I’ve only been sober for the past nine days, so I am anything but qualified to dispense advice about how to go sober cold turkey. Some heavier drinkers might even experience withdrawal symptoms and may need advice from a medical professional or counselor if they want to give up drinking.
I was never a heavy enough drinker that I would need to worry about withdrawal symptoms such as delirium tremens, I was more of a “binge” drinker, but I was drinking way too often for it to be a reasonable thing to keep doing at the same pace. So I recently decided to give up alcoholic drinks for an entire month (though I’m wondering if that cold/flu Nyquil I took last night counts as booze because it’s 10 percent alcohol)! I am still trying to figure out how to navigate a world full of watering holes as a sober person, and I don’t plan to give up drinking permanently (just for 30 days). All of that said, here I go with a few…
Sobriety Survival Tips
- Stay hydrated. It will help flush out the toxins.
- Sparkling water is your best friend. It’s cheap, doesn’t have sugar, and is bubbly like a vodka soda or…beer. Keep your fridge stocked with it. Top off a glass with a splash of cranberry juice, lemonade or any other juice you like.
- Ask about non-alcoholic options at the bar. Most will make “virgin” versions of margaritas, daiquiris, etc. Don’t go too crazy, though – these drinks are loaded with sugar (don’t trade one bad thing for another).
- You may have trouble getting to sleep at first when you cut off the “crutch” that drinking has provided. If you have trouble sleeping, try Zzzquil by Nyquil (or the generic alternative). It’s non habit forming and unlike its cousin Nyquil cold/flu, doesn’t contain alcohol. Give it a couple of hours’ lead time to work and allow enough time for you to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep (if possible).
- Plain carbonated water is almost always a fountain drink choice at most restaurants/bars. It’s pretty refreshing mixed 50/50 with lemonade.
- Get as much exercise as you can. Preferably walks out in the fresh air when weather allows.
- Find other ways to pass the time at bars (board games, pub/bar trivia, etc.)
- Enjoy those hangover-free mornings! Count each day you don’t have alcohol as a personal victory!