How to Socialize Without Alcohol and Still Have a Great Time
You know that your drinking has gotten out of control lately.
You’re tired of waking up the next morning with either absolutely no memory of the last night’s events or memories that you wish you could forget.
In addition to the emotional consequences of excessive drinking, you’ve also put on weight, continuously struggle to stay focused throughout the day, and are dealing with other effects of alcohol withdrawal like the shakes.
However, you can’t deny that alcohol has become the centerpiece of your social life, and you’re concerned about how to have fun without alcohol.
The good news is that sober fun isn’t as impossible as you might think. Want proof? Click here to secure your place at today’s free quit drinking webinar.
Read on to learn more about not only how to get through a social event without drinking, but also the benefits of doing so. We’ll also fill you in on how to get help to stop drinking without going to rehab or attending AA.
How to Have Fun Without Alcohol
If you’re used to spending every social event a few steps away from the bar, an evening without alcohol likely sounds absolutely awful.
If you can’t drink, you don’t want to go, because you know you won’t be able to have any fun without alcohol to loosen you up, right?
Sober fun is an adjustment at first, but it won’t change your social life as much as you think.
Let’s talk about how to not only get through events without alcohol but also how to actually enjoy them even more than you did when drinking.
1. Bring a Sober Friend
Let’s face it: quitting drinking isn’t easy, especially in a social setting.
Everyone around you is drinking, and as the evening continues, you start to realize that you’re the only one who isn’t tipsy at the party. This can quickly make you feel like the “odd one out.” You may feel like you’re “missing out” on the fun that everyone else is having, or even that other people don’t want to talk to you because you’re sober and they’re not.
Though this isn’t the reality, it can be nearly impossible to convince yourself of that at the moment.
That’s why, especially for your first few sober outings, it can be an awesome idea to bring a sober friend with you. This way, you’ll have someone to talk to and, most importantly, someone who can keep you accountable.
But what if you’re at an event where you can’t bring a plus-one?
The good news is that, no matter what you might think, you’re probably not the only sober person there. Ask your host beforehand (more on that later) if anyone else who is sober will be present, then introduce yourself.
You can also ask a trusted friend to stay sober with you throughout the night. (Offer to buy them dinner to sweeten the deal.)
2. Choose an Activity-Based Setting
Unfortunately, many people choose to drink or indulge in another substance out of little more than boredom.
If you don’t have something to do, it’s tougher to avoid reaching for the booze.
Plan to meet your friends in a place that’s centered around a group activity.
This can be somewhere like a bowling alley, a paintball range, a pottery class, or even a movie. If it’s a setting where alcohol isn’t even on the menu at all, so much the better.
3. Hold Onto Something
It sounds so minor at first, but making the transition to not having a drink in your hands at a party can be much tougher than you think (just ask anyone who has also quit smoking.)
Keeping your hands full and busy can help you to avoid the urge to drink.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re sipping on a glass of orange juice or chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. If possible, aim to have something in your hands.
In addition to making you feel more comfortable, it also makes other people who may not know about your sobriety less likely to offer to get you a drink. Water or seltzer with lemon or lime often does the trick.
4. Socialize in the Daytime
Sober fun doesn’t just have to happen at night — and in many cases, socializing during the daytime as opposed to happy hour and beyond can help you to stick to your sobriety.
When you make plans with friends, ask them to attend fairs and festivals with you that take place during the day. You could also go for a run/walk in a local park, hit the mall, or just meet up for brunch.
In addition to avoiding the temptation to drink, you’ll also love the added benefit of an earlier bedtime.
5. Connect With the Host Beforehand
Especially if you’re still relatively new to sobriety, it can be intimidating or even embarrassing to think about telling someone that you’re no longer drinking.
However, doing so not only reduces the stigma around alcohol addiction, but it also helps hosts know how to help you avoid triggers and make sure you have plenty of options.
After all, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll be able to avoid situations where alcohol is present for the rest of your life. Instead of staying home, do what you can to prepare.
Ask the host to provide mocktails or even see if you can help them with things like serving guests or cleaning up to keep yourself busy during the event. They can even leave out things like board games for sober guests to play together instead of drinking.
The Benefits of Sober Fun
We know what you’re thinking:
Is sober fun actually possible?
Especially if you’ve relied on alcohol to help you deal with mild to severe social anxiety, or if you feel like you can only “be yourself” once you’ve had a few cocktails, the idea of a night out without alcohol doesn’t just sound boring, but also downright intimidating.
The truth, however, is that having fun without drinking comes with a whole host of benefits for both you and everyone around you.
Let’s take a look at a few of these many benefits now.
1. The Chance to Be Everyone’s Favorite Person
Studies show that designated drivers have saved more than 50,000 lives over the past 40 years.
If you really want to be the most popular person at a party, you don’t have to act like a clown or keep pouring shots for everyone. Instead, you just have to volunteer to be the designated driver.
In addition to saving lives and making sure that any friends who have overindulged get the help that they need, staying sober in a social setting means that you can step in to stop situations that are close to getting out of control.
Helping a friend save face in front of their crush or stopping a work colleague from making a long-winded “speech” when they can barely stand up are things that everyone will thank you for later.
2. No Regret or Embarrassment the Next Morning
Most of us have made fools of ourselves when we’ve had too much to drink, but if you think you have an addiction to alcohol, the regret and shame can reach new heights.
It can also carry serious social consequences.
No one wants to wake up and be bombarded with a memory of insulting their boss within earshot or making an inappropriate pass at a friend’s partner.
Often, this cycle of shame is what causes you to continue to drink the next night.
Plus, if you frequently blackout because of excessive drinking, it can be frightening and incredibly stressful to wake up the next morning with no memory of your behavior or even of your present surroundings.
While sometimes, the things you do when you’ve had too much to drink are only mildly embarrassing, in other cases, you may make decisions that can completely derail the course of your life.
You don’t want to hurt yourself or someone else because of how much alcohol lowered your inhibitions.
In some cases, getting drunk can even impact you financially.
Studies show that “drunk online shopping” is a $30 billion a year industry. Be kind to your liver and your wallet by quitting drinking.
3. Cutting Down on Calories
Excessive drinking doesn’t just lead to embarrassing social situations and hazy mornings — it can also cause you to seriously pack on the pounds in as little as a few months.
This list of the calorie counts and actual serving sizes of some of the most popular kinds of alcohol is a major reality check for many.
Sober fun doesn’t just offer emotional benefits, but numerous physical ones, as well.
In addition to cutting calories, you’ll also notice you have an easier time falling and staying asleep, that you have less redness in the face and lighter undereye circles, and that your face isn’t puffy the next morning.
Best of all?
When you’re no longer spending all of your day’s calories (and then some) on alcohol, you’ll have much more room to indulge at the dessert table.
4. Friendships, Not “Drinking Buddies”
When most of your social life revolves around drinking, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re the “life of the party” with tons of friends who are always eager to meet up with you or extend an invitation to hit the bar with them.
However, the reality is that many of the people you spend every evening with as an alcoholic (or as someone who often over-indulges in alcohol) aren’t really your friends.
Instead, they’re more like your drinking buddies — and alcohol may very well be the only interest you actually have in common.
Once you learn how to have fun without alcohol, you’ll be able to form deeper and more genuine connections with people you meet. This means the chance to connect with people who share your interests and hobbies, the opportunity to learn (and remember!) things about their lives, and a more enriching social life overall.
5. Freedom From Hangovers
Once you’ve decided to enjoy life without alcohol, one of the biggest physical benefits you’ll experience is the absence of hangovers.
There are few things worse than having to go into the office or get things done around the home with a pounding headache, nausea, and all the other unpleasant side effects of a hangover.
But most of all, you’ll be able to wake up the morning after an event or just a casual meeting with friends feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
This means no more “lost days” spent recovering, more time to do the things you love, and the end of arguments with family members who are tired of picking up the slack because you’re too hungover to help.
Are You Ready to Stop Drinking?
While adjusting to a life without alcohol can take time, once you take the plunge you’ll realize that sober fun is much more possible than you thought it could be.
You’ll see serious mental and physical benefits once you give up drinking.
Though you’d love to be able to get sober, the reality is that you don’t have the time, financial resources, or even the kind of personality for Alcoholics Anonymous or traditional rehab facilities.
Still, you also know that you’re not strong enough to rely solely on “willpower” to quit drinking. You wish there was a way to get help to stop drinking without having to completely rearrange your life.
With our incredible online live seminars and courses, there is.