Strategies to cope when you are not drinking.
It seems more and more of us are choosing to take a break from drinking alcohol.
The fear of not being able to have a good time is something that quickly disappears for most people when they first take a break from the booze, in fact most claim to enjoy social occasions more and apparently dancing is possible without drinking.
“I was genuinely worried I wouldn’t be able to have a good time at parties if I wasn’t drinking” says Katie Murray an executive assistant from Auckland.
At work functions there is often a pressure to drink and be seen to be having a good time, many of us believe we need a few drinks to relax and lose our inhibitions, but it can be strange how easy it is to relax and somehow your mood changes with the group and having fun without alcohol is easier than many people think.
Katie claims dancing sober has been a revelation – “I really enjoy it, maybe more than I did when I was drinking.”
Michelle Dickenson - aka Nano Girl has a slightly different perspective and says as the evening goes on and people become more intoxicated, she enjoys them less and she has learnt to make an early exit.
“It’s a strategy I have learnt, I can have fun, but at a certain point in the evening I tend to just slip away”. Michelle says she is lucky as her husband is a natural extrovert and loves to drink, so as the evening wears on, he tends to stay, while she calls it a night.
Funny man, Guy Williams, does his stand-up routines stone cold sober, which is something that would terrify most of us. Guy claims to have been born with enough over-confidence that he has never needed any Dutch courage. Although he did find it awkward not to have a drink in his hand at parties as people would invariably have a problem with the fact that he wasn’t drinking. His strategy? Take an open can of Baked Beans to hold in his hand, which Guy says solved the problem of people asking why he wasn’t drinking.
“The biggest problem with not drinking alcohol is finding something else decent to drink”, says Lisa King, founder of alcohol free brand AF Drinks.
Lisa stopped drinking after a bout of Vertigo, which she blamed on Gin and Tonics. Lisa quickly learnt that the choice for non-drinkers was pretty slim.
Lisa’s strategy was to create new adult non-alcoholic drinks from scratch. Now she can choose an alcohol-free G&T, Apero Spritz or a Dark & Stormy.
With Dry July a few months ago, almost 50% of us actively cut back, so there is good news. More and more alcohol-free beers and spirits are appearing and having alternatives to full-strength alcoholic drinks seems to be one of the best strategies to cope.