Whether it’s a glass of wine each evening or a burnout binge at the weekend, alcohol has become essential in so many peoples’ lives. It’s a great excuse to see some friends, let your hair down and unwind, and for that, it’s fantastic. Plus, who hasn’t had fun at 2am in a karaoke bar screaming ‘I Will Survive’?
However, while a boozy night out can be the best, excessive drinking can come with some really dangerous consequences.
In 2016 in the UK, there were over 9,000 alcohol-related deaths, and in 2017, more than 7,500 people died from alcohol-specific causes. These figures include anything from blood poisoning to dangerous behaviour brought about through lowered inhibitions and senses, and these stats highlight the risks that binge drinking can carry.
With over 580,000 dependent drinkers in England alone, we think it’s important to be aware of the negatives that can come with the positives. That’s why we’re excited for Alcohol Awareness Week this November.
From 11-17 November, you can get involved with a whole week of amazing awareness-raising campaigning, either to support a friend or family member or simply to get involved in a really great cause.
And, to do our bit, we thought we’d give you some top ways to get your kicks while keeping the drink out of it. So, grab a cuppa, settle down and have a nosy at our 4 fave sober activities to plan with your mates.
#1: Road triiiiiiip!
That’s right. Now you’re not worrying about a designated driver, it’s the perfect time to pile into your pal’s beaten up Ford Fiesta and explore the open road. Plan a route or just flip a coin at every junction to decide where you’re going; with the whole of the UK so easily accessible, who knows what you’ll discover. Explore the winding roads of the Lake District and get coffee and cake at the cutest tea shops, or venture South and enjoy the stunning shores of the Cornish coast. Even Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham holds appeal when you know you’re facing it on the way to see Ariana Grande or Stormzy in the O2. Plus, think how much easier it is to get your mates in your back seat, rather than faffing around with group train tickets and Lauren leaving her bag in the loos.
#2: Rollercoasters are awesome
Theme parks are science’s way of reminding us exactly how fragile we are, and they’re so much fun because of it. Nobody likes the kid that vomits his guts up, so there’s plenty of reason to stick to the soft drinks while you head over to your closest adventure wonderland. Instead of thinking about which wine pairs perfectly with your outfit, start wondering how best to style your hair to avoid the G-force thrills of the speediest ‘coasters, and trade that greasy kebab for some deep-fried donuts. If you want to keep costs low, you can look at the different discounts offered by Kellogg’s or other schemes, or you can really splash out and take a handful of coins for the arcades when you’re about done with the adventure rides.
#3: Get bowled over
Revisit your childhood by grabbing some friends or family and booking yourself a lane at the local bowling alley. Not only is it a perfect excuse to enjoy some trashy fries and onion rings, but you’ll remember how much fun it can be to throw heavy objects at things. It makes for a great family outing or a cute first date, and you can find additional enjoyment from the cheesy animations whenever you get a strike or from making up the most hilarious names for your companions to go by onscreen.
Not your thing? Try out ice skating or rollerskating instead. Or, take it one step further and get yourself to Laser Tag.
#4: Hello, old friend
How many hobbies have fallen by the wayside in your time? Chances are, there’s loads of things you picked up for a while, just to replace with the next that tickled your fancy. Instead of spending your night binging on Netflix and a nip or two of wine, get back to business. Remind yourself of all the reasons you loved a certain hobby and get back into it! Not only will it give you a cool fact to provide whenever an awkward team building experience requires it, you’ll also have something to do whenever boredom strikes. If you’re not sure what to try, check out our ideas below.
Hobbies for hire
- Grab some cheap brush pens, load up a YouTube tutorial and you’ll be crafting posh invites to your next party in no time.
- Whether you’ve not had time for it recently or you fell out of love after having Shakespeare forced upon you, finding a new story to lose yourself in can be the most enthralling feeling. Grab a bestseller or find an indie novel and dive in headfirst.
- Supermarkets are only getting more expensive, so cut your costs by setting up a cute little vegetable patch in your garden or local allotment. Carbs for days when you cultivate your potatoes, or a healthy veggie stew; the options are endless.
- With tech more and more advanced now, it doesn’t take a lot of money to get some great photos. Grab your phone and your umbrella (you can’t ever be too careful) and get snapping in your local woods, town or even in your house. It’s a fun way to get out and about, or to see the life you have in a whole new light.
There you have it. 4 great things to do that’ll be just as much fun – if not more – without a drink in your hand. Want to share what you love to do? Get in touch with us on social media; just use #Cohorted.