When on your journey to drink less or quit drinking entirely, one of the most common concerns you may have is “How will I celebrate without alcohol?” And who can blame you? Popping champagne bottles and pouring ourselves a drink has been our default way to celebrate.
If you are on a journey to reevaluate your drinking, and you’re worried about how to celebrate moving forward, you are not alone. Life is full of momentous occasions that are worth celebrating; we've just had to figure out a way to commemorate them in a different way.
Read on to discover some tips on how to celebrate without alcohol...
1. Reframe your idea of what you “deserve”.
Oftentimes, when we are celebrating a birthday or the end of the long week, we pour ourselves a drink because “we deserve it” and we frame alcohol as a "reward". If you really break this thought down, however, what are you really telling yourself that you deserve? In our case, drinking alcohol leads to spotty memories and waking up feeling guilty and hungover. Is that really what you deserve after achieving a goal or turning a year older? You are a person who has accomplished some pretty amazing things and you deserve so much more than waking up with a hangover or an increased chance of cancer. Focus on enjoying your time spent with friends and family, being in the present moment, and remembering it all. THAT’S what you deserve.
2. Remember that you didn’t always need alcohol to celebrate
One of the best things we can do when we're feeling doubtful on our journey is to remind ourselves that there was once a time that we didn’t need alcohol to enjoy yourself. Think about your childhood birthday parties where the only thing on your mind was cake, friends, and fun! You didn't need alcohol then, and you certainly don't now that you’re older.
3. Focus on YOU
It’s pretty fair to say that people often time have more fun at other people’s parties and celebrations than at the ones they’re hosting themselves. That’s because as hosts, we’re too busy replenishing the snack bar, topping off people’s drinks, and making sure everyone else is having a good time to really focus on ourselves. The belief “I can’t celebrate without alcohol” based on the belief of the expectation of other people, not ourselves. Other people expect you to celebrate with alcohol, so you believe that alcohol is a requirement. However, it’s important to remember that this celebration is about you and you deserve to do something that will make you feel good! If this means cancelling the party with 20 of your closest friends and family then so be it! Try asking yourself, “What would I really enjoy doing in this moment to celebrate?” and do that instead.
4. Don’t be discouraged by any initial awkwardness
You can expect the majority of booze-free celebrations to be challenging in the beginning. After all, you’ve spent years believing that alcohol is needed in order to celebrate and have a good time, and these thoughts likely won’t just go away overnight. However, experiencing awkwardness does not mean you’re doing anything wrong. Embrace the awkwardness and recognize that it’s all a part of your growth. It takes time to unlearn a habit, so show yourself compassion and leave early if you're not having a good time.
5. Sip on something fun!
Just because you aren’t drinking alcohol does not mean you have to drink water and soda. Try mixing up some fun mocktails for you and your guests, or sip on some fun, pre-made beverages.