Embarking on a journey to sobriety is a huge lifelong decision that you won’t regret. Alcoholism is a damaging and potentially life-threatening disease that can create numerous problems in all areas of life.
Undertaking ‘Sober October’ could be an exciting prospect to move towards health and happiness, as well as beneficial for charity. Most of us consume alcohol at one time or another; however, when overconsumption leads to poor mental health and an imbalance of physical health, things can get a little overwhelming.
That is why Sober October is a brilliant method to help you curb your alcohol cravings, feel ready to tackle life again, and raise money for charity in the process. Find out how to smash Sober October here.
Understanding the Importance of Sober October
Sober October is a fundraising campaign that seeks to help people wanting to quit alcohol or slow their habit for a healthier lifestyle. Targeted for over 18s, and along with changing the way that you think and feel about alcohol, you can also choose to help your favourite charity in the process.
Sober October began in 2014 as a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support and continues to be affiliated with numerous charities nationwide. It is a great motivator and encourages people to start the campaign together, to create a new pathway to a better lifestyle. Furthermore, Sober October is a great way to raise awareness for conditions associated with alcohol abuse.
The Benefits of Sober October
There are a number of benefits of Sober October. Just as you would cut out sugar or caffeine for a month, numerous health effects start to take place. Just one month of no alcohol can impact the body positively. If you’re used to consuming more than average, you’ll immediately notice a change in your mood and physical health.
Taking control of your alcohol consumption offers mental, physical and emotional benefits. The sense of community through Sober October can allow you to learn, grow and change.
Mental Benefits of Sober October:
- Clearer mind
- Ability to talk about the issue
- Less brain fog
- Lesser episodes of anxiety/depressive episodes
- Improved moods
- More motivation to do the things you love
Physical benefits of Sober October:
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased risk of long-term health issues (cardiovascular/liver disease/cancer)
- Better sleep
- Better or more balanced appetite
- More energy
- Improved skin (for those with rosacea for example)
- Improved memory
Emotional benefits of Sober October:
- A sense of belonging
- Feeling more able to speak out about what hurts you
- Better control of your emotions
- Clearer mind
Sober October is a pathway to a balanced intake of alcohol and can spark numerous emotions within you. If you feel that your mental health has taken a dive, it is important to reach out to someone such as your GP or an Alcoholics Anonymous group for information on why this may be happening and what to do about it.
Challenges Faced and How to Overcome Them
Sometimes people who abuse alcohol frequently are more likely to need additional support during this time. If you know that you often reach for alcohol in stressful situations and drinking is part of your daily/weekly life, then most likely you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Quitting for a month may seem an easy task at first glance, but there is a strong chance that there are pitfalls and temptations that could make it harder to complete.
Find out how to smash Sober October below by following our guide of coping strategies:
Seek support from local groups, online page forums, or your doctor to keep you motivated to continue Sober October. Speaking up and reaching out to other like-minded people, or explaining your worries and your struggles is a great mental health step towards success. Hiding your concerns can trigger other mental health issues, or exacerbate pre-existing ones.
Write down your fears, keep a journal, and be open to conversations about going sober. Supporting someone during Sober October is also important. Keep open-minded, supportive, kind and gentle.
Joining group challenges
Group challenges can be a fun and active way to get through your Sober October month. Whether that is reaching for another distraction when you feel you need a drink, or perhaps switching up a glass of wine for a non-alcoholic cocktail, there are ways to make the change fun as well as successful. Knowing you are not alone can bring comfort during a challenging month and will help you to smash Sober October.
How to Smash Sober October
You may encounter some challenges during Sober October, therefore you may need to do some forward-thinking. Ensure that you support one another if you’re undertaking the challenge in a group. Understand yourself and those around you who are willing to try, as it is a huge step towards a healthier mindset and future.
Here are some quick-fire tips to help you smash Sober October:
- Keep active
- Keep social
- Try new non-alcoholic drinks and flavours
- Keep a diary of your progress
- Reward yourself with your triumphs (take a cinema trip, buy yourself something)
- Eat well
- Ensure you have good sleep (as much as possible)
- Keep talking it through
Post-October: Maintaining the Momentum
Once you have smashed Sober October, maintaining the momentum of sobriety will ensure that you can continue living with the benefits of Sober October. Once you have had a taste of the benefits of sobriety, it may be an easy concept to slow down the drinking and curb your desire for alcohol. Keeping a drink diary will allow you to monitor your habits, and encourage moderation. Staying within the guided limits of alcohol consumption will keep you feeling positive and ready to continue.
If you feel that Sober October has been a struggle, or that you are unable to continue the commitment, you should seek professional advice from an alcohol rehab.
There are numerous clinics and rehabilitation services available, and getting free and honest information is important. There is no need to feel alone in your quest for sobriety, and overcoming alcoholism can be difficult. If you would like some impartial, non-judgemental advice and information, please reach out to Addiction Advocates. We are committed to creating a happy and healthy environment for anyone wishing to improve their mental health and cut out alcohol from their lives. Please feel free to call us today on 0800 012 6088 or get in touch to learn about our services.
-  fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support - https://www.gosober.org.uk/about/the-challenge