Ditching the booze is no easy feat, but if you view a month off the booze as an opportunity to be open to new things and welcome new adventures, then you could find sober life, or at least a moderated approach to drinking, stretching beyond 31 days. 

Virgin cocktail brand, Mavrik, has teamed up with Stop Drinking Coach and sober expert, Anna Sudbury, to explain why it’s not about what you are missing when you give up or reduce alcohol, but actually what you’ll gain when you become sober curious. 

When Anna first went sober, she kept a diary in the first month, and noticed these five amazing changes:

Improved sleep!

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Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

Without alcohol disrupting your REM sleep, you sleep properly, deeply and restoratively. Everyone’s sleep will repair and restore at different times in their sober-curious journey. This was the first dramatic change Anna noticed. And it’s so powerful! When you are sleeping properly, you wake up with energy. Yyou can tackle the to-do list, the yoga class or the school run in a positive mindset. For Anna, the dread of getting out of bed and the morning grogginess disappeared and she found she needed less coffee to function, and  started the day in a better frame of mind. And sleeping properly knocked her anxiety levels way down.

Say ‘yes’ more often.

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Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Anna thought her social life would suffer without the prop of alcohol, but she was wrong. She says yes to late night cinema screenings because she is not obsessed with making up her sleep – as she has got sleep in the bank-  and she loves to see a movie now the kids are in bed. She says yes to going to an early gym class on a Saturday, because she knows she’’ll be full of energy, and feel even better afterwards. And there’s no hangover holding her back. Finally, Anna says yes to her kids more. Yes to baking a cake (where previously she’d have dreaded the mess). Yes to another game of Uno, or a conversation about Pokémon. Because Anna is  well rested, and doesn’t have the alcohol irritability, she finds she is  gentler in her parenting and genuinely having fun.

Become a bit nicer.

This is a weird one. Anna says she  always thought of herself as a good mate, a fun mum, and a happy colleague. Was she wrong all along?! Because she has more tolerance now, and is snapping less. she has more time for people, and more space in her life to prioritise others. She is arguing less with her husband, and he’s noticed a change too. The wine witch is dead, and Anna doesn’t miss her.

Actually read books.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Anna can afford to do a Waterstones splurge, because she’s saved money by ditching the drink. On her CV, in the hobbies section, it says she is an avid reader, particularly fond of a Booker shortlist. But reading before bed after a couple of glasses of wine, she wasn’t taking in much of the story and would forget huge chunks and have to skim back to remember which character is married to the protagonist. For someone who claimed to love reading, Anna didn’t actually…read. But now she does. She’s read a book cover to cover and didn’t miss any of it. Anna says she  loved it, and is ready for the next. What other hobbies had she  neglected because she didn’t have enough space for them? Bring on the knitting, yoga-ing, running and baking!

I’m enough.

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Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

Now Anna is not waking up at 3am wondering if she needs to apologise to anyone. She can see that she is ok. Like Bridget Jones, she is good enough, ‘just as she is’.  As her sleep improved and her  anxiety lessened,she found the self-doubt faded, and the inner critic shouted less loudly. She has accepted that she is only human so  still has days when she struggles. But they aren’t consecutive, and they are manageable.

If you are experimenting with Dry January this year, Anna’s advice  is to get excited. You are going to love it! Stay curious, and notice each and every benefit. If feeling fresh on a Saturday and sleeping through the night doesn’t blow your mind after years of hangovers and 3am hangziety, you’re not paying attention. Having the energy to play another game of Ludo, build Lego characters from scratch or bake a batch of brownies isn’t sparking a change in your parenting, look harder. If being less snappy and short tempered with those you love (and also, yourself!) doesn’t make your heart sing and your life a little bit nicer…look again, because magic is falling through the cracks.  

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Anna Sudbury is a Stop Drinking Coach who helps frazzled midlife mums who are tired of feeling snappy, frustrated and exhausted because of their relationship with alcohol. Visit https://annasudburysober.com/ for more information. Anna is working with all-natural non-alcoholic cocktail brand, Mavrik to help the sober curious take their next steps to a sober lifestyle. Discover Mavrik at www.mavrik-drinks.com

Anna Sudbury
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Anna Sudbury is a Stop Drinking Coach who helps frazzled midlife mums who are tired of feeling snappy, frustrated and exhausted because of their relationship with alcohol. Visit https://annasudburysober.com/ for more information. Anna is working with all-natural non-alcoholic cocktail brand, Mavrik to help the sober curious take their next steps to a sober lifestyle. Discover Mavrik at www.mavrik-drinks.com

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Anna Sudbury is a Stop Drinking Coach who helps frazzled midlife mums who are tired of feeling snappy, frustrated and exhausted because of their relationship with alcohol. Visit https://annasudburysober.com/ for more information. Anna is working with all-natural non-alcoholic cocktail brand, Mavrik to help the sober curious take their next steps to a sober lifestyle. Discover Mavrik at www.mavrik-drinks.com

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