02 October 2023

Go Sober for October for a Good Cause

10 Top Tips

Ask your friends for help and support – are they a help or a hindrance? Make sure you explain how important this is for you and ask them to help. Ask them to encourage you and to give you a good nudge should you look to be about to topple.

Believe in yourself – it’s daunting, the very thought of it but believe in yourself and tell yourself that you are able to succeed; it really does give you a better chance of doing so.

Have a plan for alternatives – think about what you can replace that drink with. There are 0% alcohol alternatives but be careful as they may trick your brain into a place where toppling off your track becomes easier. Plan ahead. Increase your water intake so that simple thirst does not drive you to comfortable habits.

Have self-compassion – if you’re used to drinking most days and your social life or in some cases work life is geared towards it, this challenge will be really difficult. It’s important to remember that you’re only human, and to treat yourself with kindness even when you’re struggling. Don’t be afraid to let yourself have other treats instead of alcohol.

Change your environment – try to think up alternative social outings where you will not be tempted by alcohol. Cinema instead of pub perhaps. A walk with a friend instead of a meal out. A coffee date rather than a wine date. Shape your own surroundings to minimise temptation.

Focus on how far you have already come and your achievement so far – set a goal and be proud of how far you have come to achieve that goal rather than focussing on how far you still have to go. Think of the positive first rather than the negative.

Set several smaller goals rather than trying to achieve 1 big one – this means that you could split the month into 4 weeks rather than looking at the whole month. Celebrate the achievement of every week without alcohol because each one really does help. This makes the task easier.

Remember why you’re doing it -whatever your reasons for going sober, they’ll be a powerful motivator when things get tough. Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, if you are supporting a friend who is going through a difficult time, or you’re just doing it to help a good cause, remembering why you signed up in the first place will help you stay on track.

Beware the ‘what the hell’ effect – if you do slip, try not to use this as an excuse to slip further. Just because you had a sip of alcohol at a celebration as you told yourself it may have been difficult or rude not to, does not mean that you need to finish the glass or the bottle. Every moment can be a new beginning in which you can re-apply that resolve. At the same time don’t be too hard on yourself for slipping in the first place.

Try urge-surfing – this is a mindfulness technique that has been used to help people with addictions. Pay attention to your urges, do not try to suppress the thought as this suppression action can lead you to greater urge. Instead analyse your urge and ride through it. It will pass. Urges do, whether you give in to them or not. You are much more likely to get through the bad or difficult patch if you try to understand it and confront it rather than fight with it.

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