As the world aims to work toward resembling a pre-pandemic state again, it seems like everyone’s now looking to the return of one major thing — live sports. It may be difficult to remember the pre-COVID days that held large gatherings on Game Day. Parties were filled with impressive spreads of food presented buffet-style for guests and the refreshing popping sounds of bottles were opened everywhere around the room.
For anyone trying to stay sober, the return of sports may bring forth new stress. An increase in these social situations may lead to you needing to explain your choice of sobriety more and more to your friends — or even being tempted to break it.
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back as you strategize how to manage going back to Game Day parties (with delicious drink choices to sub for that cocktail like non-alcoholic wine!). Here are a few helpful tips for you to navigate the challenge of choosing to be sober during the return of sports, without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the Game Day festivities.
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Trick Your Mind (and Your Friends Too) — The easiest way to feel comfortable among your friends who are drinking is to fill your hands with a similar beverage. Non-alcoholic drinks — that look and taste like the real thing — are a handy item to grab on your way to a Game Day party. A non-alcoholic craft beer gives you the hoppy taste you crave so that both you and your friends won’t know the difference.
Subbing your drink for a non-alcoholic one means you won’t have to dodge as many (if any) questions about why you’re not drinking or feel the burden of having to constantly explain yourself. With a can or bottle to hold in your hands like everyone else, you’ll feel more relaxed and comfortable so you can get back to focusing on the game.
Keep It Classy — Don’t worry if craft beer isn’t your thing. If you usually prefer to opt for a lighter, more fruity beverage like wine—you can! Just fill your glass with a chilled non-alcoholic rosé to hold onto throughout Game Day. A bubbly drink in your cup, with all the same colors and flavors as its alcoholic counterpart, is your secret weapon to staying sober on Game Day.
Dry drink options made to look and taste like your favorite alcohol beverages are the best way to “win” at staying sober through all of the cheers and celebrations that will come with the return of sports. They are a delicious way for you to join in on the fun without breaking your commitment to sobriety.
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Be the Designated Driver — Here’s another helpful tip if you’re looking for an easy answer for those curious enough to ask "Why aren’t you drinking?” Simply designate yourself ahead of time as the sober driver.
If you’re someone who would feel more comfortable having an unarguable reason for your sobriety, volunteer to drive your group of friends (or anyone who needs it) to and from the big Game Day party. Then you’re free to sip on that tasty mocktail carefree while having a quick reply for any nosy party-goers.
Statistics even show that nine out of ten Americans at a party would prefer to see more designated drivers. So there’s no need to worry about feeling like an outlier at the party; in fact, most people will probably be grateful to see you being responsible and safe. Everyone wins!
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Make It Family-Friendly — In order to start Game Day off on the right foot, be sure to create a family-friendly environment if possible. This will make it easier to encourage sobriety while also building an atmosphere that’s fun for everyone.
You can do this by asking your friends to bring their kids or other family members. Even ask them to bring their pets if it helps to create a lighter, more sober mood for the event. If the house hosting the Game Day party is located near an outdoor activity spot like a park, it may also help to discourage drinking from getting out of control if you suggest walking over to it during half-time.
If you’re looking to make the party more family-friendly, get creative with ways to include people of all age groups and encourage being outside as much as possible. This will naturally support a more sober mood for the day.
To conclude, staying sober may seem like a challenge at first with the return of sports. However, with the right tools and a little creative planning, you can set yourself up for success toward your goal of sobriety.
Definitely be sure to bring a non-alcoholic beverage to sip on and hold in your hand, while also preparing an easy answer (if you feel you need one) for anyone curious enough to ask you why you’re not drinking. You’ve got this!