After a somewhat tumultuous start to the decade, many people have started to reflect on their relationships to many parts of their lifestyle, including how much they drink.
With a growing range of delicious alcohol-free beer making it easier than ever to reduce your alcohol intake, Alcohol Change UK noted that a fifth of the population did not drink at all, with that number increasing amongst Gen Z and younger millennials.
However, what that fantastic statistic does not highlight is the growing trend of people who are not necessarily giving up alcohol completely, but are being far more mindful of how much they drink, why they are drinking and reducing the harm alcohol can cause.
This trend, known as “sober curiosity”, takes various forms, with some people limiting how much they drink or spend on alcohol, ensuring they drink water or switch to alcohol-free alternatives, or ensuring they drink less based on habit but instead more based on very special occasions.
Often this can be the first step towards complete sobriety, as once people realise how enjoyable social occasions can be when sober-curious, it can alter their mindset surrounding alcohol, social gatherings and themselves.
If you want to be social, network and enjoy nights out whilst avoiding alcohol or minimising how much you drink, here are some top tips to get you started.
Embrace Your Curiosity
A lot of people enjoy the variety of drinks available on a night out, and with alcohol-free varieties increasing exponentially with huge leaps forward in quality, body and mouthfeel, the best way to let that continue is to jump right in.
Sober curiosity is liberating the second you realise that you have far more options available to you than soft drinks.
Mocktails are just as theatrical when they have no alcohol in them and taste just as amazing in the late spring and early summer sun, whilst the low per cent craft beer scene is arguably more exciting than the alcoholic variety.
Find A Sober Group
Depending on why you drink, who you drink with and how often, it can be really beneficial to spend some time with like-minded people who want to be more mindful of what they drink and enjoy sober nights out.
A good place to start is to go to low-alcohol venues or places with a considerable sober menu that will naturally attract people like you. Not only are you enjoying a range of new drinks but you are meeting new people and making friends at the same time.
Expect The Question
When it comes to your existing friends and people who you socialise with in your professional network, there is typically a point when someone will ask why you are not drinking, and it can be best to have an answer planned so the conversation can move away from it.
Whilst fewer people are drinking and the people who do drink alcohol are drinking less on average, Britain does have a significant drinking culture and according to some sober influencers, a friend choosing to stay sober can make them explore their relationship to alcohol.
You do not have to explain anything of course and you do not owe them anything, but if you are worried that it could lead to awkwardness then a quick one-sentence re