The festive season is undeniably the most indulgent of the year and whilst it may seem absolutely impossible to survive December sober, one woman who’s sailed through has a foolproof guide to an alcohol-free month.
Emily Syphas is the pioneer behind, Sober & Social; the new-age of socialising that provides fun, support and exciting, alcohol-free events at some of London’s premier venues for people living or exploring a teetotal lifestyle.
In 2018, Emily started Sober & Social with an aim to empower people to feel comfortable and confident socialising in social situations without alcohol by creating a sober community through sober events.
“Christmas can be one of most booze-fuelled times of the year,” she said. “It can involve multiple Christmas parties, Christmas dinners, catching up with old friends, the big day itself and then, of course, New Year’s Eve. How on earth could you possibly do this sober? The answer? By being prepared, being positive and being proud!”
Here, Emily shares her practical tips on how to survive the festive season sober.
There are so many amazing alcohol-free alternatives that’s is crucial you are already stocked up. This will stop you from being tempted into having a drink because there isn’t an alternative that you really fancy. As there are so many options, view this as a fun time experiment to try some different drinks and create some non-alcoholic festive cocktails.
Embrace the day
There are so many wonderful things to enjoy over the festive period, whether that’s catching up with old friends, going to a Christmas market, or drinking a delicious hot chocolate. Embracing the simple pleasures of the season is key.
Have a party plan
There are lots of exciting parties to attend over the festive season and yes, you can still go to them sans booze! However, having a plan if you are struggling is sensible to put in place. Think who you could call or message to give you a helping hand and some words of positivity if you needed, is there someone you can go the party with that isn’t drinking or who understands how important you being sober is so you have a wingman/women? Don’t put pressure on yourself to stay all night – it’s perfectly fine to. Tell yourself you will leave when it stops becoming fun and don’t feel guilty about it. Lastly, remember how fresh and fabulous you will feel in the morning when everyone else isn’t!
Think of others
Whether that is volunteering for the homeless, sending a Christmas card to tell someone you love them or giving to a food bank, doing something kind and bigger than yourself and using your free time (without a hangover!) helping others is a win-win for everyone.
Get out of your comfort zone
View the festive season as your biggest challenge that if you can achieve this sober, you can achieve anything sober. Embrace that some situations might feel uncomfortable; this feeling means you’re growing and learning. Give sober dancing a go, sign up to a sober event to go and meet some new sober pals or do something creative like wreath making, card or stocking making classes. Find something you wouldn’t normally do to give you a sense of achievement and keep life exciting.
Being sober is a bold and brave choice but one that betters your life. It doesn’t matter how you get here – whether that’s via recovery, for health reasons or you just made the choice. Embracing your sober self is something to shout about, especially during the festive season; it means you can be present for your loved ones. Remember every single second of the Christmas party and wake up every morning without a hangover.
Cheers to that!