HEALTH: Ways to Celebrate Without Alcohol
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HEALTH: Ways to Celebrate Without Alcohol


Alcohol is usually around at special events. You don’t have to drink alcohol to have fun. Ask yourself the following question to help you choose the right sober activity.

” It’s likely the social connection, community, and the esteem it might bring,” says Eric Beeson PhD, clinical associate professor at The Family Institute, Northwestern University in Illinois. Does alcohol increase that? Probably not.”

There are lots of reasons why you or loved one might not drink. There are many reasons why you or your loved one might not drink. Maybe you dislike the way booze makes your feel.

No matter your reason for abstaining from alcohol, there are ways to celebrate with alcohol-free drinks.

Choose a Mocktail or a No-Alcohol Bar

“Sober bars are popping up all over the U.S.,” Beeson says. These bars offer complete drink menus that don’t contain alcohol. This makes it easy to have a party in a bar environment without having to drink alcohol.

Or you can pick up something alcohol-free on the way to a party or event. There are many options. You may be surprised at the variety.

Mocktails are an easy choice “for people who want to be ‘sober curious’ or who want to cut back on drinking,” says Melissa Cyders, PhD, professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). “The key is it has to be something you enjoy drinking.”

You could go for a soda or a virgin daquiri. Why not try something new? Cyders recommends using only high-quality ingredients. This is usually not the premade sugary stuff.

Beeson said he enjoys challenging bartenders to create the best non-alcoholic drinks they can.

” When they ask you questions like “What’s your flavor profile?” He says, “That’s when I know that this is a place I can dig in and celebrate with my friends.”

Do Something Fun

Everyone is different. Experts have difficulty deciding what is the best thing to do. Try something that requires you to use your hands like tennis or bike riding.

Board games are another good choice. Cyders states that you should be doing something where you aren’t just sitting around talking but actually engaging in an activity.

Or choose something that you shouldn’t or can’t do while drinking.

Beeson, for example, says he went whitewater rafting to celebrate his bachelor party. It’s best to stay sober while you cruise down a river that could kill you If you’re in charge of organizing a group party, be creative. You could arrange for massages, or “maybe something more competitve such as paintball, or a round golf,” suggests Joseph Volpicelli MD, PhD, an addiction specialist and founder the Volpicelli Centre.

Here are some other ideas:

  • Jump around at an indoor trampoline park.
  • Go to a rock-climbing gym.
  • Try indoor skydiving.
  • Go for a hike that ends with stargazing.

Focus on Friends and Experiences

People often get longer-lasting satisfaction from doing things instead of buying stuff, says happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirksy, PhD, distinguished professor and vice chair of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.

Most celebrations — with or without alcohol — are already experiences, Lyubomirsky says. “You might go out to dinner or a party, travel, or go to a spa with friends.”

Here are some of her other tips on how to celebrate while boosting your well-being:

  • Spend time with others. Choose an activity that will help you strengthen your relationships. Lyubomirksy states that “anything you can do is a way to connect with others.”
  • Take on a challenge. Do something that’ll help you grow as a person. You can also try something completely new. She says, “Learn how to skydive.”
  • Pay it forward. This might not be something you normally think about when it comes to a celebration. It might not be something you think about when it comes to a celebration. But, we feel better about ourselves when we give back or perform “an act of kindness.” So, if socializing is your thing, reach out to those who may not feel included. You can also buy them a nonalcoholic beverage.

Celebrate Outdoors

You might feel relaxed when you drink alcohol. Many studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress. Outdoor celebrations can also help to strengthen social relationships.

Here are some ideas:

  • Meet your friends at a park.
  • Take a group hike to a scenic overlook.
  • Make mocktails for a backyard get-together.

Bonus points if you pick something that gets you and your friends moving. Research supports what you know from experience: Outdoor activities can improve your brain and body.

Treat Yourself to Something Sweet

While you don’t want to make sugar your only reward, it’s OK to treat yourself on a special occasion. Find a new place to eat in your local area. You can also visit an old favourite.

Here are some other ways to celebrate while satisfying your sweet tooth:

  • Toast a new job with milkshakes.
  • Celebrate your birthday with an ice cream sundae bar.
  • Pair fruit with a chocolate fountain at your wedding.
  • Have after-dinner s’mores if there’s a firepit nearby.

Find a Sober Buddy

It can be hard to celebrate without alcohol if everyone around you is drinking. If you feel you will need support, ask.

” If you are going to a party and don’t want to drink, Cyders suggests that you tell someone who can bring you a nonalcoholic beverage or help choose something that is incompatible with drinking.

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