Kate's Blog

“But Everyone Drinks At This Time Of Year…”

“Everyone drinks at this time of year.”

“I’m going to be the odd one out… If I don’t drink, I won’t have any fun.”
When I was trying (and failing) to quit drinking, these thoughts played on repeat in my head. I just couldn’t imagine an alcohol-free festive season.
It was a long time before I realised that the contents of my glass didn’t actually matter – it was my mindset that would make the difference.
I explain all in this video:

Key points

Is it true that “everyone drinks”?

In the UK alone, 1 in 5 adults are teetotal. Yet when you’re drinking, it doesn’t feel like this is true, because you tend to be on the lookout for other heavy drinkers. So when you quit, you might well notice that other people don’t drink as much as you thought!

What are you really worried about?

I used to think that people who didn’t drink were boring and I didn’t want people to decide I was too. That’s what I was worried about, deep down. Once you start to identify what you really think, you can explore whether it’s really true or not. 
We’d never declare someone ‘boring’ because they didn’t smoke. If someone said that to you, I bet you’d think it was a pretty silly thing to say! Some of the most interesting people on the planet don’t drink (here’s a list of them). 

How do you behave when you’re not drinking? 

Do you show up as your normal, amazing self? Are you part of the conversation or are you up in your own head, wondering what other people think and whether they’ve noticed? Are you busy telling yourself that you can’t relax and you’re not having fun?
Your thoughts create your experience. If you don’t like what you’re thinking, don’t drink over it – look at your thoughts instead. You have no problem going for coffee or a walk with friends, so you can socialise sober! It’s all about your mindset, not what’s in your glass.
Looking for help to quit drinking and feel great about it? Click here for details of my online course.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


39 Responses

  1. Kate, this is going to be my 2nd alcohol free Christmas! I took your course in October last year. I was nervous going into christmas last year, but am really looking forward to it this time. If I can do this anyone can. ‘Everyone drinks’ is just something fear tells us. Lots of people don’t drink. I gained so much from being hangover free last year – I’m a better mum, better wife and happier in my own skin.

    1. Totally – it’s just fear talking. I’m glad things are feeling a bit easier this year. Wishing you an amazing alcohol free Christmas Lucy!

    2. Well said. I’m actually looking forward with new eyes and a changed mindset. I’m excited about having a second chance to experience Christmas, holidays, meals together and be present. Be aware and enjoy every moment for what it is. I’m not dreading these times. I’m already looking forward to how I will feel in the moment. Being sober is life changing. It is positive. I’m not bothered about how I make others feels. It’s about my self care and self worth.

  2. Thank you. I’ve had a sober November and have been thinking of having a few drinks at Christmas because I don’t want to miss out. Still not decided yet but this has made me think.

  3. Great message and gets one to really thinking about what they believe to be true.
    Bigger picture Kate, thank you.
    Love it.

      1. For me, it’s not just feeling that I’m boring, it’s being bored if I am not drinking with particular company that are drinking. I struggle with this as it is often family members

        1. This sounds like a great opportunity to think about spending less time with them, or coming up with some creative ideas to help pass the time. Drinking because you’re bored is a bit like shooting yourself in the foot to distract yourself from a headache. There are other solutions 🙂

    1. I don’t think ‘’well; everyone else is drinking’’ has been part of my mindset at Christmas. I appreciate the thinking deeper behind that statement though. My statement is more “well; Christmas time is a time for big indulging”. I think I need to think deeper about that statement.

      1. I think there’s lots to explore behind that statement. Christmas is about a lot of other things too – such as seeing people we care about, connecting with loved ones. It’s a special time too… but special doesn’t have to include alcohol.

  4. Hi Kate! Great post! The feeling of getting through Christmas sober is better than any short-lived alcohol high. This is my 6th sober Christmas. Life is sweet.

    1. What a great blog. What AM I really worried about? 1 month sober and I’ve let my family know i am having a sober Christmas and new years (the first sober new years in 18 years!!! Eek!) and basically warned them I will be eating all the chocolate I can find. Already thinking of alcohol free drinks to have and actually taste and enjoy the dinner will be a welcome joy. Thank you Kate and best of luck to everyone this festive season. You got this! X

    2. The part that says A lifestyle upgrade really got me thinking. Very inspiring thank you. Am currently on 18 days sober an determined to be alcohol free forever

  5. My young daughter prefers me not drinking as sadly has seen me in some states . I lied and made up reasons of illness but she knows really . What do I say to her?
    ‘ I like tea , and alcohol makes me have a bad stomach so I’m not drinking alcohol anymore? ‘

    1. I would keep it simple like that – you can say that alcohol doesn’t make you feel very good any more so you’ve decided to stop. It’s the truth too 🙂

    2. Say you’ve decided to quit. I think your daughter will be very happy. My children are thrilled that I’ve quit drinking. I was the only one who didn’t know it was a problem. My relationship with them has been amazing ever since. 111 days…

    1. Well done on your 30 days Liz. Now is the perfect opportunity for you to lean into this challenge – plan, prepare, research. You can do it 🙂

  6. Hi Kate, tour videos really inspire me! It’s day 232 and I am a little conflicted with New Years get together on the way.I know I don’t want to risk going down that path just incase I cave in from there on and get a taste for it again and a craving for that little buzz and before I know it, it creeps back in again.Another part of me likes the thought of “ letting go” juts for that night and then Jan 1st doing a reset..will that happen though? Maybe if I woke up hungover then it would remind me of how I don’t want to feel .So I’m still torn on what to do this New Years.I had social catch ups sober and survived and felt great that I did.it’s ine night of the year and if not for that then I wouldn’t even entertain the thought ! Any advise ? That clicks? xxx

  7. Kate,
    This is going to be my first sober Christmas and you have been a big part of my sober journey.
    I appreciate your work. Thanks for helping me realise that an alcohol free life is not boring or lonely at all.

  8. I thought I was boring when I wasn’t drinking because -I was out at a party and I had a couple or maybe 3or 4 drinks and wanted to stop .well I was chatting to others happily but when I stopped drinking and said I’m not drinking anymore the crowd around me left , I thought I was boring ,so I filled a empty beer bottle up with water and carry on well everybody was chatting with me again and it made me think it’s not me who is boring but the people around me drinking didn’t want to party with someone who was not drinking. So this maybe can help others to the start of stopping until you strong , maybe strong enough not to party with people like that

    1. What a great experiment! When other people don’t realise you’re sober, they don’t tend to have a problem with it. This reveals a lot about them and their relationship with alcohol – but says very little about you 🙂

  9. Thank you Kate, you are a breath of fresh air, for the first time I have listened and it makes perfect sense. Today is the 1st day of not drinking!

  10. I have not been drinking socially with friends for nearly a year. I find I want a drink before bed, which leads to 2 or 3 to help me fall asleep.
    I don’t wake with a hangover, but I do tell myself off each morning for the harm I am doing to my liver, and of course I have got a much plumper stomach.
    But when I lie in bed unable to get to sleep I give in !!

    1. Hi Ruth – it can feel as if alcohol helps you get to sleep, when all it really does is knock you out for a bit. You don’t get the deep, quality sleep you need to feel rested, and you’re more likely to wake up early too. Alcohol is very, very bad for your sleep. Whilst you might experience some (short term) disruption to your sleep as your body adjusts to sobriety, it’s totally worth it, as you’ll be a much better sleeper in the long run. Don’t fall for the short term trap of thinking alcohol helps you sleep. It doesn’t. A quick google search will bring up all the evidence you need on this.

  11. This post is a great example of why I relate so well to your blog, I’ll be 2 years AF on Thursday and 2 years since I woke up and discovered your blog, at that time I didn’t know how well I was going to do, but here I am. A big part down to me of course but your blog was a huge comfort and encouragement in my first few days/weeks and even months. Thank you Kate Bee

    1. I just completed your October course, today is my day 111. I feel amazing! I have quit many times, in fact last Christmas was AF too. It always just took “one” to get me started again. The difference for me was the education I received from this course and other reading materials and the support of the other ladies from my course. I still have those moments, created from habit that I continue to fight. But I’ve also acquired tools to help me combat them. I have realized that more and more people don’t drink and really don’t concern themselves with me not drinking. The people who matter, care very much and they are the ones who count. My “positives” list continues to grow with my AF living. I wish much success to anyone who wishes to be AF.

  12. I LOVE reading your blog!!!! Amazing! How do you feel about places like breweries and vineyards? While I am happy to have my mocktails at home, going out to socialize at breweries has been a big part of our social life. Do you bring your own NA drink? I also flash-forward to retirement dreams to a month in Italy…will I really have no desire to have wine there? I am getting ahead of myself (I am in my 30s).

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