BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 47

H E A LT H Y
HEDONISM

DRINK

BYE TO THE
BOTTLE

Say goodbye to lost weekends and hello to being a Mindful Mixer. Here's how it's
possible to ditch the drink without losing your social life

T

BY TONI JONES

he definition of achievement is: "A thing done successfully
with effort, skill, or courage." As a happy 42-year-old, I feel I
have achieved some good things in my life: a degree, a home
a marriage, several prestigious journalism jobs, surviving the
mental health black hole I fell into after the most recent and most toxic
of those jobs etc, etc.
But none of these things have been applauded as much by my friends and
family as the day I celebrated being 100-days sober in January this year.
Which says a lot about me, I know, but also says a lot about shifting
attitudes to alcohol. Because, along with the comments like, "Go TJ!"
and "How the hell did you manage to do that?" were questions - so many
questions - about how I did it, what I did instead, what it felt like, would
I ever drink again and what were the chances that someone else who
"doesn't think they are an alcoholic but quite likes booze" would manage
to do the same?
And these questions weren't only coming from my "party" friends (who
I assumed were better at dealing with the Big Night Out fallout than I was)
but also my much more "sensible" friends, including mums and dads and
people who always make the last Tube home, and definitely people whom
I wouldn't identify as having any kind of problem with drinking.
It seems I'm not alone in wanting to explore a life with less booze. Or
wanting to try a totally sober stint without committing to abstinence
forever or labelling it "recovery" as they do in AA. As we all become more
aware of our mental and physical health, more of us are becoming "sober
curious" and the trend for mindful drinking is finally going mainstream.
As Catherine Salway, CEO and co-founder of Redemption, the world's
first alcohol-free bar, says, "There has been a constant move towards
healthy lifestyles over the past few decades and now people are really
starting to wonder why socialising shouldn't be included in that. Why
go to the gym to then eat and drink unhealthily afterwards? Why should
socialising always be at the expense of your health?"
Cheers to that. Rosamund Dean, journalist and author of Mindful
Drinking adds, "People are more aware of their health - and particularly
their mental health - than ever before, and there is plenty of evidence to
show that alcohol contributes to anxiety and depression. Also, the modern
world is so overwhelming, with unhealthy food choices and social media
wormholes a mere click away, people are searching for a way to live that is
more mindful, intentional and fulfilling."
Before my 100-day #AF stint I had been making lots of small but
important lifestyle changes - physical and mental - in my quest to be
happier, (I should mention I'm the founder of the virtual wellbeing book
club, the Shelf Help Club). Three months without booze made me realise
that not drinking would be the best self-care move I could make.
And because I love Fridays and discos and parties and three months is
just too long not to go out, as I did, it also made me realise that for most
of us it's not just the booze that keeps us out until the wee hours of the
morning. It's also the experience; the feeling of relaxing after a tough day
at work, the buzz of getting together with friends, the excitement of trying

out a cool new place with stylish food and drink and the soul-affirming
glow of real connection.
So enamoured was I with my new sober social life, in fact, that I created
a venture dedicated to throwing no-low parties and events, The Mindful
Mixers. Co-founded with my (ex party-loving, now also sober curious)
friend, Fran, we've spent the last six months hosting sell-out booze-free
events for bars and brands as part of London's no-low party scene.
Turns out we don't need booze to have a good time. With practice we can,
in fact, have a much better time without it. And while those of us choosing
to go booze-free and still daring to go into a bar, used to spend our evenings
ODing on lime and soda, the drinks industry has wised up to this fact and
is working hard to create delicious, premium options that taste and look
the part, from Ceder's alt-gin to booze-free craft beer like Lucky Saint
and guilt-free fizz like Noughty 'champagne'. Fermented kombucha and
cold-brew coffee are now drinks-menu staples at the city's hippest bars.
Amanda Thomson, founder and CEO of Thomson & Scott, which
produces Noughty, the de-alcoholised sparkling wine, says: "Alcohol is
the new tobacco. More and more consumers are looking for new ways
to enjoy drinking with family and friends but without the feeling they are
left out of the party. Noughty is the first to offer a number of benefits
to those seeking a healthier, alcohol-free lifestyle including vegan method
production and reduced sugar. We've also created a bottle design that
drinkers will happily display and not hide away in the fridge."
And the recently-held London Cocktail Week even featured a bar totally
devoted to no-low drink options and workshops like The Well, hosted
by ex-Bacardi mixologist and now 'healthy hedonist', Cami Vidal. Cami
says: "I think people are becoming more and more conscious about what
they put in their bodies, and healthy drinking brings a 360° approach to
mindfulness. Also, with so many delicious and exciting new non-alcoholic
products being launched, it's easy and totally fun to be a mindful drinker."

The Balance/FORA Mindful Bar Crawl will be held on Monday
14 October. For more details go to eventbrite.co.uk

HOW TO GO NO-LOW

Get - and stay - inspired: Work out your "why" and then the "how".
Find your drink: What will you drink? Time to try some new stuff.
Find your tribe: Make friends with people who have already done
this/are doing it at the same time and - very important - make it
look good.
Celebrate your wins: The money you are saving, the weekends you
are getting back, the bad decisions you are not making etc.
Accept: Sometimes you will have FOMO, and that's OK, you can
handle a bit of that (and remember, you will never EVER regret not
having drunk).

47


http://eventbrite.co.uk

BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019

BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 1
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 2
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 3
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 4
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 5
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 6
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 7
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 8
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 9
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 10
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 11
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 12
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 13
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 14
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 15
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 16
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 17
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 18
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 19
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 20
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 21
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 22
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 23
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 24
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 25
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 26
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 27
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 28
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 29
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 30
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 31
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 32
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 33
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 34
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 35
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 36
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 37
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 38
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 39
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 40
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 41
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 42
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 43
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 44
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 45
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 46
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 47
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 48
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 49
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 50
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 51
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 52
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 53
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 54
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 55
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 56
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 57
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 58
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 59
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 60
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 61
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 62
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 63
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 64
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 65
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 66
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 67
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 68
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 69
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 70
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 71
BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019 - 72
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_MARCH_2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_FEBRUARY_2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancejanuary2020
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_DECEMBER_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_NOVEMBER_19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BALANCE_OCTOBER_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balanceseptember2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancejuly2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance_June_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancemay2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balance_april_2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarch19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruary19
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanuary2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNovember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptember2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceAugust2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuly2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJune2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMay2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceApril2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarchIssue2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruary18
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanIssue2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancedecember2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/balancenovember2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJulyIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuneIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMayIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceAprilIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMarchIssue17
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceFebruaryIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJanuaryIssue2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceDecember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNovember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceOctober2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceSeptember2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJuly2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceJune2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceMay2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceLaunchEditionApril2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/BalanceNov
http://europe.nxtbook.com/emp/Balance/Balance
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com