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Sober October: Spice Up Your Health Journey

July 5, 2023
7 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.
July 5, 2023
7 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.
July 5, 2023
7 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.
July 5, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 5, 2023
7 min read

October has a definite feel to it. As the air turns crisp and the days grow shorter, there's a palpable shift in the rhythm of life. The smell of home-baked pies wafts through the neighborhood, as do the enticing aromas of hearty stews and spiced pumpkin lattes. Pumpkins start appearing on porches, and stores display Disney princesses, Pennywise the clown, and Harry Potter costumes. 

October is a time to gather and connect with loved ones over shared activities. Whether it's picking apples in the orchard, navigating a corn maze, or just raking up leaves in the yard, these are the moments to treasure forever. This year, consider doing it sober.

Now, how about we add a new twist to our October evenings this year? One that will not only fill your mental memory box but also offers a health-boosting challenge? We’re talking about Sober October: a chance to give your liver a month-long vacation while doing good for others.

What Is Sober October?

The concept of Sober October started with a simple idea. Back in 2010, an Australian non-profit organization called Life Education launched the so-called "Ocsober." The idea was straightforward: stay away from booze and have a dry October to raise funds for alcohol and drug education in schools. This sparked a trend, which has since caught fire globally, including the UK and the U.S.

In recent years, Sober October has grown into a powerful movement. In addition to fundraising, it’s also about personal growth, boosting health, and experiencing alcohol-free life. So, how exactly does ditching the booze for a month help your health?

Pressing the Reset Button 

Alcohol, when consumed in excess, adversely affects our bodies. It can lead to liver disease, affect brain function, increase the risk of certain cancers, and weaken our immune system.

Research suggests that abstaining from alcohol, even for a month, can have significant health benefits. A University of Sussex study found participants benefiting from improved sleep and weight loss, not to mention the financial savings from not buying alcohol!

Additionally, a 2018 Royal Free Hospital study showed that a booze-free month led to lower blood pressure, reduced diabetes risk, and lower cholesterol levels. A whole month without alcohol can help your body reset, giving your liver a well-deserved break to repair itself.

More Than Just Physical Health

But it’s not just your body that gets a health boost from Sober October. Going alcohol-free for a month can have profound psychological benefits, too. Just 31 days sober offers you the chance to reassess your relationship with alcohol and perhaps even break the cycle of dependency.

It might just give you a new perspective on the parts of your life that used to come with a side of alcohol — watching movies, going out on the weekend, visiting friends. Imagine enjoying every moment with crystal clear senses, being fully present, and waking up without the nagging worry that you might have drunk-dialed your ex the night before. All it takes is 31 days with no alcohol!

Embrace the Challenge: Sober October Rules

Are you ready to embark on the Sober October challenge? Great! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can make the most out of this journey:

  • Register for Sober October. Many organizations host Sober October events, with funds raised going towards a variety of worthy causes. Find one that resonates with you.
  • Set personal goals. Why are you doing Sober October? Is it for health reasons, to raise money for charity, or both? Clear goals will help motivate you throughout the month.
  • Get techy with it. There are tons of apps out there designed to support you in your sober journey. For instance, "I Am Sober" tracks your progress and "Nomo" offers encouragement in the form of badges and milestones. Reframe offers drink tracking, informative articles, and even a Sober October challenge with the support of peers and certified coaches to help you reach your goals. Use technology to your advantage. 
  • Mocktail magic. Who said drinks can't be fun without alcohol? Experiment with creative mocktail recipes. How about a zesty ginger beer with muddled fresh mint and lime, or a sparkling apple cider sangria? Also, stock up on a variety of herbal teas, fruit-infused waters, and non-alcoholic drinks to satisfy your cravings.
  • Sober socializing. Host a Sober October movie night. Make it a theme night — maybe everyone dresses as their favorite Pixar character! Serve an array of delicious non-alcoholic drinks and healthy snacks.
  • Meditation and mindfulness. It’s a great time to dive into practices that increase mindfulness. Try starting a short daily meditation practice or take up yoga. Both can reduce cravings and increase your sense of well-being.
  • Journaling journey. Keep a daily diary of your Sober October experience. This is a great way to reflect on the positive changes you notice and the challenges you overcome.
  • Alcohol-free adventures. Use the time you’d typically spend drinking to try something new. Join a local hiking club, take a cooking class, start a DIY project at home. You might discover a new passion!
  • Gratitude attitude. Each day, jot down something you're grateful for in your alcohol-free life. This positive reinforcement can make a significant difference in your journey.
  • Connect with a buddy. Everything's better when shared, right? Find a friend or family member who is also participating in Sober October and have a daily check-in with them. Share your successes and challenges, and offer each other support.
  • Share your Sober October story. Sharing your experiences on social media can keep you accountable while also motivating others to join the challenge. Plus, it's a great way to document your journey.
  • Celebrate progress. Celebrate each day you go alcohol-free. Remember, every step towards your goal is an achievement.

The most important thing is to find what works for you and helps you enjoy your Sober October experience to the fullest. It's about embracing healthier habits, having fun, and learning more about yourself along the way. 

Beyond Sober October

Remember, the Sober October Challenge isn't about deprivation — it's about making positive changes and raising awareness about the effects of alcohol. Who knows? This new tradition might just become a yearly event in your household. Here's to a healthy, happy, and sober October!

Thinking of Going Sober This October — And Maybe Beyond?

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

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

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

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 through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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