In Australia, drinking is heavily ingrained in our culture, with many social activities revolving around consuming alcohol, which can make it tricky for those trying to avoid booze to navigate.
Socialising is important for building and maintaining our positive mental wellbeing, and when you’re not drinking, this can be challenging. However, as more and more people join the sober curious movement and adopt healthier lifestyle choices, staying connected to social situations while abstaining from alcohol has become less isolating.
Here is our guide on how to survive social gatherings when you are a non-drinker.
Plan your night
Being a non-drinker shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle to a fun night. With some planning, you can have just as enjoyable a night out as everyone else!
The question of why you are not drinking is more than likely going to come up at some stage, so be prepared. Some people may abstain from drinking for health reasons or it may be a case of simply not enjoying the taste of alcohol. If you are asked about your choice, explain your reasons and move on. There is no need to justify your decision as it is a personal choice that should be respected.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable or pressured to drink, then it’s okay to leave the party. Having an exit excuse ready in the event you need to leave can be helpful. It may be that you have to get up early the next day, you’re tired or you have plans to meet up with another friend. There’s no reason to remain somewhere where you may feel uneasy.
Stay busy and keep yourself entertained
Don’t be afraid to socialise. Just because you’re not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people and have fun. In fact, you may find that you have more engaging conversations and establish deeper connections with others. Why not take on other activities at the party such as volunteering to be the DJ, mixing up some impressive mocktails for guests or just assisting the hosts with the catering? Keeping busy by getting involved can remove anxieties often associated with social events when not drinking.
Bring your own beverages
With so many alcohol-free alternatives available on the market, there’s no need to get stuck drinking tap water, juice or soft drinks at your next event. If you’re attending a house party, offer to bring a non-alcoholic beverage such as one of Edenvale’s premium wines that can be enjoyed by drinkers and non-drinkers alike. All the taste and aromas of a traditional wine without the hangover effects. Our Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee and Aperitivo Spritz cans are the perfect option for backyard BBQs and spring racing events and can help you feel “sociable” without the need to consume actual alcohol. Keeping a drink in your hand will also prevent others from offering you alcoholic beverages.
If you’re feeling creative, you can try your hand at making some delicious mocktails for a fun, fancy drink – nothing says that you’re up for a party quite like walking in with your own cocktail shaker!
Remember your ‘why’
Remembering why you quit drinking in the first place is a good way to eliminate caving to peer pressure or feeling awkward around others socially when you find yourself perhaps the only non-drinker at the party. Whether you just don’t feel like drinking alcohol, are pregnant, for other health reasons, or you’re giving your body a temporary break from the booze, going back to your ‘why’ reason will keep you on the path to achieving your personal health goals.
Be the designated driver
If you’re out with friends and you’re the designated driver, there’s no need to explain why you’re not drinking. Just enjoy the night and know that you’re being responsible by making sure everyone gets home safely. Additionally, you may find yourself making a few new friends for the evening as they try to persuade you to give them a lift home too!
Pair up with a non-drinking buddy
If you’re feeling pressured to drink alcohol at a party, try to seek out a fellow non-drinking buddy. Alternatively, bring a support person who is also happy to abstain from alcohol at the event. It’s easier to stick to a commitment when you have the support of another individual.
Don’t be afraid to say no
It can be difficult to say no to alcohol, especially when everyone around you is drinking. No one wants to feel like an outsider. But it’s important to remember that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy yourself and you don’t have to change your personal non-drinking plans to do so. Don’t feel obliged to drink just because everyone else is.
Stick to your plan
By following these practical tips, not only can you survive being the non-drinker at a party, but your social life will thrive too. So next time you’re at a party or event where alcohol is being served, learn to make the best of the situation and who knows, maybe you’ll even have a good time!
Looking for a non-alcoholic beverage for your next event? Edenvale’s extensive range of alcohol-removed wines can be purchased from your local supermarket, bottle shop or online.