Socialising without the most powerful social lubricant
You may not need that drink as much as you think
Nothing gets a party going quite like a bottle of liquor. Our ancestors also recognised alcohol’s power; in his book Drunk, Slingerland argues that alcohol caused humans to become more cultural and communal, providing the “spark that caused humans to form large-scale groups”. These sparks turned into the flames that fueled the beginnings of civilisation as we know it today. Evidence from biology and evolution also fits in with this theory; we probably wouldn’t have evolved the enzymes needed to break down alcohol if early humans didn’t benefit from it.
The idea of taking alcohol’s fewer negative effects and using them to your advantage is appealing. This is the premise of Academy Award-winning film Another Round, which sees four middle-aged teachers attempt to stay moderately drunk for days at a time. However, the film makes it clear that the line between tipsy and drunk is deceptively easy to cross. In other words, any benefits that alcohol provides quickly wear off after only 1 or 2 drinks.
Alcohol and COVID-19
The critical success of this film, as well as the increase in alcohol sales over the past year, both point to the idea that more people have been turning to alcohol to cope with the global pandemic. Alcohol provides the same benefits that it did during early civilisation; feelings of joy and euphoria, as well as a temporary blockage in the brain pathways that lead to stress can be especially desirable right now.
How to socialise sober
As we slowly emerge from a year of distancing and isolation, the pressure to socialise with alcohol may be rising. Especially in our society, drinking alcohol is a cultural norm that can be hard to escape. However, when it is more harmful than helpful to indulge, there are some ways to socialise without it.
Join a sober group on Smart recovery
Now that it’s becoming safer to, consider meeting up with people on a similar journey. You can go on hikes, plan picnics, or even just grab a cup of coffee with other sober people in your community. The best part is that these outings are low-cost and often free. To learn more visit Smart Recovery Nova Scotia to attend a virtual meeting.
Take a sober vacation
If you are looking to travel but trying to avoid triggers in your environment, consider travelling with Sober Celebrations. Also, sober travel can be far less daunting with the support of other people who are on the same journey as you.
Keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand
This trick works for several reasons. For one, you won’t have to explain why you’re not drinking to every single person at the summer barbecue. Also, hosts can’t casually put a drink in your hand if there is one already there. Finally, the drink can be a powerful physical reminder of your goals if you ever feel tempted to indulge throughout the day.
Make an escape plan
Even despite our best intentions, socialising sober also depends on things which may be outside our control. A demanding host or pushy party guests might make staying sober harder than it needs to be. Having an escape plan becomes crucial in these times. This can be as simple as bringing your own vehicle to the event or having a cab on standby when you’re ready to leave.
Social events can be full of triggers for people recovering from alcohol dependency. However, rest assured that it is possible to socialise even despite this (non-alcoholic beverage in hand).