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Here’s What It Means to Be ‘Sober Curious’ — And Why People Are Embracing It

2 minute read

The start of a new year is a tempting time to begin a new diet, but why cut dairy or carbs when there might be another solution with even more potential benefits? Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious, suggests you cut out something else: drinking.

You don’t need to do so forever, she says. Instead, Warrington advises that you rethink your relationship with alcohol. Warrington coined the term sober curious after realizing that while she wasn’t an alcoholic, she was still using booze to socialize more comfortably and suppress her feelings. In her book, she reminds us that we don’t actually need “liquid courage” to approach a new person or dance like it’s 2019. Confidence can come from doing a power pose or repeating a positive affirmation.

If you suffer from FOMA — Warrington’s acronym for “fear of missing alcohol” — she offers advice for that too, like picking up a new hobby your friends can gather around or making plans for brunch instead of dinner. If you spent New Year’s Eve downing prosecco because you felt like you were supposed to, not because you wanted to, see how you feel about adopting a “sober curious” attitude in 2019.

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Write to Annabel Gutterman at annabel.gutterman@time.com