Are millenials becoming the sober generation?

Millennials. Born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. The generation that grew up with Neopets, 90’s fashion and the launch of alcopops.

According to this report, 42% of millennials are drinking less alcohol than we were three years ago, with one in four preferring to spend their money on ‘other things’.

So have we all decided the hangover isn’t worth it, is it too expensive, are we more concerned with our health or is it now just ‘not cool’ to drink?

These days there are so many causes which encourage sobriety: Dry January, Dry July and ‘Ocsober’ for starters. Are we just using these sort of themes as an excuse to not drink without society’s judgement? Although they may have limited benefits short term to our health, group activities like this can actually help us to be more accustomed to being in social situations without drinking.

This also leads us to the sober curious movement. Basically, if you identify as sober curious, it means that your previous experiences with alcohol weren’t positive and therefore you don’t drink often - but - you don’t want to box yourself in as a ‘non-drinker’. Influencers, like Lee From America are jumping on board and openly discussing their relationships with alcohol and why they’re ‘sober curious’.

Personally, I drink around 1 - 2 glass of wine a week, and every few months go hard (whether at an important celebration or concert etc). The reason? My hangovers frustrate me. The whole next day is a complete write off - and for those who work full time - the 2 days of our weekend are precious. Plus, I then spend the entire day feeling guilty and anxious that I’m wasting time. It’s a vicious cycle.

This is a judgement free zone, so, you do you boo. But in spirit of this article, let’s explore some of the reasons to cut back, or give up alcohol.

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Financial reasons

In Australia drinking is freaking expensive. Personally I would prefer to spend money on a quality glass (or bottle) of red then get something average that I try not to gag on as I’m sipping. Not only is alcohol expensive but the whole shbang of the night adds up -  new outfit, getting to the bar, drinks, sneaky drunk Maccas, uber home, (your dignity…).

Wasting your precious time

Regular binge drinking can sabotage your productivity. Unless you are an alcohol wizard, there’s almost always a cost to your heavy night out. You may not feel hungover, but your lack of energy resulting in netflix and chilling the whole day ruins any sort of lists being checked off.

The health effects

Long-term alcohol use is associated with a host of negative health effects. Due to the world wide web, we now have vast amount of information concerning health and alcohol. We know that alcohol is a toxin. Not only does alcohol lead to inflammation of the body, but it can also lead to greater illnesses such as liver disease, heart disease and mental health problems.

Not using alcohol as a social crutch

Hands up who’s socially awkward?! I totally get it, when I first got back into the dating scene after a long term relationship, I shotted vodka straight from the bottle before my first ever date (because you can’t smell vodka, duh.).

But re-evaluating and learning from these experiences, it’s important to be aware of your behaviours and not use alcohol as a crutch. This means learning to be in awkward situations sober, or if you don’t feel comfortable, respecting yourself and declining the invite.

In the mood to read? Check out Losing motivation and how to fix it, 5 things to add to your coffee for a health boost, The comparison trap: learning to master your inner critic , Owning Your Thighs and All the Problems They Cause.