The First Sober Night
I remember the first time I went on a night out and wasn’t drinking. I was 18 years old, I’ve just passed my driving test as you know once you pass your driving test you spend the next 2 weeks firmly glued to your car chauffeuring everyone you know around, just because!
I had football the next day and wanted to go out for my friends 18th so decided I would drive in and not drink – otherwise, Monday morning at Sixth Form wouldn’t be worth it.
My mum repeatedly told me that if I was to drink even a little and drive back I’d be disowned.
Now, stretch your mind back to the 18th birthday parties you used to go to…
Everyone would just get unbearably drunk as quick as they could – it would be really really fun, either at one of your friend’s houses while their parents were away or some small pub on the pints – either way, it was always going to be a messy event.
So, I’m putting my finest Jack Wills polo shirt on and getting ready to celebrate the 18th and then try slip away when everyone is too drunk to notice. I jump in my Silver 08 Ford Ka – the worst car ever as voted by Top Gear – and head into town to meet everyone.
As soon as I enter the pub I’m offered a drink by my best mate Sam, I have to explain that I’m not drinking tonight because of football in the morning.
“You’re Boring” he explains.
I walk to the bar to get a drink. As soon as I order a pint of coke two of my other friends at the bar say
“Why aren’t you drinking tonight??”
In which I then had to explain that I had football in the morning.
I head to the table where everyone is sat down to be met with another question
“Is that coke? Aren’t you getting a pint?”
We’ve all been there and had them nights when we were younger. As we’ve grown up we’ve got more disposable income, our own flats and a lot more freedom to make our own choices. These factors make it a lot easier to give in to peer pressure.
Just because you are doing Dry January, doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and enjoy yourself, there appears to be a disconnect between people who feel that alcohol makes nights out, it doesn’t. Nights out are made by memories you make with the people around you. If you are committed to doing Dry January here are my tips for surviving nights out.
Tip 1 – Make a plan for early Sunday Morning
The same way I had the commitment of Football on Sunday Morning, you can make a commitment which will keep you from drinking the night before.
- Find a destination, commit to it and go on an early morning dog walk with friends
- A morning PT session – nothing makes you think “I’m not going to drink tonight” like an early morning PT session
- Visit your parents – hard enough sober, let alone on a hangover!
Tip 2 – Be The Designated Driver
Since going Sober the money I’ve saved from Alcohol has been spent on petrol. I frequently end up driving people into town and acting as a part-time Uber driving. With the recent clampdown on driving under the influence, especially the morning after, I would say that anyone getting behind the wheel after drinking anything is stupid.
Take your car with you, stay sober and get everyone home safe.
Tip 3 – Treat Yo’Self
Alcohol is great for relieving stress and pressure, so we use it to blow out after a hard week. Food has the same impact.
It is very well documented that certain foods can reduce alcohol craving, my advice eats well and enjoy food – even on the night out – if you are having a craving get food.
My top 3 are below.
1. Complex carbohydrates such as breads, pastas and rice
2.Bananas and sunflower seeds
3. Green vegetables, fruits and leafy greens
So – Grab a pizza, sandwich and have fun!
Tip 4 – Trick Yo’self
There are so many alternatives to alcohol that actually taste nice.
There are the non-alcoholic beers – but these actually continue alcohol in…
Mocktails are great – they give the feeling of having a cocktail without the alcohol or my new favourite drink Seedlip. This is the first non-alcoholic gin – it tastes nice and tricks you into thinking that you’re enjoying a G&T without the side effects.
If you want any more advice during Dry January drop me an email; Dom@socialchain.com
Read my last blog post-2018 Goals
As well as the advantages of going Sober: What Being Sober For 18 Months Teaches You.
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