The term “sober curious” comes from Ruby Warrington’s book Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. Essentially, this term is used to refer to the act of simply being curious about sobriety and every impulse, invitation, and expectation we have to drink.

Very few sober curious individuals will have the same exact thoughts and ideals — this is what makes sober curiosity such a widespread philosophy. Sober curiosity is inclusive and allows individuals to have their own rules, approaches, and values within it. This is quite different from the strict, rigid philosophy of sobriety. 

Reasons Someone May Be Considering Sobriety

There are a number of reasons why someone may be interested in living a sober curious lifestyle. Maybe you feel that you have been drinking too much lately. Perhaps you’ve decided that you really aren’t too much of a drinker in general, and you’ve only been drinking because your friends do when they are together. Perhaps you simply want to cut down on your monthly grocery and dinner bills by stepping back on alcoholic beverages. Or maybe you are trying to take a step towards improving your health and wellness through your diet.

These are only a few reasons you may want to step back and reflect on your drinking habits. One of the great things about the sober curious lifestyle is that it is open to anyone who wants to bring more mindfulness and thought into the alcohol aspect of their lives.

Tips for Embracing the Sober Curious Lifestyle

Sober curiosity is a way for you to take charge of your drinking habits and ensure that they are in line with your personal values, goals, and ideals. If you are taking that step back from alcohol and really thinking about how and when you want to indulge, here are a few tips that can help you create your own terms. 

Determine How Much You Actually Drink

Before you can make solid decisions on where you’d like to be in terms of alcohol consumption, you need to know where you are already. Think about how much you drink in a typical week and move on from there. If you aren’t a frequent drinker or have some weeks much higher than others, you may want to look at an average month instead of a week.

Think About the “Why”

Why do you drink alcohol? This is really the biggest question for you to consider when embracing a sober curious lifestyle. Do you drink because you like to relax and enjoy your friends’ company? Do you drink because it helps you overcome your nerves in a social situation? Maybe because you’d feel left out or judged if you weren’t drinking and everyone else was.

Take the time to really reflect and determine why you drink. Once you’ve figured it out, think about whether or not you are willing to move ahead in your life with that reasoning. If you aren’t, think about why and in what situations you may still want to drink and when you do not want to.

Have a Response

If someone offers you a drink and you say no, they may ask you why. Now, you can leave your answer at “no” and move on, but if you want to let a friend or family member know why you are not drinking in certain situations, you may want to have a response prepared.

Whether that is “I don’t want to drink more than a few nights a week,” “I don’t want to drink every time I’m out with friends, “or anything else, a response can help you to quickly fill your loved ones in so they can help you stick to your goals and preferences. 

Find Your Crowd

Alright, no one is saying that you can’t be friends or hang out with your friends who love to go to a bar on Friday night. But you may want to see if those friends would be interested in hanging out somewhere else — maybe at a location that offers more than just alcohol.

You may also find other crowds that align more with your interests. For example, maybe you have a co-worker who loves to go to coffee shops or bakeries that you could start hanging out with more.

Switch Up Your Hobbies

Sometimes people turn to drink when bored or don’t know what else to do with their time. If this sounds like you, it might be time to pick up a new hobby or rekindle an old love for an activity.

Maybe you used to love playing board games, reading books, or even doing DIY or art projects. Encouraging your interest in old and new hobbies can be a great way to prevent yourself from turning to alcohol when you get bored.

Find a New Favorite Drink

This one can be especially helpful if you are a social drinker looking to cut down on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking. For example, when you go out with friends, you might not want to be stuck there without anything in your cup when your friends are all enjoying their favorite alcoholic beverage.

Many bars will make virgin (or non-alcoholic) versions of a number of fun drinks you could enjoy. You could also opt for a soft drink or even a different option altogether, like tea or coffee, if you are at a location that offers more than just alcohol and soda.

Prioritize Health and Wellness

The simple truth is that alcohol is not good for our bodies (or our minds). Reducing the amount of alcohol you are drinking can be a great step toward improving your physical health, but you don’t have to stop there.

You can further prioritize your health by also…

  • staying hydrated.
  • eating good, regular meals that are balanced.
  • getting regular physical activity. 
  • making sleep a priority and getting 7-9 hours a night.

Get Professional Support

Making any sort of change in your life can be incredibly challenging. And when it comes to changing habits, such as drinking habits, there are so many ways that we can benefit from talking with someone. A therapist can not only help you figure out where you are now and where you want to be but also help you stay accountable for your goals and ensure that you are making the type of progress you want to be making.

If you are considering sober curiosity in your life, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.


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