it

Sometimes people won’t get it and just like life, friendships ebb and flow. There will be some people that you may feel disconnected to when you make such a big life change but there will be others you will grow closer to, who better support you. It’s okay to let people go – it frees up space for you and for new friends to flow in. 

 

DRY JANUARY – Our Top Tips for Tackling This Month

DRY JANUARY – Our Top Tips for Tackling This Month

This January, we want to help you get and stay sober. Whether you’re thinking of staying dry for a month (shoutout to Dry January!) or dry for a lifetime, here are our top tips to help you smash 2021 without getting smashed:

 

1. Ask the right question

This can come in particularly handy if you are thinking about picking up a drink.  Ask yourself: Is this the happiest, healthiest and highest choice I can make for myself right now? By asking this simple question, it allows us to stop and think about our decision before picking up a drink. This is usually something we do on autopilot so by creating this space between thought and action we can make better choices for ourselves.

2. Think about what you gain, not what you lose

Write down all the negatives alcohol brings you. For example: a bad night’s sleep, anxiety, regret, no money, bad choices, hangovers, bad skin, poor food decisions. Then, write down all the positive effects of not drinking. For example: feeling more motivated, more clarity, more present for friends and family, losing weight, saving money, more confidence and feeling more positive. If you ever feel triggered to drink, focus on everything your life has gained by not drinking. This will allow you to put into perspective all the amazing things not drinking gives you but also everything that alcohol takes away from you.

3. Remember you get to have it all

You might be worried about missing out on social occasions and big celebrations (when we are back in the real world) but the irony is, you aren’t missing out at all. By not drinking you are leading a life where you get to do everything and properly show up and take part in it ALL! You can go out on a Saturday night and still make your exercise class on Sunday morning, you can go out for drinks on Thursday, Friday AND Saturday with no problem. While we are in lockdown and zoom quizzes with fizz are a thing, or having Friday night winddown wine, know that you can still show up and be present but you can go to bed without a fuzzy head and still catch your virtual morning yoga class. Going alcohol-free really is having your cake and eating it.

4. Find your favourite AF alternative

Find your favourite AF alternatives which taste amazing and give you all of the fun but none of the hangover! The AF drinks market is growing so fast, there are so many choices available. Some of our favourite AF spirits are Caleno, Lyre’s and Everleaf.If you are looking for fabulous fizz, we would recommend Wild Life Botanicals or Noughty AF.

Smashing the Festive Season Without Getting Smashed

Smashing the Festive Season Without Getting Smashed

Christmas is just around the corner, and although things might look a little different this year, there’s one thing that will always remain the same – festive drinks! While the festive season is all about having fun and celebrating, it can be a particularly challenging time for anybody in their sobriety. So, here are our top tips for smashing the festive season without getting smashed!

 

1. Remember Your Why

With drinks in full flow over the festive season, it can be easy to lose sight of the reason why you’re sober in the first place. Stay connected to your why by reminding yourself of it regularly, so that whenever someone offers you a drink, you know exactly why you’re turning it down. 

2. Create New Christmas Traditions

Instead of dwelling on not being able to enjoy mulled wines (well you can, just the AF type!) and getting drunk on festive tipples, create some new Christmas traditions! Think wintery walks, Christmas markets for tasty treats, and spending time with loved ones without the booze. Reinvent what Christmas is to you, away from boozey nights and messy memories.

3. Tell People You're Sober

Socialising with lots of people often comes hand in hand with the festive period. And although things might look a little different this year, we’ve no doubt that there will be many merry Christmas zoom parties. Take the pressure off by letting everyone know (who needs to know!) that you’re sober. It saves awkward conversations and assumptions.

4. Don't Be Afraid To Say NO

Saying no can seem daunting at first, but don’t be afraid to do it! If someone offers you an alcoholic drink, turn it down and ask for an AF version instead. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

5. Make Self Care A Priority

Socialising over the festive season can be exhausting, especially in sobriety! So prioritise self-care, make time to look after yourself and factor in down time. And don’t forget that when everyone else is suffering from an awful hangover on Boxing Day, you’ll be able to enjoy feeling nice and smug!

How To Ditch Sober FOMO

How To Ditch Sober FOMO

The fear of missing out can creep up at the most unexpected times and be an ugly trigger. If you are struggling with Sober FOMO our guide below is here to help you!

1. Play the tape forward

       Look at the next 12 hours and see where you would be in 12 hours time if you drank alcohol. What would the next day look like? How would it feel? Where would you end up? It’s important for us to be realistic about where our drinking takes us, play the tape forward and to ask ourselves if we really want to be in that place.

2. Enjoy remembering it all in the morning

Remember the times when you woke up and had to piece the night together? Message a friend and ask them what happened? Look at your uber account to see where you ended up? That feeling of uncertainty, anxiety and regret. You never have to ask yourself any of these questions again or feel this way after a night out. Whether you decided to go out and not drink or decided to stay in, you can wake up knowing exactly what you did, who with and where. Why would you want to miss out on that feeling?

3. Indulge in some YOU time

What a complete joy to have an evening by yourself being able to have a bath/shower, read a book, order/cook some delicious food, get an early night and wake up feeling fresh. Missing out on a night out can be a complete blessing which allows you some time to relax, reflect and recuperate.

4. Be grateful

       Write down the 5 things you are grateful for that not drinking gives you. Here are a few of our examples 1) I am grateful I don’t have to waste a day with a hangover 2) I am grateful I got to have an early night 3) I am grateful to wake up with no regrets.

5. Remember you get to have it ALL

       The irony is you aren’t missing out at all, by not drinking you are leading a life where you get to do everything, properly show up and take part in it ALL! You can go out on a Friday night and still make your exercise class on Saturday morning, you can go out for drinks on Thursday, Friday AND Saturday with no problem and be totally present. You can be there for the most important people in your life while being the best version of yourself!

Sober Dating

Sober Dating

For many people dating and alcohol go hand in hand but it’s time to rip up the rule book. Consciously sober dating builds stronger relationships and deeper connections that can lead to longer lasting partnerships.

Here are some sober dating tips from Sober & Social Founder Emily Syphas:

1. Tell them you don't drink before the date

       Honesty is the best policy when it comes to sober dating.  I always make someone aware of the fact I’m not drinking before going on the date. That way if they truly don’t want to go on a sober date or date someone sober in the long term, you have already saved yourself wasting time on someone who, quite frankly wouldn’t have been right for you.

It’s best to manage expectations before you go, especially if they are planning the date. It will avoid you being taken to a wine bar where they probably won’t have much on the menu you can drink and it won’t be enjoyable for either of you. Some people may not be on board with your new conscious lifestyle which is also fine, but laying honest foundations is crucial to setting you on the path to finding someone in total alignment with who you are.

2. Be Confident

Own the fact you won’t be drinking and feel confident that you will be turning up to the date being the best version of yourself. You want to create a healthy and conscious relationship and you will only do this by being healthy and conscious within yourself. This choice is something to be proud of, the right person for you will be intrigued, open and totally on board with trying a sober date. The more confident we are in our choices the more confident and at ease others will be.

3. Be Creative

Sober dating is the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons and do something different! It’s the chance to go bowling, play table tennis, challenge  someone to a game of darts, play mini-golf, go axe throwing, pottery making, try an exercise class you have always wanted to do or go on a sober bar crawl! The beauty of not drinking is it makes you explore different things and gives you the chance to be creative instead of just going for a drink! The best bit? You have tried something new, truly connected with someone and wake up hangover free. Cialis consegna immediata Cialis consegna immediata

4. Find a drink you love

       Not drinking doesn’t have to be boring as there are so many amazing alternatives that are just as interesting as the real deal. Finding a drink you love on a night out will make all the difference and even allow you both to try something different together. If your zoom dating perhaps suggest you both bringing an AF drink to the party.

Top Tips for Navigating Friendships

Top Tips for Navigating Friendships

When beginning your sober journey, a noticeable area of change is often in the dynamics of your friendships and relationships. You may need to heal friendships that you have damaged in your drinking days, you may need to ‘come out as sober’ to your friends or you may need to make space for your new sober friends.

Below are our top tips on how to navigate your friendships as your sober self.

1. Be Honest

       We personally found the more honest we were about our sobriety the better our friendships became. We were totally honest with our nearest and dearest as to why we were making this decision and because these people love us they wanted the best for us. You will be surprised how supportive people will be when they know your why. Honesty is definitely the best policy.

2. Suggest Fun Activities

Suggest other ideas away from your usual drinking environments that you would usually hang out in together. Go to an exercise class, meet for brunch, go for a walk and grab coffee. You can still spend together but you just need to change what you would usually do together (AKA getting smashed)

3. Find Sober Pals

This has been one of the most game changing and rewarding things we have done in our sobriety. It means you have a strong network of people that truly understand you, support you and are your sober cheerleaders.

4. Set Boundries

       Make sure you are realistic with your friendships. For example if you are going on a boozy night out and you know everyone will be drinking, manage expectations and let them know you will be attending but not be staying the whole night or if it’s something that is to triggering politely decline and organise a lunch on a future date. Don’t feel like you have to attend everything.

5. Let Them Go

Sometimes people won’t get it and just like life friendships ebb and flow. There will be some people that you may feel disconnected to with your new found sober lifestyle but there will be others you will grow closer to who will be able to better support you. It’s okay to let people go and free up space for you and for new friends to flow in.