Ditch the drinks, not your social life
by Alice Bastable, LiveLighter Victoria Campaign Manager and Dietitian
- November 1, 2020
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Feeling the effects of the festive season (which seems to get longer and longer every year)? Thinking about taking a break from alcohol for your mental health, short-term health or long term health? We hear you!
The social pressure from friends and family to drink can make being the only one without an alcoholic drink in your hand difficult. Alcohol is deeply ingrained in Aussie culture. We use it to celebrate, to commiserate or just to catch up with friends.
Taking a pause from drinking is a great start to rethinking your relationship with alcohol and your health - and it doesn't have to mean taking a break from your friends. In fact, you may feel you have more energy, save money and feel better. If anything, that makes you a BETTER party guest :)
Here's a few ideas about things to try that don't revolve around alcohol.
1. Have a walking catch up
When arranging catch ups with friends the go-to choice is usually a drink at a local pub or catch up over a meal. Why not embrace the beautiful parks we have on our doorstep and arrange a walk instead. It’s a great opportunity to see your mates while getting in some exercise at the same time. The best thing is you won’t wake up the next morning with a hazy memory and a hangover.
2. Join a local sports team
Haven’t played netball since you were on the B team in high school? It’s never too late to take up a new sport or get reacquainted with an old one. It’s a great way to stay active, while feeling part of a team and making new friends. Find a club that fits into your lifestyle and is at the right level. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to find a team that works for you.
3. Have friends over to your house
Having friends round to your house means you’re in complete control about what you serve up. There’s no awkward standing by the bar asking for ‘just a water, thanks’. Instead of sharing a bottle of wine you can impress your friends with some fruity alcohol-free concoctions you’ve made yourself. Try tasty alcohol-free alternatives from LiveLighter
Catch up at a café
If you’d prefer to meet up away from home, why not opt for a café rather than a pub. Plenty of drinks to choose from without the alcoholic temptations. You won’t be the only one not drinking and you can sit and chat with friends for as long as you want.
Go for a hike
Is there a nature walk or a national park you’ve been meaning to tackle but you’ve just been too tired and hungover on a Sunday to do it? Now’s the time to test your fitness and embrace some natural beauty while you’re at it.
Host a board games night
Remember that feeling when you landed on Mayfair in Monopoly? Or how great it was when you discovered it was Professor Plum in the Dining Room with the revolver. Recapture that competitive fun and invite your friends over for a board games night. There’s no need to involve booze, in fact you’ll probably be a more formidable opponent without it.