I know the feeling. It’s 6pm, the time you would normally open a bottle of wine after a long day. It’s the thing you’ve been waiting for ever since you got up, the only thing that’s made the last 8 hours of work/life bearable.
Finding things to do instead of drinking has always been difficult for me. For a good few years I was completely alcohol dependent, to the point where ‘going to the pub’ was my only real hobby. Any other activity I did – watching a film, going out for dinner, reading a book – was completed with a glass in my hand.
I found it difficult to muster up any enthusiasm for sober activities. Whenever I tried to have alcohol-free days, my evenings felt so painfully long and boring that I would usually cave.
Luckily, I made a conscious effort to curb my excessive drinking habits after they started seriously aggravating my BPD and social anxiety – but of course, I needed activities to replace my one-and-only hobby with. The best way for me to curb my alcohol cravings is for me to remain as busy as possible. Cue this list of things to do instead of drinking!
20 Things To Do Instead Of Drinking Alcohol
Whether you’re trying to quit alcohol completely or just want to reign in your alcohol consumption for the weekend, this list is packed full of activities that will help keep your mind off the booze.
- Arts and crafts – Whether it’s painting, drawing or scrapbooking, crafts are a great way to unleash your creativity and keep your mind busy.
- Go for a walk or drive
- Make mocktails – I love making mocktails! Not only are they super fun to make, but they’re cheap, yummy and satisfy the itch for booze.
- Start an online course – There are loads of free and budget-friendly courses covering a wide range of topics. My favourite websites to use are Udemy and FutureLearn – check them out.
- Try out some interesting new recipes
- Exercise – I find that having an evening exercise routine helps to calm down my cravings. Joining a class is a great idea too because it gives you that extra bit of motivation.
- Read a book – Create a to-be-read list and work your way through it.
- Do some volunteering for your local community
- Get into baking!
- Play some mind puzzles – Mind games are great for stimulating your brain, passing the time and drowning out those pesky, niggling cravings. You could try chess, sudoku, solitaire, crosswords – there’s loads to chose from!
- Write in a journal – Journaling is incredibly therapeutic and great for unleashing pent up emotions.
- Do some deep-cleaning – It might just be me, but sometimes a good cleaning session can work wonders for cravings.
- Watch a movie – Make a list of all the movies you really want to see and get watching!
- Start a blog
- Go exploring – Visit a new city or explore your local area. I’m sure there’s plenty of new places to discover.
- Learn an instrument
- Give a friend a call – If there’s someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, call them for a catch-up.
- Play a videogame
- Practise yoga, mindfulness or meditation
- Plan a vacation
Having different hobbies has helped my mental health in many ways. Not only are hobbies absorbing, but you’re rewarded with a wonderful sense of fulfilment when you see how much progress you’ve made. And don’t forget the joy of finally completing that song or novel!
Read this post for hobby ideas that make great drinking alternatives!
I hope you enjoyed my list of things to do instead of drinking alcohol! Got any other sober activities you’d like to share? Feel free to add them in the comments down below!