The past few years have seen a drastic shift in people’s relationships with alcohol. While the pandemic led to a spike in binge drinking, it also sparked a growing interest in sobriety, especially among younger generations. But what about the people in between, who are ready to re-examine their drinking habits, but don’t want to cut alcohol out of their lives completely? Lately, people have been turning to mindful drinking practices to gain some perspective.
Essentially, mindful drinking is the practice of thinking before you drink, focused on reflection instead of restriction. For a lot of people, alcohol has become a habit. If you’re used to grabbing a beer after a long day at work or opening a bottle of wine every night at dinner, you may not think of how those choices affect the rest of your life. Mindful drinking encourages people to pause and think about whether or not these habits are actually serving them. Anyone looking to improve their health, get better sleep, or even save money, might want to consider how changing up their drinking habits could enhance these other areas of their lives.
If you’re thinking about putting mindful drinking into practice, here are a few easy tips to get started!
Figure Out Your “Why”
There are a hundred different reasons to drink, and a hundred more reasons not to. Take a minute to check in with yourself and think about why you want to drink at that moment. Is it habit? Pressure to go along with the crowd? A way to self-medicate? Make sure that you’re not defaulting to alcohol and get clear on your “why.”
Thinking before you drink is a good policy, but it can sometimes be hard to put into action. If you’re serious about cutting back on alcohol, it can be helpful to set specific goals that help you be more mindful. For example, if you notice that you don’t feel your sharpest the morning after drinking, you might decide to cut out alcohol on workdays and see how it feels.
Savor your Drink
When you are drinking, try to enjoy each sip. This is a great way to enjoy alcohol while still being mindful of why and how you’re drinking. It can also keep you from downing drinks too quickly and ordering more than you actually want.
Don’t Focus on FOMO
So much of socializing is centered around alcohol, but I promise, you’re not missing out on anything by turning down a drink. Instead, try to focus on what you’re gaining by being more mindful of your own needs - and if the FOMO is too intense, you can always look for alternatives. There are plenty of activities that don’t need to involve drinking, and sober events are popping up in every city. Also, saying “no” to an invitation where you may feel compelled to drink but don’t want to is OK. The earlier days can be especially hard, and sometimes treating yourself to a night at home might be just the ticket.
Try Alcohol Alternatives
The days of shirley temples and club soda are long gone. As the sober curious movement grows, more alcohol alternatives are becoming readily available. From mocktails to ready-to-drink beer and wines, there’s something to match everyone’s taste without making you feel like you’re ordering off the kid’s menu.
Check out our past blog posts to learn more about zero-proof recipes and ingredients!