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12 Fun Things To Do Instead of Drinking

June 13, 2023
10 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
June 13, 2023
10 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
June 13, 2023
10 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
June 13, 2023
10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
June 13, 2023
10 min read

Everyone likes to let loose from time to time. Recreation is important –– we need it, in fact. Whether it’s stress relief, growth, or deepening connections to others and to ourselves –– fun is actually good for us.

Cutting down on drinking is a positive move towards improving our health and well-being –– and it can lead to a more fulfilling life. However, there are moments when we might find ourselves missing alcohol. It’s useful to have fun things we enjoy doing at the ready, to keep those feelings in check.

In this article, we’ll explore fun ways to spend your time instead of drinking. Rediscover joy, engage in personal growth, and foster a healthier lifestyle –– let's dive in!

12 Fun Alternatives to Drinking

1. Get Moving

Exercise is a fantastic way to boost our mood, relieve stress, and enhance our overall well-being. Whether it's jogging, swimming, cycling, or practicing yoga, find an activity that you enjoy and make joyful movement a regular part of your routine. Physical activity releases endorphins, which can help boost our mood.

2. Pursue a Hobby

Rediscover the joy of doing things simply because you enjoy them. Engaging in activities –– like painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, or cooking –– for their own sake can provide a sense of fulfillment. Hobbies offer a healthy outlet, allowing us to channel creativity and energy into something meaningful. They can serve as a therapeutic and productive way to manage stress, process emotions, and help us bounce back. Plus, keeping our hands busy with crafts could be a great way to get ahead on holiday gifting.

3. Connect With Nature

Immerse yourself in the calm beauty of the outdoors. Spending time in nature has a soothing effect on the mind and can help reduce alcohol cravings. Take a hike in the woods, visit a local park, or simply take a leisurely walk in a natural setting. The fresh air, greenery, and natural sounds will put a pep in your step.

What’s more, being outdoors means more exposure to sunlight. Light therapy can help boost your mood and ease symptoms of depression.

4. Read a Book

Books have the power to transport us to different worlds, broaden our perspectives, and provide an escape from daily stress. Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, or self-help, find a book that resonates with you. Reading can be a peaceful and enjoyable alternative to drinking, and it has the added benefit of expanding our worldview.

5. Learn Something New

Expand your horizons by learning a new skill or exploring a fascinating subject. Enroll in a class or workshop –– either in person or online –– to learn cooking, photography, a foreign language, or any other skill that calls out to you. The process of learning and growing can be incredibly rewarding and distract us from the desire to drink.

6. Volunteer Your Time

Giving back to our community not only benefits those around us; it also brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to our own life. First, find a cause that resonates with you. Then sign up to volunteer your time and skills. Whether it's at a local charity, animal shelter, or community center, volunteering allows you to make a positive impact while connecting with others.

7. Practice Mindfulness

Engaging in mindfulness exercises or meditation can help us relax, reduce stress, and increase self-awareness. By focusing on the present moment, we can redirect our attention away from cravings. Incorporate practices like deep breathing, guided meditation, or mindfulness exercises into your daily routine to cultivate a calm and centered mindset.

8. Get Out There

Reconnect with friends through activities that don't revolve around alcohol. Social connection is good for your health. Meet up for coffee or smoothies, watch a movie together, go for a hike, or organize a game night. Meaningful connections and shared experiences help ward off the feelings of isolation that can send us spiraling. Connecting with friends or others walking the path of mindful drinking can provide support as well as distraction from drinking.

Find a pal or go solo as you become a tourist in your own town. Organize outings or day trips that offer fun and excitement without the presence of alcohol. Explore new places, visit museums, attend concerts, go on hikes, or embark on a new adventure. Creating memories of fun and meaningful experiences helps reshape our perspective and shows us that there is so much joy to be found beyond drinking.

9. Create a Self-Care Routine

Maybe it’s a foam roller massage and a cup of tea, or maybe it’s playing a favorite video game –– prioritizing self-care is an important part of our journey towards cutting down on drinking. Find activities that promote relaxation and well-being: take a warm bath, find a favorite aromatherapy blend, listen to soothing music, or pamper yourself with a massage or facial. All these ways of connecting with ourselves can set us on the road to mindfulness.

10. Be Grateful

Discover the power of gratitude in managing cravings and cultivating a positive mindset. Try keeping a gratitude journal or reflecting on three things you’re grateful for each day. This practice can help us focus on what’s going well in life, increase self-awareness, and shift our attention away from alcohol.

11. Join a Support Group

Seek out local support groups or online communities like those you’ll find in the Reframe app, where we can connect with others who are also working towards reducing their alcohol consumption. Sharing experiences, challenges, and victories with like-minded people can provide valuable support, guidance, and a sense of belonging.

12. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Quality sleep plays a crucial role in our overall well-being and mental clarity. Practice sleep hygiene by establishing a consistent and calming bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, and putting away electronic devices an hour before bed. Ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to relaxation. By prioritizing restful sleep, you'll wake up refreshed. Being well-rested means being better equipped to handle cravings and to make positive choices all throughout the day.

The Key Takeaways

Cutting down on drinking is a significant step towards improving our health and well-being. Thankfully, there are many fun things we can do instead of drinking that are altogether more fulfilling. Whether we choose to get our bodies moving, to connect with nature, to learn something new, deepen social bonds, or something else –– finding what aligns with us is key.

If you’re drawing a blank, read through this list again and choose that one fun thing that most stands out. Next, choose a time and date for trying out your new activity –– and decide how long you’ll do it. See? Now you’ve got a plan!

In the meantime, friends, support groups, healthcare professionals, and the Reframe app can also provide guidance, community, and encouragement. Remember, everyone's path is unique, and it's important to find what works best for you. Whatever that might look like, know that you deserve joy, fulfillment, and well-being as you journey towards a healthier, more balanced life.

Reclaim Your Fun and Thrive With Reframe

Changing our relationship with alcohol is one of the best things we can do to improve our quality of life. The fun awaits –– download Reframe right now and kickstart your journey to wellness.

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers from around the globe in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people who know just what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app today!

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