Drinking alcohol is everywhere. 86 percent of Americans say they have had alcohol at some point in their lives. It is done at most social events and many religious ceremonies.
But drinking to excess is undeniably harmful. 26 percent say they have engaged in binge drinking. People who binge drink are 70 times more likely to go to the hospital.
Everyone needs to find things to do instead of drinking. Thankfully, sober activities are varied.
What can you do to improve your physical and mental health? How can you be productive and focused? Where can you go for help if you have an urge to drink?
Answer these questions and you can live an engaging sober life. Here are fifteen things to do rather than drink.
1. Go Outdoors
There are a lot of ways you can spend time outdoors. You can go to a beach, a nature preserve, or a mountain range. You can camp out under the stars, or you can make a day trip out of a hike.
Going outdoors does great things for the body and mind. A 2019 study found that people who spend two hours a week in green spaces report better health than those who don’t. It did not matter how they spent their time.
Meditation focuses on the mind while allowing a person to step away from the outside world. You can perform religious meditation. You can think of a prayer or sit in front of a religious icon and focus.
You can also perform secular meditation. You can sit in a quiet place and stare at an object on the other side of the room.
3. Perform Yoga
If you want to be a little more active, you can perform yoga poses. Yoga is similar to meditation because it requires a high level of focus. You must contort your body in very particular ways.
Get a yoga mat or a soft rug so you don’t hurt yourself. Strike a few different poses every day so you build muscle strength.
4. Take a Nap
You can always take a nap. Find a quiet and dark part of your house such as your bedroom. Lay down with a pillow against your head and close your eyes.
Reading lets you learn about new perspectives and conceive different ideas. You can read about how to stop drinking and study sober activities. You can also read novels and non-fiction books about other subjects.
You don’t have to have a physical book. You can visit websites like Project Gutenberg where you can read thousands of books for free.
Keeping a journal is a good way to track your ideas and progress. Pull it out whenever you have something you need to write down.
But you don’t have to write about yourself. Jot down stories, poems, and lyrics whenever they come to you. Keep a piece of paper in your pocket so you can write down your ideas immediately.
7. Watch a Movie
If you don’t like reading, you can watch a movie. You can put in a DVD or find something on a streaming service. YouTube also has many free movies, including ones made by rising filmmakers.
8. Talk to Someone
Being social keeps your mind active. Call someone up on the phone and see how they are doing. Knock on your neighbor’s door and say hello.
Find an icebreaker so you can start a conversation. You can comment on someone’s social media post or respond to a friend request.
Cooking your own meals keeps you active and lets you control what ingredients you put into your body. Prepare whole grains alongside fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
It is okay to splurge every now and again. You can cook a pizza, but you should use healthier ingredients. Select low-fat mozzarella and fresh tomato sauce with garlic and onions.
10. Have a Non-Alcoholic Drink
You don’t have to drink alcohol to have a tasty drink. You can make a mocktail, mixing together juices and sodas.
You can make a fruit smoothie. Combine frozen fruit with juice and yogurt to create a refreshing and filling drink.
Exercise helps your body release chemicals that make you feel better. You can engage in a low-stress workout like walking or jogging. If you want to get more involved, you can go sprinting or swimming.
Try to engage your whole body. You should go for cardiovascular exercise multiple times a week. But you should also spend time lifting weights and performing yoga poses that build your muscles.
12. Give Back to Your Community
There are many ways you can give back to others around you. Volunteer at a community center or library. Even small things like shelf reading can make a difference.
Give food or money to a food pantry or soup kitchen. If you really like cooking, you can cook in the kitchen.
13. Take a Risk
It’s important to challenge yourself every now and again. You can learn how to play an instrument or start sewing. If you want to get adventurous, you can skydive or bungee jump.
14. Improve Yourself
Think about something you can do for yourself. You may need to practice a little gratitude. Write down what you are thankful for and commit to doing something to repay your gratitude.
Brainstorm things to do sober. You can create a vision board that depicts your aspirations for the future. Find some images and write down some words that depict your dreams.
15. Get Some Help
If you are ever in a tough place, find someone. Go to your doctor or therapist and tell them what you are going through.
You can call a hotline or find a treatment center online. Many centers offer chat support so you can talk to a professional right away.
Get ideas from your therapist on what to do instead of drinking. They may encourage you to do something in particular.
The Best Things to Do Instead of Drinking
You have so many things to do instead of drinking. Become a more focused and happier person by going outdoors and meditating.
Take a break by napping and reading. When you’ve come up with an idea, write it down.
If you’re hungry, you can cook a meal. If you’re thirsty, make a mocktail or a smoothie.
Do something outside of the box like volunteering or bungee jumping. If you need help, focus on how you can improve yourself and turn to someone for support.
You are never without help during your addiction journey. Keep reading our informative guides.