Why i’m going semi-sober this summer

“I’m looking forward to lots of sunny mornings when I’m going to get up early and smash my spin class rather than still being smashed”. Find out why DOSE writer Sam is sticking to the three drink limit this summer…

I am currently in a difficult relationship – with alcohol.

Over the last year I have been examining my drinking habits after finding there was a total disconnect between the amount of alcohol I was consuming and my new healthier lifestyle.

While sometimes weeks will go by when I don’t have a drop of booze and I’ll be at the top of my training game, I’ll then have a big night out and in one excessive drinking session undo all of my hard work.

The next morning I’ll wake up with a raging hangover, stuff my face with carbs, miss my workout, experience overwhelming anxiety and generally feel very crappy for at least two days.

I’ve never had a problem with drinking per se but sometimes I don’t know when to stop. Why? Partly due to my own lack of willpower (I’m an all-or-nothing type) but also because it’s often just expected that I will drink. The stigma attached to choosing not to drink is immense. When I say I’m not drinking or try to miss a round my friends look at me wide-eyed and disappointed.

So how to stop yo-yoing between health and unbridled hedonism? Yes, I could just give up alcohol altogether but I love a cocktail and a glass of fizz as much as the next girl. I need a third option: semi-sobriety.

Semi-sober or ‘mindful drinking’ is a rising trend that involves adopting a conscious approach to drinking whereby you think about what you’re drinking and how much of it. It’s about finding a halfway house between abstinence and excess, and drinking what you want and not what’s ‘socially acceptable’ or out of habit.

The movement is big news in London as more of us are seeking social drinking without the hangover. We’ve seen mindful pub-crawls, sober raves and Kombucha bars popping up all over the city. Studies also show more than one in five adults are now teetotal – the lowest in over a decade.

There’s plenty of advice out there on how to moderate your drinking from drinking more slowly to alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

To help me on my way I’ve decided I’m going to stick to a three-drink limit. This I’ve worked out is the number of drinks – Prosecco or gin and slimline tonic – to make me feel warm and fuzzy but completely in control. It also allows me to get eight hours of decent sleep and wake up hangover free. Hallelujah.

With summer beckoning and a number of notoriously boozy festivals, barbeques and soirees in the diary, there seems no better time to put my new drinking plan into practice and prove to myself that semi-sober drinking is possible.

I’m looking forward to lots of sunny mornings when I’m going to get up early and smash my spin class rather than still being smashed. Let’s all raise a glass (of Kombucha) to that.

By Sam

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