What Is A Sober Curious Community?
Taking a break from booze, even temporarily, can have its benefits. It’s reasons like this the popularity of sober curious communities are growing. People are turning away from traditional programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, which focus on complete alcohol abstinence, to groups of like-minded individuals who want to cut back or take a month off from drinking, to reset and refocus.
In light of new research suggesting alcohol consumption among women has dramatically increased in recent years, it’s no surprise many have moved towards embracing more conscious drinking habits that don’t require you to hold teetotal status.
Alcohol, when consumed in moderate, safe amounts is okay, but it’s still a toxin. Your body, specifically your liver, recognizes that it’s less than healthy and prioritizes alcohol metabolism over everything else – carbs, fats, proteins, as well as vitamins and minerals – so it can remove it from your system as fast as possible.
Drinking even a few beers or glasses of wine per day can put you at a higher risk of deficiencies and malabsorption issues since alcohol prohibits you from getting the nutrients you need from the food you eat.
A common side effect of taking a break from alcohol is brighter eyes, losing that stubborn layer of extra calories usually found around the stomach, shinier and fuller hair, and clearer skin. Think of exploring the sober curious movement for a few weeks as a reset for your whole body.
I’M CURIOUS. TELL ME MORE!
The key to any transformation – even if it’s temporary or short-term – is planning ahead and knowing what your game plan is. Habits can often be more psychological than physical, so being prepared and knowing what to do instead of drinking is key.
PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE
Dry January may be a one-time thing a year, but really you can explore sober curious at any time.
Many within the sober curious community plan their schedule around big events where they know there’ll be a lot of alcohol to help them stay within limits. Consider embracing sober curious by not drinking or limiting your drinking during a vacation.
Instead, throw yourself into activities or pack some good books you’ve been meaning to get through and set yourself up on the beach. Remember, your nervous system and concentration are impacted by excessive alcohol intake, so more often than not, you probably don’t read as much as you want while boozing it up on vacation.
Change that immediately!
BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY
Alcoholics Anonymous can be helpful to those suffering from serious alcohol addiction; however, in a world dominated by social media and sharing, the “anonymous” part tends to be a turn off among the internet-savvy generation.
Talk to your friends, family, or network and tell them you’re thinking of trying out the sober curious movement, and ask if they want to join. Drinking is ingrained in adult culture, but sometimes when you know you’re not embarking on a journey alone, taking a friend along can be helpful in maintaining momentum.
Instagram hashtags like #soberissexy are commonplace too, which makes it easier for you to find events and like-minded people to get curious with.
It’s easy to associate a tropical cocktail with a vacation or a bloody Mary with Sunday brunch, but with a little creativity and planning, you can replicate the same drinks, sans alcohol. If you’re looking for inspiration, ITN founder, Cynthia Garcia has a great Piña Colada mocktail recipe that will make your kitchen feel (and taste) like you’re on a Caribbean island.
Many bars now carry adaptogen and floral-forward alcohol-free elixirs to meet the demand of their sober curious crowd.
Remember, sober curious is about exploring what it’s like to be clear-headed and cognitive in situations where you’d usually have a glass of wine in hand. It can be a great time to experiment and step outside your normal comfort zone.
Can you engage in deeper conversations with others? What’s your body telling you about situations? What can you learn about your sober self in these situations?
Many who embrace sober curious still drink their favorite wine or indulge in a top-shelf whiskey or gin now and again. The difference? The decision in on their schedule.
No more “event dread” when the expectation at a gathering or night out is drinking, despite being less than enthusiastic about doing so. The sober curious community isn’t for everyone, but then again neither is drinking.
Everyone has individual needs, and having the option to reduce versus abstain is great for those who want to evaluate their alcohol intake and drinking habits while embracing better skin, clear-headedness, and hangover-free weekends occasionally.
What are your thoughts on being sober curious?