With the sun-drenched beer gardens of the summer behind us and the cosy autumn months ahead, now is the perfect time to think about giving up your vices for a good cause.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

That’s right, put down that pint and wave away that refill of prosecco. Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October fundraising challenge is returning. What’s more, there are plenty of perks to taking part – and we’re not even talking about the glow of altruism you’ll feel helping a worthy cause.

You’ll sleep better

Tired – excuse the pun – of waking up still exhausted from the night before? It’s time to bin the booze. Alcohol is well known to disrupt your sleep, and even if you doze off quickly after a few glasses of wine, the quality of your shut eye will still be affected. Trust us - by saying no to alcohol for a month you’ll be saying yes to some great slumber.

You’ll save money

There’s no doubt about it, boozing is an expensive business. Whether it’s popping into the supermarket on the way home for a bottle of wine or having a blow out for a friend’s birthday party, the costs can easily mount up. Your bank account will be very grateful for a month of respite.

You’ll be supporting people living with cancer

Did you know that last year, more than 65,000 people took part in Go Sober for October, raising £4.4 million? This staggering amount could help the Macmillan Support Line deal with almost 500,000 calls or web enquiries from people living with cancer who want questions answered, need practical or financial support, or just want to chat.

You’ll be more productive

It’s a universally acknowledged truth that a night on the tiles can often lead to a weekend recovering on the sofa and binge-watching series. Take on the Go Sober challenge and just imagine what you might achieve with your four consecutive hangover free weekends. Perhaps you’ll discover a new hobby, finish that DIY project, or actually attend the Sunday morning gym class you usually cancel.

Your skin will glow

Within just a few days of going alcohol free, your skin will look more radiant. Alcohol can deplete the vitamins and minerals that help our skin look plump, healthy and glowing. It is also dehydrating, which is another major contributor to dull, lifeless skin and dark circles under the eyes. Plenty of water and a good night’s sleep can really help with that #wokeuplikethis feeling.

You’ll dodge the junk food

Besides being full of empty calories, alcohol can play havoc with your blood sugar levels. It’s no wonder that when you’re hungover you often end up craving the sugary, starchy foods you might ordinarily shun. Bin the booze and you’ll not only feel better, but will also be more inclined to think twice about that greasy kebab.

You can try some delicious mocktails

Going sober doesn’t mean you need to stick to tap water. There are lots of exciting – and delicious – non-alcoholic libations available. From fake fizz to the virgin version of your favourite cocktail, your friends needn’t even know you’re not joining them. What’s more, Macmillan has partnered with Appletiser to create some mocktail recipes for you to try at home – being virtuous never tasted so good!

For people who have found that they have been drinking more over the coronavirus pandemic, Priory Group’s Dr Niall Campbell, one of the UK’s leading experts in alcohol addiction, explains how taking part in Go Sober for October can help them to readdress their relationship with alcohol: “Quitting alcohol for the month gives you time to think clearly about your recent drinking habits. During an alcohol-free October, you will start to notice the benefits of reducing your alcohol consumption. This recognition can then help you to determine how you want to change your relationship with alcohol going forward.”

Although the month has started it’s not too late to sign up – with new options introduced this year that allow participants to sign up for 14 or 21 days sober, as well as the whole month.

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