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Are You Going Sober For October?

Friday, October 2nd, 2020 | News

Known as Sober for October, or October, the tenth month of the year is a great chance for people to cut back on their intake of alcohol. Considering it’s been a particularly tough year for everyone with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and society having to completely adapt to a new way of living, it’s no surprise that there are numerous reports of increased alcohol consumption during 2020.


If you’re one of those people who has found themselves consuming more alcohol, maybe October will provide the perfect opportunity to cut down again and start picking up some healthier drinks and snacks. These are by no means a way to stop an addiction, if you worry you are addicted to alcohol, please contact your local GP who can provide support options. 


If you’d like to find out more about getting help for alcohol addiction, please visit the link below:

NHS Live Well


1.   Make your friends and family aware 

The first thing to do when stopping alcohol consumption is tell your friends and family. There are two benefits to doing this. Firstly, you are creating a sort of public promise with those around you, which will help keep you on track as humans are wired not to let down those they love. Secondly, letting others know will mean they are much less likely to offer you a drink or put you in a situation where you are tempted to drink.


Even though we are still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, pubs across the UK are still open, so removing the temptation to visit the pub will go a long way to helping you stop. 


2.   Set clear goals 

When attempting any kind of change in your life, it’s really important to set clear and concise goals. This is what makes Stop for October a really great concept as the goal is in the title and it’s achievable. You know the exact amount of time you need to stop drinking alcohol and you’ve got a precise date to reach. Use a calendar and mark each day at a time, as every day is a small victory!


3.   Replace alcohol with something else 

For many people, an active social life is a vital part of day-to-day living. While that is currently quite difficult with the UK facing a second wave of lockdown restriction, friends are allowed to meet for drinks in pubs and restaurants while following government guidelines for social distancing. Fortunately, you don't have to stop seeing friends as most bars, pubs and restaurants offer a range of exciting non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails. Meaning you can still spend time with friends while following your new teetotal lifestyle. 


If you’re someone who enjoys a drink at home there are plenty of alternatives to choose from; the many different types of tea can make a great replacement, along with sparkling water, juice and whatever else tickles your fancy. While sugar drinks aren’t a great long-term replacement, they will help you make the original transition a little easier before moving onto non-diuretic drinks that keep you better hydrated. 


4.   Pick up a new or old hobby 

If you do decide to stop socialising, maybe consider picking up a new hobby? Physical activity is a little more limited than usual as a result of current restrictions, but there are plenty of solo hobbies to choose from. Whether it’s arts or crafts related, creative or musical, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy and your mind off the pub. Learning a new hobby will also increase the amount of dopamine in your brain, resulting in a confidence boost that you wouldn’t have found consuming alcohol. 


5.   Use the money saved to treat yourself 

It’s no secret that drinking alcoholic drinks can be incredibly expensive, especially if you live in a city. A great way to motivate yourself through October is to think of the money you will save and maybe treat yourself to something at the end of the month if you successfully make it through. Alternatively, you could put that money into savings if you’re considering going on holiday or saving for something much grander. 


We hope these simple tips help you on your Stop for October journey, although there are plenty of other helpful tips online including support from the NHS which you can find by clicking the link below:

NHS Live Well - Tips on Cutting Down


If you would like some guidance on how to best maintain your mental health during this pandemic, please check out one of our latest blogs on the topic:

The importance of maintaining your mental health during a pandemic

Learn more about Covid 19 here