Despite being sober for three and a half years, prepping dinner is still one of my biggest triggers and when I miss alcohol the most. Making the drink or choosing the ale was part of my evening ritual. Once my glass was full, I would pull out dinner ingredients and start the meal prep as if I were working alongside an old friend. I was with a liquid friend but that relationship was toxic and I needed to remove it from my life. But the loss of toxicity can still be confusing and painful, even if it’s ultimately the best decision we can make for ourselves. To help with mourning the absence of alcohol, I replaced unhealthy rituals with new, healthier habits and routines

It can feel impossible to give up our daily, nightly, or hourly glasses of wine or beer but, for many of us, it’s necessary if we want our lives to be manageable and truly our own. Replacing what’s harming us with something positive, healthy, or fun makes sobriety easier. You don’t have to stay idle in the void. Here are some alternative rituals you can try instead of pouring a drink each night. I realize folks’ financial situation and physical ability can make some of these ideas impossible, but with 101 options, hopefully, you can find one or two that will help.

  1. Color.
  2. Water and/or check on your indoor plants.
  3. Listen to a podcast.
  4. Listen to an audiobook.
  5. Sit in a sauna.
  6. Sit in an ice bath.
  7. Go for a swim.
  8. Practice origami.
  9. Pray.
  10. Meditate.
  11. Make a mocktail.
  12. Call a friend.
  13. Text a friend.
  14. Take a bubble bath.
  15. Take a walk.
  16. Give yourself a facial.
  17. Read quit lit.
  18. Workout.
  19. Write a gratitude list.
  20. Write a to-do list for the next day.
  21. Check-in on a neighbor.
  22. Watch a documentary.
  23. Watch a movie.
  24. Watch a show.
  25. Practice a new language.
  26. Practice yoga.
  27. Review and/or rewrite goals.
  28. Drink a green smoothie.
  29. Masturbate.
  30. Take a vitamin (B12, D, C are all great for mood and energy boosts!).
  31. Stretch.
  32. Journal.
  33. Play/practice an instrument.
  34. Work on a puzzle.
  35. Doodle. 
  36. Write down one thing that went well that day.
  37. Write down one thing you want to work on/do better the next day.
  38. Listen to music.
  39. Research a topic you don’t know about.
  40. Do an exercise challenge.
  41. Repeat a daily affirmation.
  42. Clean a room.
  43. Organize a closet.
  44. Organize a drawer.
  45. Build with Legos.
  46. Go to a sobriety support meeting.
  47. Try a new recipe.
  48. Self-massage/pressure points.
  49. Play solitaire.
  50. Do a crossword.
  51. Do a word search.
  52. Play a board game.
  53. Take a photo.
  54. Follow along with a breathing app.
  55. Make a fire.
  56. Light a candle.
  57. Smell something nice. 
  58. Make a cup of tea.
  59. Go for a run.
  60. Make your bed.
  61. Sing.
  62. Get fresh air.
  63. Play video games.
  64. Write and mail a note to someone.
  65. Go for a bike ride.
  66. Volunteer.
  67. Cross-stitch.
  68. Knit.
  69. Watch YouTube videos.
  70. Make a cup of matcha.
  71. Make a cup of coffee. 
  72. Have consensual sex.
  73. Take a dog for a walk. 
  74. Pet your cat.
  75. Make a list of things you want to buy with money not spent on wine.
  76. Online window shop. 
  77. Paint.
  78. Work with clay.
  79. Attend a class.
  80. Do a load of laundry.
  81. Sweep the floor.
  82. Tend a garden. 
  83. Make lunch for the next day. 
  84. Learn calligraphy.
  85. Make jewelry.
  86. Take CBD.
  87. Create/add to a vision board.
  88. Play online board games with a friend.
  89. Go for a drive.
  90. Lie under a weighted blanket.
  91. Put your feet in a foot massager.
  92. Send someone a thank you card.
  93. Read a poem.
  94. Write a haiku. 
  95. Learn a dance.
  96. Paint your nails.
  97. Punch a pillow.
  98. Close your eyes and identify five sounds.
  99. Lie down and do a body scan from head to toe.
  100. Snuggle a pet
  101. Make a grocery list for next week (or just tomorrow).

Some people refer to their nightly glass of wine as a habit that could easily be replaced with something else if given some thought. Others see their nightly alcohol as a reward and a need; it’s not just a habit, it’s an addiction that often sends our lives into tailspins. While that can change, sobriety takes a lot of work that requires planning, support, and new routines and rituals. Choosing something besides drinking is empowering and life-saving and with enough time will become our new normal. 

Ready to stop drinking and feel better? Explore membership at Tempest  — and get ready to live an alcohol-free life you love.