How to get out of the wine o'clock habit at home: A sober coach shares her expert tips
"This is a great time to be experimenting with sobriety because you can do it in the privacy of your own home."
Since we can't go to the pubs right now, a lot of people have brought the pubs home. I've definitely had a few drinks more than I would usually have because I'm at home more and I've nowhere to drive to.
And I'm not the only one finding wine o'clock Fridays turning into wine o'clock Mondays.
So, I chatted with sober coach Kate Bee, the founder of The Sober School, about tricks for cutting down. Kate herself is seven years sober, having spent her 20s "locked in a cycle of heavy drinking, black-outs and monster hangovers". She decided to give up drink for "the sake of her health" and back when she gave up there was "little support available" which is why she started up The Sober School.
Kate's online courses help people to create an alcohol free life – and, crucially, one that they will love and not just endure.
For anyone who would like to lessen the influence of wine o'clock in their lives during cutdown, or cut it out altogether, Kate shared some of her top tips with us below. Kate also outlined some coping strategies in a video, which you can watch here or on Her's Instagram.
1 . Build a sober toolbox.
We all drink for a reason. If you're cutting out alcohol, you need to find some alternative coping mechanisms for when you're feeling stressed, or angry or triggered. Start planning this now. Draw up a big list of things you'll try. It could be going for a walk within your 2km zone, calling a friend or giving yourself permission to have a bath or veg in front of the TV. Self care is vital and most women have got out of the habit of doing this. Drinking wine is not self care.
2. Challenge your beliefs about booze.
We tend to put alcohol up on a pedestal; we romanticise and glamorise it in a way that we don't do with any other drug. If you find yourself thinking "I can't have fun without drinking" then start analysing what's behind that belief. For example, if drinking really was the key to having a good time, shouldn't it work every time? And yet we've had times where it didn't matter how much we drank, we still didn't enjoy ourselves. Alcohol is not magic joy juice! Also look at kids – we were that small once. We were happy to socialise, play and interact with other people without drinking first.
3. Take advantage of staying at home
This is a great time to be experimenting with sobriety because you can do it in the privacy of your own home. When you hang out with your friends via Zoom, no one is going to know what's in your glass. This is the perfect time to test drive sobriety, so that when 'normal' life resumes, you can drop back into it from a happier and healthier place.