Joining the movement towards conscious consumption of alcohol , or sober curious, is both very interesting and very scary. Perhaps we will sleep better and be able to give up foundation – or maybe we will find out that part of the relationship only works with the participation of a glass of wine, and we will have to give it up. Changing any habits is not easy: even if (most likely) there is a brighter and healthier future behind them, abandoning the status quo means losing part of your identity. Daria Nifontova went this way two years ago and is not going to stop, but we asked her to tell what awaits those who want to learn more about the conscious consumption of alcohol.
Your life will not change as much as it initially seems
Let’s start right away with deflation: in most cases, switching to mindful alcohol consumption will hardly change your life. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules – situations with addiction or an environment that is not ready to support and intends to force them to obey their rules. But in general, giving up alcohol affects the daily routine and well-being less than it initially seems. Yes, you will still have difficulty waking up early in the morning if you are used to sitting on TV shows until 1 am, feeling weak if you do not go to the gym, and indulging in despondency from the lack of sun.
You shouldn’t get upset right away. There are health benefits, albeit not lightning fast, in such a refusal – and perhaps you will understand all the benefits of this solution in a dozen years. The biggest loss is the absence of a hangover, but it does not mean at all that you will have to give up “hangover” breakfasts too, so that at least you will not lose in the pleasures of life.
You will become more attentive to other people.
People will remain the same as before, but you will start to notice changes in their behavior at parties faster. It’s easier to see how friends change when drinking alcohol: who becomes brave from wine, and who is frankly greyhound, who is sad, and who immediately falls asleep. Bonus: you can finally remember all the dances that inevitably end with a dashing party.
If you are a Samaritan at heart, you can use this skill to bring mineral water and ibuprofen to the center of the party at the right time – and collect thanks the next morning.
It is better to prepare answers to questions in advance.
Although it’s the 21st century and everyone seems to know about respect for personal space, alcohol consumption is still strongly intertwined with social interaction. So, the answer to the question why you do not drink is best prepared in advance, if you are, in principle, ready to explain the reason to others. They will ask both when you completely give up alcohol, and when you limit yourself to one or two drinks. Relatives, friends, colleagues, waiters and bartenders will ask, and sometimes, like a cherry on a cake, even completely unfamiliar people.
There can be many reasons for switching to conscious consumption, but a ready-made neutral response will alleviate a potentially stressful situation. Remember that it can be anything, as long as it provides your comfort and safety in the conversation – both moral and physical. Since you will have to repeat the answer often and for a long time, it will be time to add jokes to it and test different versions.
Condemnation is also worth preparing
All those acquaintances, colleagues, and bartenders who don’t see problems with intrusive questions will also not see problems with saying what they think about your decision. As in the previous paragraph, it is better to think over the reaction to such messages immediately and rehearse to the teeth grinding. It has been checked: no mental resources will be enough if you have to get upset every time – even an organism that has conditionally improved its health without alcohol is not ready for such stresses.
Ideally, you should find a partner, a kind of wingman , who will be on your side and in the event of a critical overload of the system, he will be able to take questions and comments on himself. Whether it’s a friend, a sympathetic acquaintance, or someone who has gone through alcohol withdrawal himself – he will know exactly what kind of pressure you are facing.
You will love to spend time differently
It is easy to get rid of the cheerful intoxication intoxication, but such a life can seem boring. In order not to get discouraged at parties and without them, research the market for alternative entertainment in advance: you can turn off your brain and experience a physical recovery from sports, board games or sweets. Of course, everything is not so simple: you need to love training, it will be difficult to find a company that quotes board games more than drinks, but everything about sugar is clear anyway .
Most likely, you will have to combine the entertainment and learn how to get the joystick from the PlayStation in time and invite the party participants to cut themselves in Just Dance – but you will catch the right moment soberly much better. Of course, provided that your group of friends is caring and ready to meet you halfway, you will not have any special difficulties: playing games, walking or just chatting to soul mates is pleasant at any level of alcohol in the blood.
You will understand the soft drink market
In principle, you can hold out on bread and water, but we do not support such extremes. Instead of wine or cocktails, you can enjoy a bunch of other drinks, especially since their variety is as great as the number of grape varieties. Mango juice, Japanese soda, oat kvass with basil – all this raging variety awaits you on the side of sobriety. Sweet or sour, carbonated or not, with sweeteners or sugar, bitter, floral – choosing your dream drink is as difficult and simple as finding the perfect perfume.
A nice bonus: in six months you will be able to distinguish up to eight brands of tonic with your eyes closed and start getting discounts at fruit stands for homemade lemonades. Any limitation stimulates creativity, and by giving up alcohol, you open up a million opportunities for yourself. Behind each of them is at least a non-alcoholic “Bloody Mary”, and at the most – a decadent punch of rose and cardamom.
The head will hurt much more often.
Perhaps youth is already leaving, perhaps magnetic storms are raging, but one thing is certain: the less often you drink, the more clearly you will feel the consequences of drinking. The routine, in which a bottle of beer ends every dinner, has only one dubious advantage – you quickly get used to it, and self-awareness is calibrated to such a rhythm of life, but the same thing happens when you give up alcohol completely or almost completely. A couple of glasses of champagne for New Years or a glass of cider on your summer veranda will likely give you headaches and weakness the next morning, even if you weren’t previously affected by four times that amount. A nice bonus: after such a hangover, it will be easier to quit drinking next time.
Conscious alcohol consumption in the absence of a pronounced addiction, on the one hand, is a very simple undertaking that does not require reinforced concrete vows, and on the other hand, it is a complex process that can reveal all secret prejudices and truly test your patience. Knowing the upcoming difficulties in person will not relieve the awkwardness when you are once again asked to explain your choice – but it will give a little more strength, because many have gone this way before you. And most importantly, regardless of whether you have a glass of wine or a glass of juice in your hand, maintain respect for the choice of others and compassion for them.