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7 Ways To Survive Sober October

You may have noticed that a funny thing tends to happen in the month of October. With students freshly back at uni and no one really worrying about looking fit and healthy now that summer is over, you might think that October would be the pinnacle of hedonistic excess.

Instead, however, the opposite occurs. October sees the start of Sober October, a campaign by Macmillan Cancer Support which sees people giving up alcohol for a whole month, raising money for cancer sufferers in the process.

We’re at the half-way point now and if you’re taking part you’ve done well to make it this far. But it’s not over yet. Here’s how to keep going with your sanity and sobriety intact.



1. Remind yourself that it’s for a good cause

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. You may feel that you hear too much use of the phrase “it’s for a good cause”, but it is more than warranted in this case. Instead of spending your hard-earned disposable income on booze, and often regretting it the next morning, Sober October encourages you to donate what would be your drinking money for this month to Macmillan. By doing so, they will be able to provide better care and support to those affected by cancer from the day they are diagnosed and right through their treatment. All of which, frankly, is definitely more worthwhile than a hangover and a few unwanted spots in the morning. Basically, if you’re looking to cut down on alcohol, or are wanting to give to a great charity, this is certainly worth looking into.

2. You won’t be hungover like everyone else

No one goes on a big night out looking forward to the next morning, when it feels like a Herculean feat just to raise one arm. Not wanting to state the obvious, as I’m sure you thought of this already, but going sober for a while means you can have the best of both worlds; a great night with friends, and a bearable morning, or at least as bearable a morning as you can get. And yes, despite what some of your mates might say, it is perfectly possible to have a great night without getting drunk.

3. Keep thinking about how much healthier you’ll feel overall

This is not to suggest that everyone who drinks is a chronic alcoholic who needs a liver transplant at their earliest inconvenience, as that is clearly not the case. Most of us like to go out and have a few pints now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, even if it’s just for a month and even if you’re not even that much of a drinker to begin with, you will almost definitely notice a change in your health for the better by going sober. Whether it’s losing weight, clearer skin, or simply feeling a whole lot fitter, to the extent where the prospect of a game of five-a-sides is actually something you enjoy again, the benefits in this regard make giving up the booze for a while not so much a chore as it is something that you can genuinely be proud of.

4. Make up for the lack of alcohol by eating more

Ironically, while going sober will leave you feeling altogether healthier than you did while drinking, it also stands to reason that you should no longer be feeling as guilty about what you eat. No one’s suggesting that you start going to McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner of course, but when you factor in the amount of calories within alcohol, and thereby the amount that you’re cutting down on, there’s no need to punish yourself as much now for craving a bit more sustenance.

5. Use the time you’d normally spend hungover broadening your horizons

Like most students, you may have once been largely nocturnal on your few days off, which is completely understandable. However, now that you’re off the booze, the prospect of a day in bed nursing a hangover probably doesn’t hold the same level of appeal. Therefore, you’ll have more free time to try new interesting things, whether it’s becoming a culture vulture at art galleries and exhibitions or joining a new sports team, or even visiting the library for the first time in six months. Any one of these is better than being stuck in all day, and will also steer you well clear from any potential temptation.

6. Go to the pub (but drink coke)

Many people seem to confuse giving up alcohol with giving up your social life. Going sober does not mean that you can’t still visit the pub, despite what some may think. Just be prepared to take a few jibes about your glass of diet coke the whole night.

7. Get rid of all the alcohol in your flat

Or at least all of your alcohol – you don’t want to lose friends over this. But if you think you can stay sober easily with all those bottles lying around in the flat then you’re possessed of sterner willpower than most. To the sink with the lot of them.



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