How to Embrace a Sober and Sober-Curious Lifestyle: Tips from Bartenders

It’s important to have the right mindset about sobriety. My social circle changed when I got sober because I realized that many of my relationships were based on getting drunk together, and that was it. Alcohol merely blurred my perception of social situations. When you remove alcohol from your life, you free up all the time you spent drinking and recovering from drinking.

Now that you are sober, you may have discovered that some of your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic. It’s not just your drinking buddies and drug dealers who can get you into trouble—sometimes being sober around drinkers those who are closest to you can contribute to a relapse. Other definitions, however, often focus on the process of recovery and developing coping mechanisms and habits that support health and wellness over the long term.

Drunk people become experts—and want you to know it.

It is helpful to be sensitive about this issue, as so much is at stake, but to also remember that it is that person’s own responsibility to manage their recovery. Remember, you’re not alone; there are resources available to help you stay focused on sobriety. Embrace honesty in your journey, prepare for social interactions, identify triggers, and avoid temptation. For more information on addiction recovery, check out SAMHSA. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, get enough sleep, and engage in mental well-being activities like meditation or yoga. Triggers can be anything from certain people or places to specific situations that make you want to drink.

It’s particularly therapeutic to find something to do with your hands. Don’t get down on yourself because you can’t get wasted at the bar with your friends anymore. But I’m going to explore solutions for people who sit at various points along the “sobriety is so boring” spectrum. Additionally, when you drink heavily for a long period of time, your brain will actually start to shut down dopamine receptors in the brain’s reward center in response to the artificial boost of dopamine from alcohol. So it’s not that sobriety is inherently boring; it’s that your serotonin and dopamine levels are now very low.

Join a Support Group

Long-term heavy drinkers often experience intense thoughts about alcohol. They begin to feel a strong desire or compulsion to drink. People in recovery from alcohol addiction often report alcohol cravings as a reason for relapse. There are a variety of reasons, aside from problem drinking, why someone might decide to be sober, including health concerns, general well-being and pregnancy.

But if you can’t or aren’t able to do a group class, at the very least, take a tech-free 30-minute walk every day. I promise it will do wonders for your mental health, which, in turn, will help you feel motivated to do more things. Your friends are out getting drunk, the same as they always do. Meanwhile, you’re at home wondering how many days it would take someone to find your body after you’ve choked on those peanut M&M’s you’ve been knocking back during your latest Netflix binge. When I was a heavy drinker, everything involved alcohol.