Substance Use

Sober October: How Does it Work?

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How Does Sober October Work?

Sober October is a popular annual challenge in which you commit to abstaining from alcohol for the entire month to give your body and mind a break. The challenge is an opportunity to reflect on your relationship with alcohol and its effects on your physical and mental health and your relationships. With the right mindset and support system, Sober October can be a powerful tool for breaking unhealthy habits and offers many health benefits including weight loss and a bolstered immune system.

From personal relationships to your work life, alcohol can create problems that are difficult to overcome. Zinnia Health is here for you with alcohol treatment centers across the nation. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 to start your journey toward recovery.

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When Does Sober October Start?

Sober October begins on October 1 and ends on October 31.

During this time, participants go sober for October abstain from drinking any form of alcoholic beverage. Some people also choose to abstain from other substances like cigarettes or marijuana during this time as well.

Alcohol contains numerous empty calories and can negatively affect your health in various ways. Participants are encouraged to focus on self-care and engaging in healthy activities instead of drinking alcohol, such as:

  • Exercising more
  • Trying a new hobby
  • Eating healthier food
  • Finding other ways to relax and de-stress without turning to alcohol
  • Trying non-alcoholic beverages such as mocktails

It’s important to remember: Sober October isn’t a competition. It’s about making positive changes in your life and taking care of yourself.

Recommended Reading: What 30 Days of No Alcohol Looks Like

Why Sober October?

According to MedlinePlus, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that has the capacity to substantially modify your feelings, conduct, and self-restraint. It can also:

  • Impair your ability to think logically
  • Lead to memory lapses.
  • Cause health problems

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that over 14 million American adults struggle with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Therefore, alcohol-free months like Sober October can provide an excellent opportunity to:

  • Take a break from drinking
  • Learn more about the effects of alcohol on your body
  • Start making healthier lifestyle choices

If you believe alcohol has become a problem in your life, Sober October is the perfect opportunity to gauge its effects — abstaining from alcohol for just 30 days can result in physical and mental health benefits, better sleep, and increased overall wellness.

We understand the challenges that come with addiction. Our compassionate team of counselors and alcohol addiction treatment personnel are available 24/7 to provide support and guidance. Take the first step towards a healthier and happier future by calling our helpline at (855) 430-9439.

What Are the Rules of Sober October?

The rules are straightforward: no drinking for the entire month of October. Some people opt to use this sobriety challenge as an opportunity to raise funds for charitable causes.

However, if you participate in Sober October but end up drinking during the month, you shouldn’t feel bad or give up on the challenge. Get back on track by refocusing on your goals and your original reason for participating.

The most important part of Sober October is to create positive habits and choose healthier alternatives.

How Can You Participate in Sober October?

If you choose to participate in Sober October, it’s important to make sure that you have a solid plan and support system in place.

First, consider making a list of activities that can help keep you motivated throughout the month. These might include:

  • Reading books
  • Joining an exercise class
  • Going for walks or hikes
  • Trying out a new hobby

Engage your friends and family for support during this time. Explain to them why you’ve chosen to participate in Sober October and ask for their help in achieving your goals.

How to Make It Through Sober October?

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) provides the following tips for sober challenges such as Sober October or Dry January:

1. Be Specific

Harness the power of specificity to make your goal a reality. Outline what success and failure look like by writing out your goals with pen and paper.

This will clarify your intentions, transforming it into an obligation instead of something you merely intend on doing.

2. Set Up Your Environment for Success

It’s not just about our motivation and self-control. The environment around us also shapes our behavior.

Research has demonstrated that when fruits and veggies are within sight, students tend to eat them more. To make use of this knowledge, keep alcohol-free drinks close at hand and remove alcohol from your house or store it somewhere you can’t see it.

3. Plan Ahead

Preparing in advance is the best way to remain on track. As you are an authority when it comes to yourself, consider which circumstances or mistakes may cause a detour along your journey and create safeguards against them.

Developing a list of potential roadblocks and having strategies for each can help prepare for any eventualities that come up.

4. Use Peer Pressure

Capitalize on the power of social pressure to support your alcohol-free goal. Share it on social media, recruit an accountability buddy, or urge others to donate towards a worthy cause by joining in. Ensure that you notify those closest to you so they don’t inadvertently lead you astray.

How Do You Know If You Can Drink Alcohol Again?

It’s important to remember that Sober October is a challenge and not a permanent lifestyle change. The goal of this challenge is to become more mindful about your relationship with alcohol and make positive changes in your life. After the month has passed, you can consider drinking again if it’s no longer an issue or causes problems for you.

Signs of Addiction

Addiction can manifest in both physical and psychological ways such as a growing tolerance for alcohol, seeking out more intense drinks, or relying heavily on the substance while trying to relax. If you find yourself unable to moderate your drinking, it is essential to seek help from a specialist.

NIAAA notes that the following questions can help you determine if you have developed an addiction:

  • Are you drinking more than you intended?
  • Do you find it difficult to stop or moderate your intake of alcohol?
  • Have friends or family members expressed concerns about your drinking habits?
  • Have you ever felt guilty or ashamed of your drinking habits?

If you find yourself struggling with alcohol addiction, an alcohol addiction treatment center can offer support and guidance. Our professional and compassionate team is available 24/7 to help you take the first step towards recovery. By calling our alcohol help hotline at (855) 430-9439, you can begin to manage your addiction.

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