Whether you’re fresh off of a dry month challenge and not sure where to go from here or you’re sober curious but don’t know if giving up alcohol completely is right for your lifestyle, you might be part of a growing number of Canadians who are adopting a “flexitarian” approach to drinking. Rather than quitting alcohol entirely, many of us are simply thinking more carefully about when, how often, and how much we choose to drink.
The “flexitarian” approach to drinking
There are different reasons why people decide to examine their alcohol intake more critically but, for a lot of us, it stems from a desire to take better care of our minds and bodies. The overall cultural shift towards wellness is bringing about a new way of drinking for those who want the option to consume alcohol occasionally but also want to find a more balanced approach to imbibing.
Some experts compare this style of drinking to the flexitarian movement of people who aim to eat less meat but without adopting a completely vegetarian diet. Similarly, “flexitarian drinkers” strive to drink less alcohol without choosing to become full-on teetotalers. It’s a less rigid approach that gives you the freedom to enjoy alcohol in moderation, rather than making it an all-or-nothing equation.
Drink more mindfully
Many flexitarian drinkers achieve their goals of cutting back on alcohol by adopting a mindful style of drinking. Alcohol is so deeply woven into our culture that it’s easy to find yourself drinking out of habit, without considering if you really wanted that drink or even if you’re actually enjoying it. The mindful drinking approach aims to help people break this habit of drinking on autopilot.
There are various ways to go about drinking mindfully but, in general, it involves paying attention to when and why you drink, as well as how much you drink. That often means taking a moment to consider if you truly want a drink before pouring yourself (or accepting) one. It also means taking the time to really appreciate and savour each sip if you do decide to drink so that you don’t unconsciously drink too quickly and end up overdoing it.
Choose non-alcoholic spirits for balance
Many flexitarian drinkers use non-alcoholic spirits like Sobrii to find more balance in their drinking. Maybe that means mixing a Sobrii cocktail to pair with your dinner a couple of nights a week, instead of instinctively reaching for a glass of wine. Or it might mean alternating Sobrii cocktails with standard gin & tonics throughout an evening of social drinking, so you end up having just one or two alcoholic drinks instead of three or four over the course of the night.
Part of the appeal of mindful drinking is that it doesn’t need to be restrictive, however, some people find it helpful to be specific in their goals, rather than setting an intention to “drink less” which can be too vague to adhere to.
Think about how many drinks you want to enjoy in a week or even how much you want to have on specific days — you can also make this decision over time, as you gradually cut back and decide what works best for you. Whenever you’re craving a cocktail but are choosing not to consume alcohol in that moment, switch to Sobrii instead.