Here is a question from a Sober October Challenge participant:
"I'm good until Friday/weekend. Then I'll talk myself into having a glass, which leads to most of the bottle. :( Question - Surviving the weekend booze free?"
I had so much fun putting this together! And the content below is jam packed with good information, including four keys to enjoying a weekend sober, fall-inspired soft cocktail recipes by the fabulous Karolina Rzadkowolska, who manages Euphoricaf.com AND 15 amazing tips on how to rock a party sober, which is also provided by Karolina. Check out all the good stuff below!
I believe there are a few factors that go into play when it comes to surviving the weekend and staying alcohol free.
Be Prepared - As you know, alcohol is EVERYWHERE - from the tailgate to the birthday party and from the dinner date to the backyard BBQ. And not only is alcohol everywhere, but it's pretty much expected that you should drink to enjoy any event tied to the weekend. It's just engrained in our society. That's why, it's important to be prepared. You'll need to prepare not only what you will plan to drink but also what you will plan to say and do so you don't get caught off guard.
Practice ordering a few drinks ahead of time. For example, "I'll have a soda water, please!" If they don't have that, then plan to order a lemonade or ask for an iced tea. If you're hosting or heading to a party, perhaps bring ingredients for a fun soft cocktail! (Click hereto see three fall-inspired versions by Karolina Rzadkowolska!)
You'll also need to be prepared to respond to any questions you'll receive from friends or family who are used to see you drinking. Have a few responses on hand, such as:
No thanks, I'm not drinking tonight! I'm taking a break from alcohol.
No, not for me tonight. Alcohol has been messing up my sleep lately and giving me anxiety so I'm not drinking right now.
No thanks. I'm doing a Sober October challenge and am feeling really great removing the alcohol from my life!
I'm doing a lifestyle challenge and am avoiding alcohol right now. Maybe next time.
EDITOR'S NOTE: One of my biggest hangups with socializing during the first few weeks of sobriety was actually telling people. And honestly, so many people responded with grace and support (and oftentimes verbally expressing their desire to cut back).
Visualize Success - I'm a huge fan of visualization. The first time I saw someone do this was Lindsay Vonn at the top of a ski run. (I was watching her on TV - when I reread this it seemed as if I was on the mountain top with her so I’ve edited to avoid any confusion. haha!)
She literally closed her eyes and visualized the entire course beforehand. It's something athletes do to imagine success over and over again. And it has personally worked for me in my personal life.
Before attending an event or starting the weekend from the comforts of home, set aside time each morning to fully visualize enjoying it without alcohol.
Get really specific! Imagine where you are, who you're with and create a picture where you see yourself laughing, having the time of your life and easily saying "no thanks!" to a glass of champagne handed to you - or confidently ordering a soda water at the bar.
Believe you can, decide you can and visualize your success.
Image courtesy of Karolina Rzadkowolska
Create a Distraction - Sober October isn't a time to feel like you're missing out. It's an opportunity to choose something different for your life. Experience a new normal. Have different conversations. Get outside of your comfort zone. You could certainly do the same thing this weekend and just remove the alcohol. But how about trying something new?
Schedule a hike or a fitness class that you've wanted to try.
Find a new coffee drink or dinner recipe that is a little complicated and test it out.
Visualize success (see above!) and relish in the energy and freedom you now have just by the power of your own choices.
Figure Out What Motivates You - Are you someone who loves a gold star? Are you motivated by the carrot or the stick? Figure out what really, really helps you achieve goals and apply it to this.
For example, if you were to take the money that you would have spent on drinks and use it to buy something special Monday morning, would that keep you motivated? Or would you love to share with your husband on Sunday night that you achieved your goal of not drinking? What about committing to donate $500 to a charity if you slip up? Would that prevent you from drinking? Think back to the last time you crushed a goal and work through why exactly you stuck with it - and then use it to your advantage when heading into the weekend.
FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 4
Say your Daily Mantra "I find joy in the journey" whenever you have a chance.
Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 4 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself.
Send any questions you may have to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.