10 Good Reasons to Have a Sober September. I love the autumn and love September which is traditionally a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. The children are (hopefully) going back to school and the scent in the air is that of damp leaves, warming soups, new books and shiny new pencil cases stuffed full of possibilities.
After a troubling few months of being stuck indoors and self medicating with alcohol, September is a fabulous time to draw a line in the sand, take a step back and reassess your relationship with alcohol.
Thanks to the Sober September movement created by Cancer Research UK back in 2016, many people across the world take this opportunity to have an alcohol free month. If you are thinking of doing the same, here are ten good reasons to have a Sober September.
You can look after yourself
Let’s face it we all need a bit of self care and attention right now. Wine is not self care. If you have been feeling wrung out, stressed, drained and in need of a rest then a Sober September will put you right. Autumn is the perfect time for brightly coloured warming soups, early nights with a book, long blustery walks along the beach, cozy evenings and lazy Sundays.
Put yourself first this month, rest when you need to, rehydrate yourself with water and herbal infusions, eat as much of the autumn rainbow as you like and listen to your body. Tiredness, stress, worry and anxiety are signs your body is telling you something. Take some time out and really think about how to show yourself some love, care and attention.
You will enjoy your weekends
With the recent experiences of lockdown and restrictions to our lives, it can seem that the days have been blurring together and it has been difficult to work out where on earth we are sometimes. The kids going back to school signifies a return to (relative) normality and it’s easier to see where the week ends, and the weekend begins.
Take advantage of time off at the weekend and do something. When you don’t drink it can be surprising just how long the weekends actually are and what you can get done! If your Saturday and Sundays mornings are usually spent hiding under the duvet and recovering from a hangover then you will get to experience the joys of mornings at the weekend again. Take your time, do something nice, plan a day out or just potter about at home.
Think of different things to do with friends and family that don’t involve drinking.
Think of different things to do with friends and family that don’t involve drinking. Walks together, coffee dates, movie nights with good food or going somewhere new are all brilliant ways to spend your time and you will see that you are actually gaining so much more and not missing out on anything.
You can connect to nature
Autumn, for me, is the perfect time to really connect with nature. My hayfever has gone for a start so I can enjoy being outside without suffering itchy eyes and a runny nose! Watch the colours change, enjoy the chilly scent in the air and spend time outdoors without annoying flies, too many people and . Some of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon in September are blackberry picking and collecting pinecones. Autumn is the time to really enjoy nature instead of just passing through.
Try something new
For me September is all about fresh starts and new beginnings. I remember when I was teaching in the UK and I would be welcomed by a sea of fresh smiling faces at the start of each term, all eager to learn. After a summer of not doing so much, why not use your Sober September and your renewed energy and focus, not to mention extra time, to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. If you are not sure what it is you might want to do, then have a look at 30 things to do instead of drinking.
If you fancy broadening your horizon’s then there are so many great online courses out there now, everything from Moon Magic or Marketing to Cake Making and CBT. If you decide to do an in person course or learn a new skill at an evening class like Yoga or creative writing, filling your evenings with something better than drinking is such a rewarding and satisfying thing to do for yourself.
You can spend your booze money on better things
With Christmas just around the corner (yes, it will be here sooner than you think) now is the perfect time to start putting a bit of money away. Work out how much you would usually spend on alcohol, remembering the added extras like stodgy food, taxis, random Amazon purchases and that morning can of coke. Make yourself a Sober September spreadsheet or get a nice jar, or even open a savings account to put in all the money you are not spending on drinking and recovering from drinking.
Even if you treat yourself with something nice each week you might be surprised at just how much you have in there by the end of the month. We were spending our mortgage equivalent on booze every month, so this is a real eye opening exercise.
You will have more energy
Even though I spent the first couple of weeks sat on the sofa drinking endless cups of tea and eating chocolate, pretty quickly my energy levels started to rise. If you are used to getting up every day feeling dull and sluggish, imagine how great it will feel to emerge from sleep feeling awake, alert and ready for the day.
Use your extra energy to take a morning walk or even spend time with your loved ones and really being present. The more you carry on with an alcohol free lifestyle, the more your energy levels will rise and just think what you could do with it!
Check out these tips on how to have a Successful Sober September
You will sleep better
Following on from above, another reason to have a Sober September is to improve your sleep. All the people I speak to tell me that after a little while of not drinking alcohol, their sleep gets so much better. Alcohol is really bad for your sleep as this video explains, so even if you do spend a week or so tossing and turning at night, just remember that your body is just trying to get back into its natural rhythm again. Once it does, then wow! Hello gorgeous nights of blissful slumber.
Of course having good sleep has a massive impact on our general health and wellbeing, especially our immune system and who doesn’t need a healthy immune system right now?!
You can indulge yourself without the guilt
I don’t know about you but when I was drinking I would never treat myself or allow myself moments of indulgence because I felt I wasn’t worth it, didn’t deserve nice things and that drinking was my only reward. Make the most of your Sober September to get out of this pattern of putting yourself down, and indulge yourself as much as you like.
Whether that means staying in bed a bit longer to read or mediate, sitting alone with your cup of tea in peace, or buying yourself that special thing you’ve been eying up, then do it. The little things are the nicest too so don’t worry about breaking the bank. There is nothing more lovely than a face massage, a longer than usual shower, fresh flowers or a new book to show yourself you are worth it.
Need some inspiration to support you through Sober September? Get the 30 Days of sober Inspiration E-Book
You will be so much more productive
I don’t mean that in a ‘let’s power up our mornings and do 5 K before breakfast’ kind of way (unless you want to) but just think of all the things that don’t get done or are left until the last minute because you simply can’t be bothered. I remember looking at my list of things to do after a few beers and thinking I just don’t care.
Cue kids with no clean clothes for school, a late bill, making do with what’s in the fridge instead of popping to the shops, greasy hair because a shower was just too much effort or a mountain of things waiting for me the next day. All of this leads to overwhelm, even more negative self talk and actually a reason to reach for the wine to block it all out. Instead of putting things off or moving them to the ever growing list of ‘things I must do’ imagine getting to the end of the day having done what you wanted to do.
Simple things like, finally fixing the leaky tap or getting round to cancelling the whatever it is you don’t need anymore, will make you feel like you have achieved something, and you will have. Small steps every day soon add up. What can you get done in a month?
You will feel better
Above all one of the best reasons to have a Sober September will just make you feel so much better and that for me, is what sobriety is all about. It’s not just the physical side of things that will improve such as more energy and feeling fitter and lighter, but a break from alcohol will improve your emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing so much. Imagine having less negative self talk, more headspace, not over thinking and criticizing everything you do. Less space taken up with thinking about drinking, sharper focus and less jumbled thoughts.
If you are ready for a glorious Sober September and need support then I’d love for you to join us for not one, but three amazing months to transform your relationship with alcohol and transform your life.