Being alcohol-free, or even sober-curious (meaning intentionally changing your drinking habits for health and wellness reasons), can be difficult in our current culture, and especially during the holidays. Whether it’s first-date drinks, happy hour, a drink (or two) at the end of a long day, mommy wine culture, or boozy holiday parties, it can be hard to say no to a drink or two… or three.
And while it’s sometimes difficult to say no to a drink, depending on your feelings or situation, we all know that we shouldn’t over-indulge. We know that we shouldn’t have a few too many, or that we shouldn’t get behind the wheel if we’ve had more than one drink. But, are there truly benefits to being alcohol-free?
If you are sober-curious (or even if you’re not!), here are our five favorite benefits to being alcohol-free:
- Your health may be boosted long term
Reducing or eliminating your alcohol intake, even if it’s moderate, can have long-term health benefits, like boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure, and reducing your risk of heart disease. You may also see some weight loss or healthier body composition when you stop drinking.
- You’ll start to look and feel better
When you stop drinking, you may see and feel some improvements. Your gut may start to heal, and issues like gastritis or other stomach issues may subside. You’ll also absorb water, vitamins, and minerals more efficiently, so you could see clearer skin or be better hydrated.
- You’ll have better mental clarity and focus
Drinking less can help improve your sleep and your memory, which in turn can help with mental clarity and focus. When you drink in excess, you can damage your brain, which can impair your problem solving and decision making abilities. With less alcohol consumption, you can reverse some of this damage and improve your brain and mental strength.
- You may see a difference in your finances (for the better)
The costs of drinks can add up quickly, from even seemingly moderate drinking like two drinks a day to the costs of excessive or binge drinking at home or at the bar. Think about your last bar tab – if you took even half of what you spent, it would likely add up quickly and could be going toward more positive things, like paying down debt or saving for the future.
- You’ll have the time to pursue other interests
When you eliminate drinking, your time suddenly opens up to do new and different things! Instead of spending your Friday night at the bar, maybe you’re at a rock climbing gym, or learning to knit, or exploring new places like neighborhood coffee shops. Because you’ll be feeling better, have more mental clarity, and your finances may be better, your ability to pursue new and different things opens up exponentially.