How to Start a Mindful Drinking Journey

How to Start a Mindful Drinking Journey

Did you start the year with Dry January? If you made some thoughtful progress during a break from alcohol you may be wondering how to keep your mindful lifestyle going.  Or, are you sober curious and wanting to take the next step?

The “premise” of the buzzing new term, "mindful drinking", a practice the team here at Cut Above follows, is awareness and choice

Someone who drinks mindfully is intentionally aware of how much they’re drinking and for what reasons. 

Derek Brown, author, NASM-certified wellness coach, and founder of Positive Damage, Inc., defines mindful drinking as being “against unconscious consumption - In other words, drinking without thinking.”

If you joined in on Dry January, you likely know that limiting your drinking has its benefits. The Alcohol Change UK reports that 70% of Dry January participants have better sleep and 66% have more energy

Also, 86% of participants save money.

So why not continue exploring after January!? 

Keep reading for our tips on starting a mindful drinking journey this year. 

Embrace a Mindset Shift

Reflect on what you’ve learned in your time without alcohol (and your time with it).

Ask yourself questions and record in a journal (or talk to someone if writing isn’t for you) - Self Magazine suggests these Q’s:

  • Do I use alcohol to manage uncomfortable emotions, or is it something I turn to when I’m happy? 
  • Do I always go a little too hard with a certain group of friends? (If so, how can I still connect with those friends without drinking alcohol?) 
  • Do I drink when I’m bored or to mark the end of the workday?

  • It’s important to note that the “view” you might’ve previously had of alcohol is no fault of your own, but that of a society that's long normalized over-consumption through marketing tactics, lack of accurate safety warnings, media glamorization, and more. 

    However, people across the globe are changing their minds about alcohol due to the introduction of advanced non-alcoholic products and other factors like sober (sober-curious, soberish, etc.) authors, Gen Z’s disinterest in drinking, and a general focus on wellness post-COVID-19. 

    Asking yourself questions and reevaluating as you go is essential for maintaining a growth mindset. To help develop new ways of thinking, consider chatting with friends, family, or local community members who have experience with mindful drinking or sobriety. 

    It’s okay to let go of habits/beliefs we learned a long time ago and accept a new outlook! 

    Try Flex Drinking

    If you’re not “all in” on the idea of being alcohol-free, cutting back might be your next step in pursuing a more mindful lifestyle.  Terms such as “damp” or  Flex drinking, are similar to mindful drinking, but usually refers to someone who drinks in moderation, consuming both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  At Cut Above we’re about providing choices to support how much alcohol you want to consume by reducing or replacing the alcohol in your favorite cocktails.

    Going Alcohol-Free

    Got through your dry month feeling good? Aside from reflection and possibly setting new goals, you’ll want to consider preparing to attend events, celebrate wins, or enjoy holidays with zero-proof beverages. Social pressure or the feeling of missing out on a “tradition” (like drinking during the Superbowl or at a wedding), can bring people back to drinking after trying to stop, as well as stress, lack of social support, and low self-efficacy.

    The thought of embracing life without drinking can seem intimidating, but that’s simply because for you it may be an “unknown” experience. Take it one day at a time and focus on which of your behaviors and environments are helping you be the best version of yourself. 

    Stay connected with Cut Above on social media to see mindful living in action and connect with the massive online sober community.   Or check out our no or low alcohol cocktail recipes on our website.

    Set Yourself Up for Success

    Whether you’re going “AF” or remaining flexible, set yourself up with the right tools to ease into your mindful journey. Since 2018, the Sober-Curious Movement has been gaining popularity in North America and across the world, which means more alcohol-conscious folks are creating helpful resources. Something you might notice about people who reevaluate their relationships with drinking is their desire to help others find what “freedom from alcohol” means to them. 

    From books to podcasts and blog posts like this one, there’s never been more people talking about this subject than there are right now. Find tools that resonate with you! You may also consider new techniques for stress reduction or natural relaxation in place of alcohol like yoga, dance classes, painting, walking, etc. 

    Lastly, there’s no reason to sacrifice flavor if you love a good cocktail - consider swapping out some of your beverage options at home with no or low ABV options, like Cut Above’s zero-proof spirits or curated cocktail kits.

    Books we recommend: The Dry ChallengePush Off From Here, Sober-Curious, and Soberish.

    Podcasts we recommend: Sober Culture, This Naked Mind, We Can Do Hard Things, and Alcohol-Free Radio

    We hope this post helps you find direction in your journey!

    Shop Cut Above: 

    Our Alcohol Free SPIRITS

    Try our Sample Size Variety Pack to discover which one is your favorite.  (The variety pack includes all 4 Cut Above Spirits with 3 alcohol free cocktails in each of the 4 trial size bottles!)
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