Week thirteen: Unwind without wine

Millie Gooch | June 2022 | 6 minutes

Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society, brings us some brilliant tips on tackling Sober Spring - the three-month sabbatical off alcohol.

The greatest act of self-care is often sold to us via the relaxing image of a frothy bubble bath, classic book and mammoth glass of wine. But anyone who has actually tried to balance a glass of rioja in the tub whilst leafing through Great Expectations will know that the reality isn’t quite as calming as one was led to believe from the pictures. Still, the idea that alcohol is the ultimate relaxant still rings true for a lot of us so here’s my tips for chilling out sans booze:

Understand that it could be the ritual

Picture this, you come home from work, the week has been less than ideal, you open the fridge, grab a glass, pour a drink, flop on to the sofa and ahhhh, breathe. Sounds relaxing right? That’s because it is! Yet nowhere in that fantasy did I stipulate that the drink needed to be alcoholic. If your Friday evening ‘ahhhhh’ moment is the one bit of mindfulness in your week, it’s no wonder you’ve given the credit to the alcohol alone. Your routine can stay the same, just change what’s in the glass.

Make your space calm

We’ve all heard of the tidy desk, tidy mind policy and it really does ring true. Use your newly reclaimed time to declutter, light some candles, ramp up the mood lightning. Even if your house is chaotic and filled with tiny humans, try to find a little crevice/nook and attempt to create an environment you can retreat to that will make you feel calm.

Redefine self-care

So, wine in the tub is out, what’s in? Well, whether it’s a bargain face mask, painting by numbers or 5 minutes of interrupted peace and quiet, work out what it is that actually makes your feel relaxed and calm. Whatever it is – do it as often as you can.