Not drinking in July? We’ve got your Friday nights covered.
Dry July is without doubt a rewarding endeavour. By steering clear of booze for 30 days, you’ll no doubt end up feeling fantastic, freed of the standard Saturday morning hangover haze.
Your wallet will thank you for not having to sponsor several chardonnays, and – according to the Australian Liver Foundation, a four week break from alcohol can potentially reverse the first signs of liver disease.
Most of all, if you’ve signed up as part of the official Dry July event - you’ll also be helping people diagnosed with cancer navigate an incredibly traumatic time.
But, you ask – what will I do when I’m not enjoying a glass or two?
Aside from yoga, reading a book, calling your mum, writing poetry, or circling the block seven times with the dog (which are all nice things) – what is there to do but wallow in your month-long crystal clear sobriety? How will you while away the hours during cold winter nights ahead?
To help you out, we've devised a sturdy mocktail of thrilling things to do when drinking isn’t an option.
Use your evenings in July to plan out your next vacation. Prepare your passport and plan a trip to Bangkok to experience its thriving dining scene, or dream up your next cocktail in Las Vegas. Head interstate and visit Perth’s stylish new Tribe Hotel, or child-friendly Palm Cove in Queensland’s tropical north. Book a staycation in your city, or a winter camping weekend in one of the country's beautiful national parks.
Sign up to Unyoked and disconnect in a tiny cabin in the wilderness. Or hit the road and discover Australia’s most spectacular and scenic road trips - you've no need to worry about drink driving or being the solitary designated driver.
Try something new
It’s easy to get caught up in the tide of Monday to Friday. While a drink can sometimes ease the woes of a stressful week – why not step out of your regular routine in July and try something new? Cook something you’ve never tried before – like these hearty looking traditional Turkish dishes.
If sobriety leaves you feeling adventurous and/or sporty, why not try trapeze, or one of this year's new fitness regimes. Inspired by arcade games, PRAMA involves interactive floor obstacles and is all the rage in NYC. Using a clever integration of sound, lights and sensors - the program stimulates the most responsive of human senses (and sort of looks like a night club). You can try it in Australia here.
Reward yourself for your efforts – for doing something great for your general well-being, and for giving to a great cause. Book in that massage, facial, or hair cut you’ve been putting off for weeks. Spend an evening indoors trawling bargains among the end of financial year sales, or try out 'wake and cake' - this year's trend of chocolate for breakfast, which is now believed to aid with weight loss.
It’s cold out there – night time temperatures will get as low as 3 degrees in some cities in Australia in July. So don't be ashamed to don your pyjamas and stay indoors of an evening. Test out some weekend recipes, or rewatch Game of Thrones in preparation of the season seven premiere on July 17. Organise a games night, or a movie marathon with friends. Or lap up some me-time on the couch with this health-charged non-acoholic hot toddy.
And if all else fails and you feel a drink is truly in order - you can ask a friend to sponsor you for a night off, otherwise known as a Dry July Golden Ticket. More info on that here.