09 Oct 2023

Embracing Sober October: Incorporating Sober Events in Your Workplace

October is officially here, and for many, it’s synonymous with Halloween, cozy jumpers, and pumpkin spice lattes. However, for a growing number of people, it also marks the start of Sober October, a month dedicated to sobriety and self-improvement. Originating in the UK as a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support, Sober October has evolved into a worldwide movement. Participants commit to a 31-day alcohol-free period, aiming to either spotlight alcohol-related illnesses or to reflect on their own drinking habits and the health advantages of abstaining.

Last year, 75,000 people signed up for Go Sober for October [i], raising £5m for Macmillan Cancer Support while recalibrating their relationship with alcohol. So, how can you incorporate events into your workplace that are inclusive to this? Let’s take a look!

Educate and Raise Awareness 

Before diving into events, it’s crucial to educate your employees about Sober October. Share information about its purpose, benefits, and how it can positively impact physical and mental well-being. This knowledge will help create a more receptive atmosphere for the events you plan.

Organise Mindful Morning Routines 

Start the day on a positive note by introducing mindful morning routines. Consider hosting morning meditation sessions, yoga classes, or even brief team huddles to set intentions for the day. These activities promote mental clarity and create a peaceful, alcohol-free start to the workday.

Team Building through Fitness Challenges
Encourage healthy competition by organising fitness challenges. This could involve steps challenges, yoga classes, or even a friendly sports tournament. Provide incentives like wellness-related prizes or recognition for participants. It’s a great way to promote teamwork and boost physical well-being.

Lunch-and-Learns on Holistic Wellness
Invite wellness experts to conduct lunch-and-learn sessions on various aspects of holistic health. Topics could range from nutrition and mindfulness practices to sleep hygiene and stress management techniques. These sessions empower employees with practical tools for maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Creative Workshops and DIY Activities
Engage your team’s creativity by hosting workshops or DIY activities. Consider art sessions, cooking classes (with non-alcoholic mocktails), or even team-building exercises that focus on problem-solving and communication. These events not only provide an alternative to traditional happy hours but also foster a sense of camaraderie.

Volunteer and Give Back
Encourage your team to give back to the community by organising volunteer activities. This could involve participating in local charity events, cleaning up public spaces, or supporting a cause that resonates with your company’s values. It’s a wonderful way to build a positive company culture while staying sober.

Nature Walks and Outdoor Adventures
Embrace the beauty of autumn by organising nature walks or outdoor adventures. Whether it’s a hiking trip, a day at the beach, or a team picnic in the park, spending time outdoors can be both invigorating and alcohol-free.

Adrian Lewis, Commerical Director of HR Software Activ People HR has commented by saying “ It is important to be inclusive in the workplace and by incorporating sober events into your workplace for Sober October not only supports a culture of well-being but also strengthens team bonds and promotes a positive work environment. By offering a variety of activities, you cater to diverse preferences and create an inclusive space for all employees. Remember, it’s not about abstaining from alcohol, but rather embracing a healthier, more mindful way of living. So, let’s raise a glass (of sparkling water) to a Sober October full of growth, connection, and well-being!” 

[i] – The Guardian [2018] Alcohol-free months are all the rage – but will a sober October lead to long-term health benefits? Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/17/alcohol-free-months-are-all-the-rage-but-will-a-sober-october-lead-to-long-term-health-benefits#:~:text=Last%20year%2C%2075%2C000%20people%20signed,recalibrating%20their%20relationship%20with%20alcohol