Four reasons I’m drinking less & embracing low/no living

Written by Alana McKenna

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Over the past few months, I’ve seen an increasing amount about the ever-expanding world of low/no alcohol in the media. Whether that be through spotting an ad of the newest low-alcohol spirit on the morning commute or being physically handed a 0.5% beer as part of an OOH activation, reading an article about the latest celeb to quit booze or seeing an influencer posting about their journey in going sober, it’s hard to steer clear from the noisy topic. As we approach another Christmas and all the booze and over-indulgence that comes hand in hand with the sparkly season, I’d like to share a few things I love about low/no, as this is one of the first years I’ll be drinking a bit more ‘mindfully’.

1 – Taking the wheel when it comes to feeling confident

As someone who used to use alcohol as a means to feel confident at social events in my teen years (which often ended messily!) and a lover of the partay, I never thought i’d consider myself as a ‘sober-curious’ person, but I’ve certainly been thinking about it a lot more in recent months. Part of this comes down to wanting to be the healthiest version of myself, but a big part of it is definitely down to a booze-free (or booze-reduced) lifestyle becoming a lot more normalised through all forms of media. 

Drinking more mindfully has meant less drinking in social situations, as I listen more to my intuition on whether the booze is calling my name because I actually fancy it, or because I feel like I should be drinking it. This has resulted in me feeling a lot more confident with simply existing in social situations as myself, knowing I’m just as fun without alcohol and know how to have a good time regardless of the % number on my drink.

2 – Investing more in myself and the small moments that bring happiness (rather than hangovers)

A couple of months ago, I thought I’d try drinking less in line with ‘Sober October’, which resulted in only 3 nights of drinking throughout the month and unsurprisingly, had a lot of perks. One of the main benefits was the money that went unspent on drinks. Whilst I didn’t ‘save’ all of the money as such, I did find myself investing more in myself and on the little thing res that make me happy, even on things as simple as more frequently walking to the local coffee shop for a morning oat flat white and almond croissant whilst working from home (#basic I know, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it).

The money side of things really got me thinking about how crippled the way I (and I know a lot of my peers feel the same) thought about spending on drinks vs other things was. To put it into perspective, I wouldn’t think twice about spending £15 on a couple of pints at my local during an evening out, but would feel adverse to spending a £15 monthly app subscription that plans all my workouts/runs for me for the whole month, and in turn makes my life easier AND makes me feel better?! Or a fraction of that on an entertainment subscription, which would provide me endless hours of entertainment for the whole month.

3 – Feeling more connected with people

To follow on… I also found myself a lot more in tune with human relationships and conversations whilst out at typically drink-fuelled social situations, where I was just as (if not more) confident speaking with people I barely knew or hadn’t seen in ages. I assume working in an industry where communication is at the heart of everything we do and I’m constantly chatting with new people has helped with that one!

4 – Feeling fresh fresh fresh

Don’t get me wrong, when I’m in the mood for it I love a pint, negroni or tequila shot as much as the next person, but all the buzz around low/no beverages and the benefits of drinking less has definitely made me more in tune with when i actually want a drink, vs when i feel like I should have one. There’s such a huge amount of choice out there now with regards to low alcohol spirits, cocktails, beers, the list goes on, and waking up with an ever-so-slightly healthier bank account, no hangxiety and feeling a little smug about feeling fresh is pretty nice too – so I’ll continue to honour those occasions where I don’t actually feel like drinking!

Hopefully it’s only a matter of time until I’ll be able to work on one of the many exciting low-alcohol brands out there, and maybe Santa will even fill my stocking with some low/no spirits this year!

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