Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘Just give it a go!’: Local expert shares top tips for a happy, sober New Year

Post Thumbnail

Many of us enjoy a festive drink, but for those of us forgoing the alcohol this New Year, it can be tough.

Lauren Burnison experienced her first sober Christmas and New Year five years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Since, she has launched her own alcohol-free holiday company, running a trip to Dunkeld earlier this year after experiencing the town’s charm for herself when her family bought a holiday cabin there.

We spoke to Lauren to find out about her first sober festive season and her advice for anyone ditching the alcohol this New Year.

What was your first sober New Year like?

My first sober Christmas and New Year was in 2016. I had quit drinking that September.

I was living in South Korea at the time and decided to come back to the UK for Christmas and New Year. It was a quiet one with family in Edinburgh.

To be honest I’d had my fair share of parties over the years so I absolutely didn’t feel like I was missing out.

Christmas and New Year always felt like a bit of an anticlimax. I much prefer the unexpected feel-good moments in life, especially now that I’m booze-free.

What are your top tips for someone about to take part in their first sober festive season?

First of all, it’s important to understand this is about you. You’re making this decision to better your own life.

That means you have to put yourself first when deciding on the situations you’re going to put yourself in.

This doesn’t necessarily mean opting out of the traditional boozy family dinner but don’t feel bad if you decide to cut the party short.

Christmas mocktails are a great alternative, while still being able to enjoy your favourite festive flavours.

Also check out some alcohol-free alternatives. In the UK we are incredibly lucky to have such a great choice. I recommend checking out WiseBartender.

If you do decide to opt-out of certain parties or leave early, remember why you’re doing it and don’t forget how refreshed and amazing you’ll feel the next morning.

Just give it a go!

What are some of the main challenges people might experience?

The main challenge people experience is FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. This is understandable, especially if it’s you’re first sober Christmas.

As time goes by, sober people instead start to feel JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) at the thought of boozy events or at least staying to the early hours.

I suggest focusing on what you’re gaining and reminding yourself why you’ve decided to go booze-free.

There is a whole other world of awesome people, places and experiences on the other side of that decision.

If you’re looking for motivation, Instagram has thousands of sober accounts. You really will see that you’re not the only one going sober this Christmas.

Just search #sober and the Instagram sobersphere will be revealed!

What would you say to people who drink alcohol about how to support friends or family having a sober festive season?

If you actually care about this person, try to be respectful of their decision. That means not trying to get them to drink or interrogating them about their reason for going sober.

Many people feel triggered when someone tells them they’re not drinking. This is usually because it makes them reflect on their own drinking habits.

Being able to recognise this as a sober person is also helpful. That way you don’t take it too personally when people comment negatively on your decision to go booze-free.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]