30 Days No Alcohol: My Experience Not Drinking in the Most Social Month of the Year

I recently did an experiment: 30 days no alcohol. In the past, I found that things always came up—a happy hour here, a holiday party there… so this time, I decided to face things head on and do Dry June in the busiest month of the year.

I stayed sober despite business conferences, vacations in Mexico, friends visiting town, pool days, barbecues—you name it. It was an incredibly eye opening experience for me, so I’m sharing my thoughts for anyone who is sober curious, loves a fun health challenge, or just wants to hear my take on over 30 days not drinking.

P.S. Prefer to listen? Check out Episode 30 of the Bright Life Podcast: 30 Days No Alcohol: My Experience Not Drinking in the Most Social Month of the Year.

30 Days No Alcohol: Lessons Learned

The Decision: Dry June

A few weeks ago, I embarked on an experiment that involved abstaining from alcohol for an entire month. Now, you might have heard of “Dry January” or other similar challenges, but I chose June—a month known for its social gatherings and festivities—to see what would happen when I said no to alcohol.

Living in a city, alcohol had become intertwined with my social life—from casual dinners with friends to corporate events and everything in between. I decided to challenge myself and explore what it would be like to navigate these situations without a glass of wine or cocktail.

Embracing the Challenge

June was far from a quiet month on my calendar. I had a business conference, a personal development retreat, vacations in Mexico, visitors from out of town, pool days, barbecues, and more lined up. In other words, it was anything but a month where I could just stay at home sipping water. I knew this would make the dry challenge more be difficult, which made it more exciting to me. The idea that conquering this month would make any other month seem like a cake walk was empowering.

Over the course of my alcohol-free month, I learned some valuable lessons that have shifted my perspective on alcohol, self-care, and social dynamics:

Greater Stress Awareness

The realization hit hard: our culture often turns to alcohol to soothe stress. This month helped me become more attuned to the little stressors in my life, even in ways I hadn’t realized. For example, instead of having a glass of wine with dinner at the end of a stressful day (without even realizing what I was doing) I found alternate ways to more intentionally wind down—sea salt baths, walks, journaling, and talking to loved ones.

Things That Surprised Me

Contrary to popular belief, not drinking actually enhanced certain experiences for me. I found myself enjoying social events more fully, being present in conversations, and even relishing the act of preparing dinner as a meditative practice. It turns out, being sober allowed me to appreciate the moment on a whole new level.

Navigating Social Situations

One of my fears was that my choice to not drink would lead to awkward conversations or judgment. But to my surprise, not even one person mentioned me not drinking, despite dozens of social occasions where it felt obvious. I found that if I didn’t explain myself, people didn’t ask. I usually ordered a mocktail, sparkling water with lime, or non-alcoholic beverage, and I don’t think most people even noticed. If they did, they kept it to themselves!

Resources That Helped

During the journey, I turned to resources like the Reframe app and Quit Lit to stay motivated and learn more about the sober curious movement. Fast-forwarding to the sense of accomplishment the next morning or imagining crossing off another successful day helped me stay on track during moments when I felt conscious about not drinking.

A Tool for Self-Discovery

Ultimately, this experiment prompted me to explore my own habits, routines, and mindsets. I found that breaking away from societal norms—even temporarily—can lead to powerful self-discovery. It got me thinking about what other changes I might make to enhance my life. I once had a mentor who told me, “Change the one thing that will impact the most other things.” For many of us, I think alcohol could be this one thing, and this month allowed me to see it from that perspective.

My 30 days without alcohol taught me that giving up a temporary pleasure can lead to long-term gains. It showed me that embracing challenges can empower us to take control of our lives. So, if you’ve ever considered a similar experiment, I encourage you to try it out. Remember, it’s not about deprivation; it’s about discovering new aspects of yourself and finding joy in unexpected places.

As I look back on my alcohol-free June, I’m grateful for the insights gained, the shifts in perspective, and the sense of accomplishment. If you’re sober curious or inspired by this journey, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments! I think so many people are opening up to an alcohol-free (or reduced) life, so you’re not alone.

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More on this topic: 5 Growth Mindset Practices for Seasons of Change and On Self-Love: There Is Still So Much of Yourself to Know and Love.