Sober October? What did We learn?
Through the month of October, I engaged in an Instagram campaign, #Soctober... The idea focused on challenging your everyday self to do every day acts of self care, that you wouldn't normally, in order to supplement the wave of people focused on Sobriety for the month... And to also bring general awareness to alcohol alternative lifestyles, like other campaigns.
The lessons learnt were surprising. But before we get into them, what do you think of this list?
Day 1 – Write down 3 things you want to achieve for the month.
Day 2 – Three acts of kindness towards loved ones and strangers.
Day 3 – Try something new and out of your comfort zone!
Day 4 - Watch sunset/sunrise.
Day 5 - Do yoga or meditation.
Day 6 - Journal your day today, what has been the best thing, what has been the worst?
Day 7 – Write down 7 bad habits that keep you from reaching your true potential.
Day 8 – Encourage yourself! Write down 8 things you excel at...
Day 9 – Step away from the screen for 90 minutes and go for a walk.
Day 10 – Tidy your desk/working space for 10 minutes.
Day 11 – Compliment Train! Comment a <3 for a compliment, pass on the love
Day 12 – Start repairing a relationship that’s been distanced by lack of energy. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
Day 13 - Do two simple things that fill your heart with joy – baking, painting, drawing, singing… Something to make you a little happier than you were yesterday.
Day 14 - Consciously check how you’re feeling 4 times throughout the day, become more conscious of yourself.
Day 15 - Create an emergency music playlist and share with a friend.
Day 16 - Do something with the photos you have! Share a good memory with 2 friends and reminisce over good times.
Day 17 - Share something you’re proud of today.
Day 18 - Are you a procrastinator? Until the end of the month, start every day by doing the three most important tasks you intend to do but are resisting.
Day 19 - E-Organise! Go through emails, file photos into folders, unsubscribe from unwanted emails, organise your desktop.
Day 20 - Reflecting on sleeping habits, how many hours do you sleep a night? What can you do to rest better?
Day 21 - Spend 30 minutes on a documentary, TEDtalk, lecture or audiobook.
Day 22 - Cook something new!
Day 23 - What can you do in your life to feel better about what you learn in/on the news?
Day 24 - What was the last book you read? What do you plan to read next? Planning reading is less daunting...
Day 25 - Do something with the positive/inspirational quotes you see! Share them, screencap them and make it your phone wallpaper, repeat it twice as a positive word or even print it out and put it on your desk for when you need a jolt of something nice.
Day 26 - How can you commit to loving yourself and loving others equally every single day?
Day 27 - Try something creative! For a bonus, do it outside. Sketch, dance, take scenic photographs.
Day 28 - What beliefs and ethics do you want to live your life for?
Day 29 - What do you need to forgive yourself for?
Day 30 - How can you make your world a better place?
Day 31 – Write a love letter to yourself...
The responses I received for this simple 31 day challenge were overwhelmingly wholesome and pure. Through direct messages and comments, the general reply was that the month had been filling them with such anxiety that this challenge really helped to put it in perspective and breathe.
The general discourse over sobriety sees it as a scary thing. And drinking is a fun thing adults have to 'give up' or 'moderate'. The most surprising thing for me, watching #Soctober unfold, was the sense of anxiety and worry coming from those partaking in it.
Maybe we need to frame this lifestyle choice in a more positive light. This is a choice, after all, and an enjoyable one! Not a prison sentence or declaration of misery. Sobriety is fun. Maybe it's time we call it what it is - not 'dry' as opposed to 'wet'. Just... Sober. No biggie.