Sober October 2021 is now behind us. At Club Soda, we held our Global Mindful Drinking Festival across the whole month. But just because the festival has ended doesn’t mean that all the learning and fascinating discussions have ended, too. If Sober October kickstarted some real change for you and you’d like ongoing support with that, we’re still here for you. If you do feel that you may have missed some key points from our Global Mindful Drinking Festival, or would like to re-watch some conversations that you found valuable, then you’ve come to the right page. We’ve rounded up some of the best bits of our 2021 festival for you to catch up on.
Starting off the Global Mindful Drinking Festival
We started the festival with some firm ideas about how to plan for a month off drinking. This was in anticipation of Sober October, but this can be a useful guide for the first 30 days without alcohol whenever you feel it’s the right time for you to stop. Club Soda founder Laura spoke to a panel of experts, including Ruari Fairburn from One Year No Beer and Rhian Joy from In My Sober Skin to discuss how to put plans in place to succeed.
A long-time friend of Club Soda, Stephanie Chivers hosted a webinar that went back to basics. Stephanie is a qualified Coach and Master Practitioner of NLP, trainer and manager. She guided us through the key steps to sustainable change, highlighted some of the issues you may encounter and explained what may be happening to your body in the first days and weeks.
Club Soda co-founder Laura also shared her story with us. In the webinar How did Laura stop drinking, Laura reflects on who she was before, how she made the change, and what she has learned in the nearly 10 years since she gave up alcohol for good.
Mindfulness and motivation
There are two key things that can help you to build lasting change. One is mindfulness, and the other is motivation. During this year’s Global Mindful Drinking Festival, we hosted two Expert Q&A sessions on these topics, and they are not to be missed!
How can I be mindful? was a thought-provoking discussion between Club Soda co-founder Dru Jaeger and author, coach, and speaker, Dr Valerie Mason-John. Valerie has been practising mindfulness for over 30 years and is the co-creator of Mindfulness-Based Addiction Recovery and co-author of Eight Step Recovery: Using The Buddha’s Teaching to Overcome Addiction. Valerie is passionate about helping people recover from addiction using the transformational wisdom that mindfulness can bring.
Our second Expert Q&A was hosted by Sharath Jeevan. He’s the author of Intrinsic: A manifesto to reignite our inner drive, which helps us to discover the secrets of nurturing our motivation for change. In our panel, How can I be more motivated? Sharath applies the key concepts of his book – purpose, autonomy, and mastery – to help us to see our motivation in a radically new light and leave our excessive drinking days behind us.
Ready for change
The Global Mindful Drinking Festival is the time to kickstart change. If you’re still craving that little nudge towards your goals, then catch up on the Club Soda Change Intensive with our very own Dru Jaeger. This interactive online workshop was hosted over 2 days – on the 16th October in the UK and the 17th October in the US, Canada and Australia.
Catch up on the workshop, and you will:
- Learn how mindfulness can support you to create and sustain change
- Explore a simple approach that helps you pay attention to your triggers
- Discover how you can avoid and control unwanted drinking
- Challenge your assumptions about alcohol
- Get to grips with your motivation for change
- Dive deeply into your aspirations for life beyond alcohol
- And gather practical tools to start putting your plans into action.
The workshop is a taster of what our Club Soda Courses offer. How to Stop Drinking is a natural progression for anyone who intends to be alcohol-free beyond Sober October. How to Drink Mindfully guides you with lessons, check-ins and reviews to explore more options for change.
Finding your festival drinks alternatives
For avid followers and subscribers to our alcohol-free subscription boxes, we hosted our October Discovery Box Live during the festival. For those who don’t know, our discovery boxes are a monthly box of goodies, put together by Club Soda and Wise Bartender, and sent to you by post every month if you live in the UK. If you’re thinking of extending your booze-free month, then you have until the 4th of November to order the perfect gift for yourself!
A regular feature throughout our Global Mindful Drinking Festival this year was Can you make me an alcohol-free cocktail? We asked industry experts to show us how to make the perfect non-alcoholic cocktails every Wednesday, and the results were delicious! Ones to watch are:
- Brand ambassadors Lyre’s Spirits and their Ireland Brand Ambassadors Richie Delahoyde and Danny Shell making a Lyre’s Pink London Spritz and a perfect serve of Lyre’s Pink Gin and Tonic.
- Founder of Europe’s first dedicated alcohol-free cocktail bar, The Virgin Mary Dublin, Vaughn, making one of the bar’s most popular cocktails.
- Camille Vidal from La Maison Wellness a globally recognised bartender & drink expert, showing us how to make one of her favourite mindful cocktails.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, catch up on the webinar What alcohol-free drinks are right for me? where Tom and Ed from Wisebartender take you through the wide variety of alcohol-free drinks on the market at the moment and help you find your personal new favourite tipple.
Towards the end of the Global Mindful Drinks Festival, we had some fascinating panel discussions and expert insights into how we move forward after Sober October is over. How do I go out again? and How do I socialise sober? both tackle the misconceptions we have that our social life will suffer when we change our drinking habits. But it doesn’t have to be that way – our experts, including Mandy Manners from LoveSober, Rhondell Stabana from The Yada Collective, author Janey Lee Grace, and journalist Marcus Barnes, give their top tips for heading out into the world again.
If you’re using Sober October as a way of finding your way back to a healthier relationship with alcohol after a period of problem drinking, then How do I get back on track? is well worth a re-watch. Award-winning behavioural change specialist Shahroo Izadi teaches us that being kind to ourselves is the only way to re-align with our goals.
And to round off the festival, Club Soda co-founder Dru hosted How can I sustain lasting change? yesterday at 2 pm UK time. Because October is just the beginning. If you are changing your drinking for the long-term, you’ll need tools to work with, principles to live by and courage to keep going.
Rewatch the entire festival
We’ve put together a playlist of all the available sessions from the Global Mindful Drinking Festival.
Global Mindful Drinking Festival sponsors
The Global Mindful Drinking Festival in October 2021 was made possible thanks to our sponsors. Click on each sponsor to learn more about them.