Oktoberfest has always been associated with beer drinking and millions of people even travel to Germany to take part in this event. While it is a German festival, it has always been celebrated in many parts of the world. Numerous bars, clubs, and pubs would usually have Oktoberfest promotions making it tempting for many guests to drink an unusually large amount of beer during this month. In fact, beer consumption is usually on an all-time high during the month of October.
For someone who is trying to stay sober and quit alcohol, is it still possible to have a social life during October without being sucked into the beer bonanza? If you live in the United States, there will be a lot of beer promotions around you that can be overwhelming and tempting for a recovering alcoholic. However, not all hopes are lost because you can definitely survive this month and stay on your recovery track.
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Here are some practical tips that can help you stay sober in October.
Avoid beer festivals if you can
This advice may sound like something super obvious that it should not be here at all. However, it is still a necessary reminder that sometimes the only way to avoid drinking is to remove yourself from places that shove alcohol in your face. There are many other ways to socialize without being in a pub or an Oktoberfest party. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a pub with an Oktoberfest promotion, then turn away. You don’t have any business being in that area alone unless you are actually looking to get drunk.
Instead of associating October solely with Oktoberfest, use this month to pursue a new interest. Try out a new sport, cooking classes, painting, or whatever hobby you’re interested in. Maybe you could sign up for a positive advocacy that helps the less fortunate or the environment. Having your mind occupied with a new pursuit can distract you away from drinking.
Expect temptations and have a ready response
There will be times when temptations will be present even if you try your best to avoid them. Instead of blinding yourself that this will not happen, accept that there will be situations that may tempt you to drink. Recognizing this will help you come up with a plan of action on what to do instead.
For example, if you are in an event wherein a colleague who is not aware of your past alcohol issues offers you a drink, having a firm and prepared response can help you in extracting yourself from the situation. Common responses such as “I’m driving tonight” or “I am taking antibiotics” can be effective ways to halt the conversation about you refusing to drink.
Enjoy food and festivities
While Oktoberfest may be largely centered on beer, there are also food and festivities that do not involve alcohol. Oktoberfest parties and promotions often feature native German delicacies that may not be available for the rest of the year. If you find yourself unable to avoid attending an Oktoberfest event, make a beeline for the food station and participate in dances or parades. Take this opportunity to sample these food delights. Having fun and enjoying the food can help take your mind away from the beer.
Go for drink alternatives
If everyone around you is drinking beer - that is not an excuse to do the same and break your Sober October streak. There are many enjoyable drink alternatives that you can have instead. Almost all cocktails have a non-alcoholic option so go for these tasty drink treats and experiment with a new drink every time you find yourself in a social event that involves drinking. If you feel that mocktails are too feminine for you, go for apple cider and non-alcoholic bottled beverages. If you feel conscious about drinking non-alcoholic beverages, have the drink placed in a beer mug so that others will not know that you are drinking differently. However, you should be careful because some non-alcoholic beer like O’douls may still have alcohol in them.
Focus on what you’re gaining with staying sober
One of the reasons why many people fail in staying sober especially during events like Oktoberfest is that they are focusing on what they are missing. They start resenting that they are missing out on the fun, drinking games or the beer-infused parties. These emotions can push them to grab that beer and forget about their sobriety goals.
Instead of focusing on these, what you should do instead is remind yourself of all the positive things that you will gain by staying sober. Not drinking a ridiculous amount of beer will save you from the possibility of alcohol poisoning and it will be better for your liver and overall health. Staying sober will also be better for your career, your relationships, and everything that is important to you.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.