Sober October: 5 tips on how to make it through the month

Alcohol-free beer. Picture: Pexels/Anete Lusina

Alcohol-free beer. Picture: Pexels/Anete Lusina

Published Oct 2, 2023


This month, tens of thousands of people around the world will be skipping cocktail hours and passing on booze in the name of charity.

Sober October began in 2014 as a fundraising campaign for Macmillan Cancer Support, a UK-based charity that provides support to people living with cancer.

This campaign’s primary goal is raising money but the movement also emphasised the importance of checking in with yourself about your relationship with alcohol.

Like Dry January, Sober October encourages people to give up alcohol and boozing for one month. If you have made the decision to cut out alcohol, here are our tips for you on how not to give up on giving up.

A mocktail. Picture: Pexels/Geraud Pfeiffer

Remind yourself of the benefits

As the challenge progresses, you will find yourself becoming more sensitive to the benefits of not drinking.

Reminding yourself of these – the money you are saving, the better sleep you are having, the general boost to your overall well-being – will motivate you to keep on track and help you realise you are not giving something up, you are embracing something new.

Reach out for support

October is a great time of year to be on the wagon, people are starting to think about Christmas and plenty of others will be doing Sober October.

If your friends and family do not get it, there are lots of online resources and private Facebook groups for you to turn to.

Saying no to drinks can be hard but remember why you decided to embark on Sober October, and check in with friends or online groups regularly to keep you accountable and celebrate milestones.

Start up a creative activity

You may be thinking, “What will I do on Saturday nights?” There are so many exciting and engaging sober activities you can pursue without being under the influence.

Use October (and future months) as an opportunity to try something new, such as cooking.

Alcohol-free beer. Picture: Pexels/Anete Lusina

Take it day by day

Giving up drinking is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it day by day. Each day wake up and tell yourself, today is a drink-free day, and then repeat. Focusing on one day at a time will help the journey feel more manageable.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, which can help reduce cravings for alcohol.

Even with these practices in place, Sober October may prove difficult. Every person is different, and it can be hard – or even dangerous – for some people to stop all of a sudden.

Quitting alcohol can cause withdrawal symptoms for those who drink heavily. So, if you think you may be dependent on alcohol, speak with a medical professional to safely decrease or stop your alcohol use.