How to have fun without alcohol: A guide to a sober social life

Whether you’re quitting alcohol for physical health or mental health, there are many ways you can have fun while avoiding alcohol. Although drinking culture is extremely prevalent in the UK, there are many ways you can have fun without a drink.

Shawmind is an early intervention charity, working towards educating people to have the knowledge and understanding on how to look after their mental health. Whether you’re wanting to quit alcohol for mental health reasons, financial reasons or productivity reasons, in this article, we’ll be giving you an insight into how to have fun without the alcohol.

What are the benefits of a sober social life?

Improved physical and mental health

Although it may seem harmless, alcohol is a drug. This means that long-term usage can have serious physiological and psychological effects. This includes liver failure, dementia, breast cancer, depression, anxiety and more.

A life without alcohol returns your body to its natural, alcohol-free state, which allows it to flourish and function how it is meant to.

Increased productivity

A life without alcohol can bring your energy back. Staying sober can increase the quality of your sleep and make you feel more energised. You’ll have a better mental and physical state which can make you feel more motivated.

Cut costs

The cost of your social life doubles or even triples when factoring in the cost of alcohol. You’ll be saving tons of money that you can put towards more necessary things if you cut it out. Not only will you be saving on alcohol, but you’ll be saving on taxis too!

Improved relationships

A sober mind is a clear mind. Without alcohol, you will be able to approach relationships with a clear mind. You will also have more energy and motivation to spend time with family and children. This can develop stronger relationships.

Better clarity and perspective

The physical and physiological effects when you stop drinking can give you a better outlook on life. Because you feel better, you will have better thoughts, and feel more motivated to look after yourself. You will also start to realise how to have fun with meaningful people, hobbies and interests.

How to socialise without alcohol

So much of adult social situations in the UK is centred around alcoholic drinks. From evenings out with friends, to pub-Fridays after work, it can be difficult to understand how to restructure your life to be alcohol-free.

Here’s a few things you can do to have a good time without drinking.

Creative pursuits

Pick a creative hobby that you might be interested in. This can be photography, painting, pottery or cake decorating! Find time to work on your creative interests. Find like minded people in your creative field, this will allow you to have a social network where alcohol isn’t the common ground.

Volunteer work

If you want to do something beneficial and productive for the community, volunteer work is a great way of helping those who need it. You could even work with those wanting to get sober. Or, you could help homeless people whose lives have been affected by alcoholism and substance abuse.

Fitness and sports

When you stop drinking, your body will become much healthier and energised. Use this newfound energy to work on your physical and mental health by taking up exercise. This can be anything from walking on the treadmill, playing tennis or learning yoga.

You can join classes at your local fitness centre and make good friends with people with the same interests as you.

Cultural events

Concerts, festivals, museums and theatre shows are designed to be enjoyable without alcohol! Watching your favourite artist or show is a fun activity, and you are guaranteed to enjoy it without feeling like you need a drink.

Game nights

Game nights are great social events where friends and family can get together and have fun. Rather than serving alcohol, opt for your favourite snacks and let everyone know it will be a sober night. This way, you’ll feel comfortable and won’t feel pressured to drink.

How to build a social circle

Being around people who drink can be difficult for sober people. Although some may be comfortable with it, other sober people may prefer to opt out of drinking events and choose to develop a sober social agenda.

For this, you’ll need to develop a sober social circle. Here’s a few things you can do:

  • Find sober people in your area through online communities
  • Make social connections through shared interests and passions
  • Host alcohol free gatherings like a sober games night
  • Attending sober events
  • Join a sober society if you’re a student at university
  • Join clubs and groups focused around a shared interest, like a book club or football club.

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