With the Feb Fast fundraiser in full swing this week, we asked Mozo staff member Caroline Thomas, to share with us her top tips for how she plans to survive February alcohol-free.
Feb Fast is extremely well timed because you’re actually happy to cut back on the things you’ve overindulged on over the Xmas holidays. For me, I’ll be quitting alcohol and a run-on affect will be saving money and ditching bad eating habits, or so I hope.
I’m not a complete novice, as I’ve quit alcohol for one month last year, but this year I’ve made it official and will not only pass on my wisdom with this survival guide but recount my experience at the end of the month.
1. Surround yourself with a good support network
The interesting thing about not drinking is that most people turn you into a social outcast and label you “boring” and this is why supportive friends are essential. Choose to spend time with people who won’t encourage you to drink, not even “just one”, and people who will respect your challenge and want you to succeed.
2. If the temptation is too much, just say “No”
Attending a function with free-flowing booze or a house party with a bottomless punch bowl is never going to end well. If you know you’ll find it hard to resist, just say “No” and if you’ve got your support network finely tuned, you won’t face any backlash.
3. Get creative with your catch ups
Change your catch-ups with friends from the local pub or wine bar to somewhere alcohol-free like the outdoor cinema, a neighbourhood walk, or a gelato date. Having to be creative with your social life gets you out and about, as well as a little more cultured along the way.
4. Keep track of (and reward) your progress
Like most things in life, we work better when we’ve got a goal to work towards (28 days alcohol free is a pretty big one!) and it’s important to mark your milestones and give yourself encouragement along the way. Tracking the money you’ve saved on alcohol is a great motivator for success and the perfect way to pay for that end of FebFast massage.
5. Replace a bad habit with a good one
Saying no to parties, and not having to endure hangovers gives you the time and energy to do so much more with your days. Take up a new hobby, visit an old friend, declutter your wardrobe or exercise more – all of these things will give you even more of a feel-good factor, if that’s possible!
So far, so good. I’ve said “no” to the many tempters trying to lure me into breaking my Feb Fast and am focused on staying strong over the next three weeks. So stay tuned for my end of month wrap up!