Things to do when sober - guide
Mental Health

Sober October – Things to do when going sober!

Going Sober this October | How to take part in the challenge, includes things to do when going Sober 

I can’t believe it’s October already, where is the time going. 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year but I’m staying positive for the last three months. In my last post, I shared my going sober story and what a success it was! As this is Sober October, I thought now would be the best time to share my tricks and tips that have helped me stay sober (for 7 weeks now woo!) along with other things you can do, even in the current climate. 

Things to do 

Staying busy is key for me. I’ve listed things I do on a daily and weekly basis. These include being alone and with friends, I’ve tried to add a mix of activities. Of course with the current climate, things are limited but we have to make the best of the bad situation. 

*I guess this is a key point. Staying positive. I found myself wanting to go out and drink to “cheer” myself up, even though it would just make me feel worse. Of course, it’s not always possible to stay positive, but I’ve noticed my overall mood changed when I didn’t take things so seriously. This goes hand in hand with allowing yourself time to process situations. The phrase “hot head” comes to mind with me… allowing myself time to digest situations, think of rational solutions has helped my positivity. 

Shopping

This one, of course, isn’t good if you’re trying to save money, but even window shopping is great! Every Sunday afternoon, Lyle and I have created a tradition to go shopping. We don’t always buy something, but getting out the house for a few hours does wonders. I find this helps the cabin fever part of staying sober and it also allows me to be social and interact with people.

It also helps if you treat yourself, which of course I’ve been doing. I’m proud of myself for 1. going sober and deciding to change my life and 2. sticking to the change. Saying you want to change and doing the change are 2 separate milestones.

Some places I’ve been shopping over the last few weeks are:

  • Braehead Shopping Centre
  • Livingston Shopping Centre (They have a Nike outlet) 
  • Edinburgh. This was the shopping trip I didn’t buy anything. I have decided I am going to buy myself a designer bag before I go travelling and I wanted to get some ideas for what I want. We went to Harvey Nicholas for a nosey! 

Fila shoes that Lyle bought me at Braehead shopping centre

You can do some online shopping as well, which again I’ve been doing! I have bought myself new clothes, shoes and also tape in extensions. I really wanted long hair as my hair is at the growing stage. Sadly I didn’t want to pay 300/400 going to a salon, so of course, I have done it myself! (This was a great task for keeping me busy)

Food

This is my favourite one because I love food! With restaurants opening more and more, we’ve eaten out so much lately. This again is a great social activity to do if you’re missing the social aspect of drinking. Some great places I’ve been to lately:

  • Yo Sushi (they offer a 25% student discount)
  • Cafe Andaluz – (this is Spanish tapas)
  • The Crown pub in Lanark – (this is great if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat)

YO Sushi in Braehead - where me and Lyle went out for lunch

Cafe Anduluz - in Edinburgh with Lyle

Going out for food isn’t the only food activity you can do. COOKING! I find cooking a meal from scratch is therapeutic along with really rewarding. I’ve listed a few of my recipes.

This can also include baking as well. Cooking can distract your mind along with passing the time. I find cooking with my sisters to be great fun but very messy. 

Find a hobby 

This sounds a little vague ” Find a hobby” but working on my blog has been the best distraction. It’s difficult to find something that you’ll stick at. I found myself trying out lots of different things, but I wasn’t passionate about them. 

*Whenever I would “give up” something, I felt almost embarrassed, like I was being judged for not sticking it out. Changing my mindset helped me get over this. Please remember you can try as many hobbies as you want! If it’s not for you, there’s no problem! It’s all about trial and error.

Some hobbies that I’ve tried but were not for me were: (I’ve listed these in case it’s something you want to try) 

  • Sewing (I found this more stressful than enjoyable)
  • Eye Lashes (I loved doing this but due to COVID, it just wasn’t something I could do in lockdown, I still do my own and my friend’s lashes) 
  • Running (I really don’t enjoy running… it makes my knees hurt, along with feeling horrible after five minutes. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but it’s not enjoyable for me. 
  • Playing computer games (I enjoy doing this, but I really can’t concentrate for longer than an hour on it, which limits how much I can do it) 

Things to do when going sober this October - guide

I’ve been writing and creating blogs for three years now and I always strayed away from it because I never thought my stuff was good enough. Of course, this positive mindset coming into play again, but wrapping my head around the fact that if people don’t like it, they won’t read it. Everyone has an opinion, and that’s not something I can control. Although writing is my passion, there’s so many aspects with blogging. I run my Pinterest audits, my account. I am constantly updating my older blog posts to make sure they are perfect. Learning is another part I enjoy. With blogging these is an overwhelming amount of information. I am still researching and improving my blog every day – this takes up the majority of my time when I’m not working. 

Exercise 

This ties in with hobbies, but I think doing some sort of exercise is beneficial – regardless if it’s a hobby. As I said above, I’m not a fan of running but ever since Lyle got his bike, I’ve been going cycling with him. I never thought I would enjoy it but it’s amazing! I would recommend trying it (if you’ve not already) I find it to be a rewarding form of exercise and I always feel like I’ve accomplished something. It’s good to cycle with someone as it motivates me, but whatever works for you! 

me cycling as my form of exercise

Other forms of exercise I enjoy are: 

  • Yoga (If you check out my Instagram highlight, I have a few videos on my Yoga journey) 
  • Weights (I loved going to the gym before lockdown, can’t say it didn’t help that Lyle is a professional trainer, this helped me as I wasn’t sure what I was doing) 
  • Body Balance (This was my FAVOURITE class at the gym, this is a mixture of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates and it’s all about building strength. I found this relaxing as they also do mediation at the end of each class. 

Getting into a routine of exercise can be difficult to start with, but once you’re in the swing of it, it’s very rewarding. 

Extras 

I’ve listed other smaller things you can do to keep busy: 

  • TV (I binge watch series with Lyle all the time)
  • Playing cards (Playing a couple of games of cards with Lyle is a great little extra bit of fun after a long day if we can’t be bothered doing anything else)
  • Tidying (This sounds a little boring, but I find tidying is a great rewarding task) 

I hope I’ve listed enough things to get your mind thinking. Being busy can affect people differently. I find working and blogging 99% of the time (aka not chilling very often) is beneficial for me. Whereas some people prefer to have a night off from it. You have to find a routine that works for you. 

*Remember not to burn yourself out. Always look after yourself.

Happy Sober October! 

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