With the New Year’s Eve release of her book “Sober Curious” (subtitle: “The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol”), it’s no surprise that author Ruby Warrington thinks Dry January is a great way to reset and reassess your relationship with alcohol in the coming year.
amNewYork chatted with the Brooklynite, 42, who also is founder of the roving sober event series Club SÖDA NYC, about what it means to be “sober curious,” her relationship with alcohol and Dry January tips.
How do you define being sober curious?
I see it as choosing to question and literally feel curious about your relationship with alcohol. It’s about considering every instinct, invitation and expectation to drink versus just mindlessly going along with the flow of the dominant drinking culture, which has become so pervasive in New York City — and other cities around the world.
What were your drinking habits like before you became sober curious?
In the past, I would drink like most people in my social circle, around four or five nights per week. I’d have a couple glasses of wine during the week and binge drink on the weekends. Binge drinking is defined as having four drinks in two hours for women — and five for men. At the time, it seemed completely normal. With the sober curious movement, my goal is to make not drinking an option that’s available.
Do you have any advice for someone considering doing Dry January?
Go into it expecting to enjoy yourself rather than thinking this is going to be really hard or worrying about what I call FOMA: fear of missing alcohol. Instead of thinking about what you’re denying yourself, focus on what you’re opening yourself up to. I also recommend writing down five reasons you’re doing this, so when it feels challenging you can remind yourself why you made this choice.
What are some of the benefits of making these lifestyle changes?
I personally have experienced better sleep, more energy, more clarity and feeling more confident and optimistic. I feel more inspired in the mornings. When I look back now, I don’t know how I ever found so much time and space for alcohol in my life. I see it as the next logical step in the wellness revolution. It’s one more way you can be empowered to invest in your own well-being.
Social pressure can be a big hurdle. Do you have any advice for dealing with it?
People asking why you’re not drinking is definitely tough — and only having soda water with lime can get boring. However, you’d be surprised by how many bartenders enjoy the challenge of being asked to make a mocktail. One of my go-to drinks is tonic with a splash of bitters — it’s what many bartenders drink — or a nonalcoholic beer. Just having a bottle in your hand can stop the questions.
IF YOU GO
Ruby Warrington and Diego Perez discuss “Why the Future Is Sober Curious” on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at the 92nd Street Y | 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500 | tickets $29 at 92y.org