Social gatherings come with their own set of unwritten prerequisites. We go to bars, dinner parties, and weddings and people expect us to drink. Upon arrival, a drink is placed in our hands and we clutch onto it like our social presence depend on it, which begs the question: is alcohol the social thread that binds us? Or is it a means to take the edge off?  

While many are opting for total abstinence from alcohol, some are still questioning the idea of sobriety. Mindful drinking. But how many people are considering mindful drinking? This new wave introduces the freedom to drink all the while considering and prioritizing our wellness. Who would mind looking for more fun with less booze?

Imagine fostering deeper connections without the staggering pain of a hangover the next morning.


What is Mindful Drinking Anyway?

If mindfulness is about noticing your thoughts, patterns, and behavior, mindful drinking is a conscious approach to consuming alcohol; bringing awareness to our decision to have a drink. Mindful drinking has become a trend made popular by millennials.

Mindful drinking involves noticing our relationship with alcohol and how it affects us across a broad scope of our lives. It’s looking at the alcohol we consume with a critical lens and asking ourselves a series of questions about whether alcohol supports our wellbeing.

Think of it as being a detective as you investigate how alcohol feels when you drink, paying extra attention to your thoughts’ patterns; being vigilant about how many drinks have you had, reflecting on the reasoning behind its appeal at this moment, and also considering when does it seem most appealing to drink as well as where and with whom (if any). This can give you a clearer picture of what your relationship with alcohol is. 

Is Mindful Drinking Your Best Option?

The important thing to know about mindful drinking is that it’s inclusive, especially for those who enjoy drinking from time to time, but also work to achieve certain wellness goals. It’s a sustainable approach to drinking that invites you to savor that crisp glass of chardonnay, fruity cocktail, sparkly bubbles, or refreshing beer without over-indulgence.

What are the benefits of mindful drinking? 

The million-dollar question is: How can we approach mindful drinking? Worry not! We’ve gathered 5 recommendations to help get you started!

5 Tips on How to Drink Mindfully

1. Inquire and Reflect

It’s important to reconsider our relationship to get a clear understanding of why we’re choosing a mindful way to drink. Take out a journal and follow these suggestive prompts: 

Feel free to ask yourself more questions to further investigate your relationship with alcohol consumption. WHO has put together a helpful guide for those looking to gain more awareness of their alcohol consumption to adopt healthier drinking habits. Ask a friend, partner, or family member to weigh in on this conversation for additional emotional and social support. 

2. Empower Yourself 

Consider Eliza Kingsford’s take on this: “Mindful drinking […] empowers you to make an intentional decision instead of being swept along with the current.” Since it’s not the norm to drink less in social gatherings, your friends, coworkers, or even acquaintances might ask you why you’re drinking more moderately. You may want to prepare some responses to give yourself the confidence to say “no” to another drink when you’re persuaded to sway against your decision, these include:

Feel free to come up with your own responses and dress it up in your own way so that your response feels authentic. Remember, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone unless you want to. If you’re open to sharing, then go for it! You never know how your decision to mindfully drink can influence someone.

3. Prepare for Social Gatherings

Aside from navigating conversations about our mindful drinking, planning to order a satisfying non-alcohol beverage that you can sip on upon arriving can also help us maintain our new healthy habit.  In her book Drink less in 7 days, Georgia Foster, qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, tells us that anxiousness can increase our chances at drinking more than we’ve planned to. So, breathe and remember that
you could always ask a friend to support you in being your hype buddy. They can help remind you of your goals. What’s great is that non-alcoholic alternatives are more widely available and can be equally delicious and satisfying. Do your research beforehand, so you know what you want to order. If you’re hosting some parties of your own, try making some mocktails to impress your guests!

4. Track and Set Up Ground Rules

To gain a greater awareness of your drinking habits, behaviors, and patterns, consider tracking your progress in a journal. Reflecting on how far you’ve come can be motivating. What’s equally helpful is deciding beforehand how much you plan to drink. If you know you want to only drink 3 drinks, then you’ll be able to be clear on your consumption whether you’re staying home to drink, or gathering with your social circle. Setting up ground rules on how we choose to consume alcohol helps us stay in control of our decision and helps us prioritize our goals.


You want to drink without feeling conflicted about it, so why not savor every sip? Mindful drinking invites you to pause and engage your senses to indulge in a full sensory experience. Mindful drinking can be a way for you to stay present with your drink, the people you’re surrounded by, and your environment. You needn’t abstain or stop yourself from enjoying yourself. Delight in some festive fun and be merry whilst you slowly and mindfully drink. 

Mindful drinking may not be a simple practice where you can have a good time without losing your inhibitions, be social without relying on alcohol, and drink moderately while still having fun! Do you think mindful drinking could help you thrive in your social network?

Continue exploring the Holisticly app for more content on mindfulness, achieving a healthy weight, adopting healthier habits, and a lot more!