Sober Spring is here!

Catherine Gray | March 2020 | 7 minutes

Sober Spring is a 93-day alcohol sabbatical, from 20 March to 20 June, brought to you by best-selling author Catherine Gray and Alcohol Change UK.

In times such as these, it can be especially tempting to heed the advice of the ‘Keep calm and drink wine’ tin-and-rope kitchen sign. It can be particularly hard not to hit the ‘f*ck it button’ and deep-dive into a bottle to anaesthetise the anxiety.

Although using the alcohol trapdoor may provide temporary escape, and even though it can act as a fast-lane to relaxation, it doesn’t solve any of our worries. We wake up swaddled in the exact same negative emotions. Only, under the glower of hangxiety, boozeanoia and ‘beer fear’, these worries can seem even bigger, badder and blacker than they did beforehand.

If you’re here, reading this blog, you might be thinking about taking some time off alcohol. We're here to help.

We’re here to help you have the best possible three months; to give you encouragement and inspiration when you need it; and to help you get all the amazing benefits that time off alcohol can bring.

So, what exactly is Sober Spring? As many of you already know, I pitched this idea to Alcohol Change UK a few years ago, because I believe that three months is the perfect period to give you a true taste of life alcohol-free. Even one month off, like Dry January®, is enough for many people to change their relationship with alcohol long term. In fact, research has shown that six months after Dry January® participants are still drinking more healthily. So imagine what three months can do.

We surveyed some Sober Springers last year and found some fascinating results:

  • Before Sober Spring, 59 per cent of participants drank four or more times a week.
  • 59 per cent didn’t drink at all during Sober Spring. Everyone else drank less than they did before; 15 per cent found they drank monthly or less, and 11 per cent two to four times a month.
  • More than half of Sober Springers decided not to go back to drinking at all after their three months off. 28 per cent decided to drink less, while a fifth wanted to continue taking yearly time out.

In the coming weeks, people who sign up to Sober Spring will receive weekly emails on a bevy of burning topics, such as ‘intoxicated masculinity’ and the unique drinking pressures men face. Or alcohol as a parenting impediment, rather than a parenting aid, as it is so often now portrayed. Whatever you’re curious / apprehensive about – drinking pressure from friends, sober relationships, what people learn in rehab – the chances are, we’re going to be delving into it.

There’ll be plenty from me, as well as top quit lit authors, trailblazers in the sober movement, and people from outside the world of alcohol-free. All of whom have devoted their time to this campaign for absolutely zilch, nada, zero, because they are straight-up legends.

Stay tuned – whether you’re just sober-curious right now, or you’ve been sober for years. There is so much great, completely free content coming up that I really, really want you to see.

Sunshine-warm sober wishes,

Catherine Gray

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