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5 Tips to Have Fun without Drinking

eating ice-cream in Parque Forestal

Drinking can be fun AND you also don’t NEED it to have much as it might feel that way (talking from personal experience here!).

If you want to break the habit of drinking to have fun, because you're getting tired of feeling shitty every weekend, spending tons of money, or because you're starting to feel a tad out of control with your drinking, I share 5 tips to help you begin challenging this belief and learned association:

5 tips to challenge your belief that "it's no fun without a drink"

  1. Plan social hangouts that don’t always include drinking, even if they’re in the daytime. I’m not asking you to order a pop next time you meet your bestie at the pub or cocktail bar. I'm not asking you to sip water at your friend's 40th birthday bash (unless you want to of course). What I AM saying is to plan hangouts with your friend(s) once in a while that don't involve drinking. That might be meeting for coffee or lunch, a picnic in the park, the movies, or even meeting for dinner. I personally find it easier to not drink when I go for Asian, like sushi or pho, since they serve nice teas.

  2. Try non-alcohol drinks, like beer if you’re a beer drinker, or mocktails, once in a while. They can be pretty satisfying. What I like about non-alcoholic beer is that I don't have to change my beer drinking rituals. I just replace regular beer with a non-alcoholic one, like having a beer on the porch on a hot spring day. A couple of years ago my husband I went out for Italian food. I had a cocktail and a glass of wine. It was a Friday night and our local bar was happening, so we went there after dinner. Since I already had a buzz from my two drinks and didn't want to continue consuming alcohol, I ordered a non-alcoholic sour at the bar. Of course, I had had a couple of drinks so it's not like it was a dry night for me. But in the past I definitely would've kept going with a couple more drinks...and then regret it the next day.

  3. Remind yourself that drinking for fun is an association and learned behaviour, not a fact. There are millions of people that don’t drink and wouldn’t understand this association. But because you've already 'learned' it, unlearning it can feel painful. If you decided to NOT drink at your next social event, there's a good chance you won't have a great time. This is a totally normal response. If your goal isn't to quit drinking but to cut down, just try and find or create opportunities to not drink. The more you do it, the easier it'll get.  

  4. Redefine fun. Maybe fun doesn’t always have to be big parties, or extravagant dinners, or getting high and cracking up till dawn. Fun can be so many things. I relate fun to pleasure. Long bike rides in the summer with my husband and son is fun for me. Meeting my bestie for breakfast and then walking around the city remembering our goofy youth is fun for me. What are more subtle forms of fun for you? 

  5. Book a free coaching session with me to get started!  Yes, I offer free coaching (one 60 minute session), and paid coaching packages. Learn more here.

Remember, this isn’t about NOT drinking, but about disrupting the cycle of habitual drinking.  Because choosing to NOT drink sometimes can feel empowering and freeing.  Feeling like you have a CHOICE to drink or not drink puts you in the driver’s seat. And so I hope you get something from these 5 tips to have fun without drinking.

This process isn’t necessarily easy, and requires self-compassion and non-judgement, because you won’t always feel like you’re in the driver’s seat, and that’s ok! Drinking less doesn't happen overnight. It's a process.


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