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5 Reasons to Try #SoberOctober

If you’re participating in Sober October, how did week 1 go? I enjoyed celebrating last week by hosting a zero-proof garden soiree with a few friends. It was so fun to introduce people to new flavors and brands – people were surprised by just how many unique offerings there are out there today!

If you’re still on the fence about Sober October, here are 5 reasons you might want to check it out:

  1. Save money! I joke with friends that I spend all the money I save not boozing on alcohol-free drinks, but I know there are savings beyond that – Ubers when I couldn’t get home safely, takeout to nurse a hangover the next day, repairing a phone that “somehow” slipped out of my hands.
  2. Mindfulness: a month off the sauce can help you reevaluate your habits and understand if you might need to make some longer term changes.
  3. More Time! When I first quit drinking I was shocked at how much extra time I had on my hands – now is the perfect time to pick up a hobby you’ve been wanting to try and replace that evening glass of something with picking up a new book, trying out an instrument or hell, even enjoying a new show.
  4. Ditch the hangovers. Almost three years into my journey, waking up NOT hungover still feels like an overwhelming gift. I hate to think about how much of my life I wasted by being hungover, and I thank my lucky stars every day I never have to do it again!
  5. Lose the “Hangxiety.” What’s hangxiety? It’s the feeling of anxiousness that can descend upon you like a cloud the morning after drinking.

As we approach World Mental Health Day on Sunday, October 10, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey toward an alcohol-free lifestyle It has been inextricably tied to my own mental health. Alcohol was the (seemingly) easy solution to quiet the anxiety, discomfort, and a constant feeling of not fitting in, no matter where I found myself. I thought alcohol solved all these things by allowing me to relax, let my shoulders down and let loose – what it really did was pour gasoline on the fire of all of that tension, and in the mornings the feeling of not belonging was further compounded by guilt, shame and embarrassment.

Removing alcohol from my life has allowed me to confront those feelings directly rather than drowning them and ignoring them. It hasn’t been a quick fix. I still deal with them, but I *own* them. And that feels really good.