It can be challenging to maintain your social life when you stop drinking. You may feel like you’re the only person not partying and that everyone is talking about you behind your back. But there are ways to make the transition easier and to stay connected with your friends. Here are a few tips from Sherief Moustafa for maintaining a social life when stepping away from drinking alcohol.
Health Benefits of Reducing Alcohol Intake
Reducing your alcohol intake can be a great way to improve your health. Alcohol contributes to several chronic health conditions, including liver disease, heart disease, and cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for about 88,000 deaths annually.
In addition, alcohol has been linked to weight gain, sleep problems, and anxiety. So, by cutting back on drinking, you’re not only improving your physical health but your mental health as well.
But reducing your alcohol intake doesn’t have to mean giving up socializing altogether. There are plenty of fun activities that can be enjoyed without drinking alcohol. Here are a few ways to maintain a social life when stepping away from drinking alcohol.
Try Unique Non-Alcoholic Drink Options
Just because you’re not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you have to drink water all night. There are plenty of delicious non-alcoholic drink options available. And with the rise of mocktails and alcohol-free bars, it’s easier than ever to find a tasty non-alcoholic drink.
So, next time you’re out with friends, order a handmade lemonade or a virgin mojito. There are plenty of options available, so you’re sure to find a non-alcoholic drink that you enjoy without feeling left out.
Add Alcohol-Free Events to Your Social Schedule
If you’re finding it difficult to socialize without drinking alcohol, try adding some alcohol-free events to your social schedule. There are plenty of fun activities that can be enjoyed without drinking alcohol. Maintaining a balance between the two scenes will help you stay social and make it easier to stick to your goals.
Some alcohol-free event ideas include attending a cooking class, going to the movies, or going for coffee. You could also go to an amusement park, go hiking, or visit a museum. Many restaurants and bars offer alcohol-free nights as well.
There are also many sober meetups and social events happening in most cities. Attending these events is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and make new friends.
Find Alcohol-Free Events to Attend
Many events are specifically designed for people who don’t drink alcohol. There’s something for everyone, from sober clubs and bars to alcohol-free festivals. Sherief Moustafa suggests doing a quick search online or asking for suggestions on alcohol-free events in your area. You might be surprised at how many great options there are. And you’ll be able to enjoy yourself without worrying about the adverse effects of alcohol.
Hang Out With Friends in Laid-Back Settings
Just because you’re not drinking doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have fun with friends. There are plenty of great low-key activities that can be enjoyed without alcohol.
For example, you could try out a new restaurant or coffee shop for lunch instead of meeting up for drinks. Or, you could go for a walk or hike together instead of hitting the bars. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re hanging out with friends in a setting where you won’t be tempted to drink alcohol.
Get Creative With Your Socializing
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your socializing. There are plenty of great ways to have fun without drinking alcohol.
For example, you could host a game night or movie night at your house. Or, you could go bowling or ice skating with friends. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re finding ways to have fun that don’t involve drinking alcohol.
Talk to Your Friends about Your Decision
If you’re worried about how your friends will react to your decision to stop drinking, talk to them about it. Sherief Moustafa believes having your social group’s support can make it much easier to stick to your goals. Let them know about your decision and why you’ve made it. If your friends know your choice to refrain from drinking, they can help you plan social events or be a buddy system when you’re out in public.
Partying and drinking alcohol are not the only activities that can be enjoyed with friends. There are plenty of things to do without drinking alcohol. So, don’t be afraid to stop drinking and still have a great time socializing with your friends.
And if you are in a situation where alcohol is present, don’t be afraid to say no. Your friends should respect your decision, and if they don’t, maybe it’s time to find new friends who will.
Avoid Drinking-Focused Social Settings
Avoid drinking-focused social settings if you’re trying to reduce your alcohol intake. Going to a beer festival or wine tasting will likely tempt you to drink alcohol. So, it’s best to attend these types of events in moderation or not at all.
Instead, focus on finding social settings that don’t revolve around drinking. This could include attending concerts, comedy shows, or art galleries. There are plenty of great options out there that don’t involve alcohol.
Reducing your alcohol intake or quitting drinking altogether doesn’t mean you have to give up your social life. Many great ways to maintain a social life without drinking alcohol exist. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and find what works best for you. With a little effort, you can still have a great time socializing without drinking alcohol.