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Sober September Is Like Lent, For Booze

What is “sober curious?” “Sober curious” is the new buzzword to describe people who are interested in quitting drinking–at least temporarily. Ruby Warrington, the author of Sober Curious, says...

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What is “sober curious?”

“Sober curious” is the new buzzword to describe people who are interested in quitting drinking–at least temporarily. Ruby Warrington, the author of Sober Curious, says more millennials are interested in sobriety to improve their physical and mental well-being. She’s promoting “Sober September,” a month-long challenge to stay booze-free during September 2019.

“People are more invested in their overall well-being [these days],” Warrington told Bustle.com. “As we change our diet, work out regularly and adopt other wellness practices, it becomes harder to reconcile the way alcohol really makes us feel. I think a lot of people are beginning to ask if a few hours of ‘pressing pause’ on stress, anxiety, or loneliness is worth the inevitable payoff the morning after.”

Millennials are wise to rethink their alcohol consumption. Studies show that binge drinking–consuming four or more alcoholic beverages in a single sitting–is way up in recent decades, especially among women. Another recent study found that women who don’t drink at all report being in the best mental health, whereas heavy alcohol consumption contributes to depression and anxiety.

But being “sober curious” doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out booze forever, Alison Stone, a psychologist, told Bustle. For many people, it means scaling back on alcohol or taking a break.

“Identifying as sober curious prevents us from falling into a black and white way of thinking, feeling, and behaving,” Stone said. “It can help us better understand our relationship with alcohol, too — when do we drink more than we intended to? Are we drinking because we want to, or because we feel we need to? Having curiosity opens up the possibilities to better understand ourselves and our motives for doing things.”

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