Take a Month Off Booze

Information, advice, tools, and strategies for taking a month – or more - off alcohol.
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  • Lectures 79
  • Length 9 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 12/2015 English

Course Description

    Are you:

  • Concerned about how much you are drinking?
  • Wanting to know if you can feel better and do more without alcohol?
  • OK with your drinking, but feeling in need of a health-kick?
  • Happy with your drinking but looking for a personal challenge?
  • Raising funds for charity (Dry January, Dryathlon, Go Sober for October, or similar) and need a bit more help to manage your month?

Whatever your reasons for taking a Month Off Booze or Joining the MOB, changing your habits to live a healthier life can be difficult when you try to do it alone.

The MOB has lectures from planning and preparing, to offering structure and exercises to make it a success along the way, and then at the end tools for reflection and deciding what to do at the end of your alcohol-free month.

What do you get for taking this course:
  • A complete set of tools and tips to plan your month off booze and to make it happen.
  • Lectures on emotions, habits, pitfalls and how to overcome them.
  • How to deal with stress, difficult people and situations.
  • New non-alcoholic drink ideas.
  • Videos with extra content, including discussion about various topics of the course.
The course material has been developed by a qualified psychologist and the Club Soda team.



The course can be taken in any way you like, but if you study the lectures in the suggested order and schedule (one to three lectures each day), you can use the course to help you take a sober month, and spend a week before for planning and preparation.

Note: The course videos are recordings from a series of webinars that we broadcast in 2015 for a similar online course. The video quality is not always perfect. Note also that the main content of the course is in the text lectures and handouts, the videos supplement these.

What are the requirements?

  • There are no prerequisites needed on this course - only a willingness to cut down or quit drinking.
  • We recommend that you take the free AUDIT lecture before signing up, and make sure you are not dependent on alcohol or have any concerns about dependency.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Take a month off alcohol
  • Change your relationship with alcohol - not just for one month but for the rest of your life!
  • Understand the physical and psychological effects of heavy alcohol use
  • Reflect on the reasons why you drink as much as you do at the moment
  • Understand what your personal triggers and high risk situations are for drinking and develop plans to manage them
  • Learn about how moods and emotions can affect how much you drink, and other ways you can seek help or cope with them without alcohol
  • Become aware of your ‘internal critic’ and develop more helpful self-talk

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for anyone who is at all concerned about, or wishing to reduce their alcohol consumption.
  • This course is NOT suitable for you only if you are physically dependent on alcohol - if you have to have a drink in the morning to get going, or if you get physical withdrawal symptoms without alcohol - in that case we recommend you talk to a qualified health-care professional, as it may be dangerous for you to stop drinking without medical care.
  • The first lecture is free, and includes a test you can take to make sure it is safe for you to take this course and stop drinking.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Start Here
What this course will cover
Preview
02:51
Article

How risky is your drinking right now? Complete the AUDIT screening tool, and understand your score before you sign up for this course. This course is not suitable for someone who is physically dependent on alcohol. We'll explain what the warning signs are in this FREE lecture.

Article

Introduction to the course. Check your alcohol consumption levels. In extreme cases it is not recommended that you quit drinking on your own. So make sure it is safe for you to continue.

Article

This lecture suggests a schedule for completing the course by giving up alcohol for a month.

Section 2: Getting ready!
Article

What are your reasons for wanting to take a month off booze? What are you hoping to get out of it? Do you already know where you want to go after your sober month too?

06:43

This video helps you reflect on what motivated you to take a month off drinking.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Health impacts of alcohol and the benefits of stopping for a bit
Article
Article
In this lecture we want you to think about what kind of drinker you are - what do you use alcohol for, what role and function does it play in your life?
04:34

This video continues the discussion of different types of drinkers.

Article

We talk about the importance of tracking changes in your life, and share some ideas on what to measure.

03:39

We guide you through the importance of setting and monitoring your goals.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

07:09

Laura and Helen discuss distractions - how to take your mind off alcohol and do something else instead?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Your "survival kit" will help you if and when things get difficult without a drink. We explain the idea, and give you some ideas on what to include in your own personal kit.

04:53

Laura and Helen discuss survival kits (also called "quit kits" in the video), and what may happen to your sleep patterns when you give up drinking?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

12:49

Laura and Helen give some ideas for free things you may decide to try out while giving up alcohol. And there is also a bit of discussion about food!

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Section 3: The day (when you quit alcohol)
Article

"Rehearse your Best Intentions". We introduce the Daily Ritual that will help you each day of your Month Off Booze - and beyond.

05:42

Helen and Laura discuss the importance of a daily ritual in keeping to your plan.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Staying in the day, taking things one day at a time, helps us to avoid over-thinking and jumping ahead of ourselves.

If you are reading these lectures daily to give up drinking for a month, this lecture is your Day 1 - your first non-drinking day.

05:19

To finish off the preparations, Laura and Helen discuss the role other people such as your family and friends will have when you decide to change your drinking.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Section 4: Pitfalls, and how to avoid them
Article

We begin our series of lectures on pitfalls by considering external pitfalls, and the risks they can bring.

10:37

There will be lots of external factors that influence your ability to stay on track. Here we explore what they are and how you can avoid them.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article
This lecture is about coping strategies for external pitfalls - we will introduce ways of responding to them so that they don’t trip you up.
09:54

Helen, Laura, and guest Sam talk more about the different coping strategies that were introduced in the previous lectures.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article
Today’s lecture is about how other people can support (or not) your MOB. We’ll tell you a bit about ways of meeting people and socialising sober. We also touch upon the fact that, sadly, some people might not be quite as supportive as you would like.
Article
Some people are more likely to drink as a coping response for moods and emotions, and how they feel about themselves – what we call internal pitfalls. This lecture discusses all the possible internal pitfalls.
07:07

This video covers the feelings, emotions and daily triggers that may come your way and how you can deal with them.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Chances are you will experience some negative moods or emotions during your MOB, and sometimes this might cause more cravings than on a ‘good day’. This lecture is about coping strategies - different ways to respond to moods and emotions, and ways to tame your inner critic and inner saboteur.

03:59

When you are used to dealing with every emotion with alcohol it is hard to break the habit. We discuss how you can recognise and cope with emotional triggers.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Not so much the physical cravings, but more habitual ones. In other words, Taming and Retraining your Internal critic and Internal Saboteur

Article
Why we Choose Short-Term Rewards over Longer-Term Goals, and How to Beat It!
03:42

There is never a good time to change your drinking - stop putting it off for the future you to deal with. Recognising your ability to procrastinate will keep you on track. 

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article
Because it’s new or unusual, a Month Off Booze will take you outside your comfort zone now and then, so you will need to be able to handle the discomfort of not being 100% comfortable at the time (e.g., having a drink every time you want or think about one). This lecture will help you ride out the discomforts.
01:39

When we are craving a drink it is not that we are addicted, it is more that we are used to being able to do what we want when we want. What we feel when we can't have a drink is the discomfort of not being able to immediately satisfy that need. It is just discomfort. You need to learn to ride it and remember it wont kill you.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Even with the best planning in the world, unexpected things can happen. When they do, there’s a chance we might have a slip-up because we just weren’t prepared and reacted on impulse. If this does happen, don’t discount your entire MOB as ruined, or incomplete, don’t label it or yourself a failure. In this lecture we look at techniques you can use to distinguish between healthy striving and (not-so-healthy) perfectionism.

Section 5: Nutrition and food
Article

This lecture begins to give you the information you need about food and nutrition when you're giving up alcohol.

08:20

This is the first of two videos about food and drink. Helen and Laura are joined by expert nutritionist and chef Sam. They discuss food and nutrition when changing your drinking, and give some ideas for new non-alcoholic drinks to try as well.


Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 


Article

This second lecture about food and nutrition goes into a bit more detail: What are cravings, and how can you fight them?

13:05

This is the second of two videos about food and drink. Helen and Laura are joined by expert nutritionist and chef Sam. They discuss food and nutrition when changing your drinking, and give some ideas for new
non-alcoholic drinks to try as well.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

It can be difficult to thing of alternatives to the alcoholic drinks you've become used to drinking. This lecture will give you some ideas for alternatives you can try, both at home and in bars.

01:03

In this short video, Helen and Laura give some alternative drink ideas to try, instead of alcohol.

Section 6: Habits and emotions
Article

In this lecture we dig a bit deeper into the brain, and what alcohol can do to it. We'll start with a bit of background on how our brains work, and introduce two exercises to reduce anxiety and stress.

17:40

Helen and Laura talk more about feelings, mood, and stress, and suggest things that may help in dealing with them.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Or: Fear Of Missing Out. And what to do to conquer it.

Article

In this lecture we talk about three tricks our minds play on us, and how we can beat them

18:19

Helen and Laura discuss the various tricks our minds can play on us, and what we can do to help it.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article
This lecture outlines some of the ways alcohol can undermine our decision-making, which in turn can put us in sticky or even very risky situations.
06:00

Laura and Helen talk about the importance of measuring your progress, and introduce the idea of a "quantified self" and explain what that means.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Section 7: Practical tips and tricks
Article

This lecture gives you some simple tips you can use to say "no" to a drink when you don't want one - whether you are in a bar or at a party!

09:06

Laura and Helen continue discussing ways of being able to say no to a drink, if and when you are offered one.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Difficult people, we all have a few of them in our lives. In this lecture, we give you 7 practical ways of dealing with them.

07:04

One particular type of difficult people are "persistent mates", who keep on trying to push drink to you. Laura and Helen talk about ways of dealing with them, and saying "no".

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

03:50

You can still have a social life, you just may need to discover new things. Laura and Jussi discuss how to do this. 

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

17:18

In this video, Laura and Helen discuss being social while cutting down on your drinking, and weight loss - can you expect to lose weight when you give up alcohol?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

06:04

Top tips for managing or avoiding people and places that can scupper your efforts.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Stress can be difficult to manage, and many people use alcohol to relax. In this lecture, we will give you 8 ideas for practical ways of de-stressing without drinking.

07:15

Do you really need a drink to unwind?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

01:01

Andy joins us for the next few webinars - so in case you are interested here is his intro.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

09:05

More stress busting tips.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

In this guest lecture, writer and Club Soda founder member Matt Chittock shares his thoughts on rewards, and how to replace alcohol as one.

16:32

We know that craving sweet things when you have taken booze out of the picture can be a pain - especially if you are trying to lose weight. But it does get easier without alcohol!  Here we discuss this hot topic and the need to cut yourself some slack. 

11:51

Feel the urge to drink? Then go outside (no - not the off licence!)

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

10:28

Now is the time to find new hobbies, experiences and socialising. Laura and Andy talk through how. 

Section 8: Keep going!
Article

Today's lecture is all about motivation, carrots and sticks. We will explore the things that motivate you, and how you can build on your current motivation to keep going, both in your Month Off Booze and in other areas of your life where you want to make changes.

07:00

Laura and Helen talk more about motivation, and how to build it for changing our behaviours.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

This lecture builds on the motivation topic. We will explore confidence, and find out what your personal strenghts are. These will help you plan for the future beyond this course.

13:23

Laura and Helen discuss how you have all the strengths you need to change your drinking already.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article
This lecture is about ambivalence, holding different or even opposing views on something. We will introduce an exercise you can do to prepare yourself for decisions that have both positive and negative impacts.
06:33

Helen and Laura talk about ambivalence.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

Lots of alcohol does not help with productivity. In this lecture, we explore the reasons in more detail, and try to find a virtuous circle for higher productivity and lower drinking.

07:35

Are you getting more done? How reducing your drinking can help your productivity - a benefit that is easy to not spot!

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

This lecture considers the role our values play in our lives, and how they might help you reduce your drinking, using a simple exercise.

10:35

Who do you want to be? Is drink stopping you?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

This lecture discusses the two types of self-acceptance: conditional and unconditional. We also talk more about emotions, perfectionism and challenging our own illogical thinking patterns.

07:21

You may slip up, but that is no reason to hit the F••k it Button...

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Section 9: Beyond the Month Off Booze
Article

This lecture begins the real planning for your life after this course. What are your future plans for alcohol? We discuss the two broad options: continued abstinence, or drinking again in a more moderate controlled way.

11:19

What do you want to do at the end of the month? Carry on, moderate, or quit for good?

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

17:49

What to do if you want to moderate after your MOB.

Note: This recording is taken from a live webinar. Watchers will benefit from questions from Club Soda members that were raised during this live event. 

Article

In this final lecture we look back, review some of the key points from the course, and reflect on your MOB.

Article

If you want to continue on your journey of changing your drinking, or stick to the goal you've reached, we give you some links that you may find useful.

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Instructor Biography

join Club Soda, Change your drinking

Club Soda is an online and real world support service for people who want to change their drinking.

At Club Soda, people set their own goals: to cut down, stop for a bit, quit, or stick. We bring everything you need into one place:

Tools to set your goals and monitor your progress

Content for help and advice

A community of people online sharing advice and tips

Helpful experts and distractions

Social events, workshops and online programmes to boost your chances of success.

Instructor Biography

Tutor Laura Willoughby MBE, Helping you change your drinking

4 years ago I quit drinking. I set up Club Soda to support people like me who want to take a self-guided journey to change their drinking, whether you want to cut down, stop for a bit or quit. 

Instructor Biography

Helen O'Connor, Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Psychologist (UK)

I am a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist, and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council in the UK. I originally trained as a sport psychologist but have since worked in many private, public, and not-for-profit settings using psychological techniques to support people wanting to make lifestyle and health behaviour changes – including healthy eating, being more active, quitting smoking, managing stress, and stopping drinking or drinking in moderation.

I currently work for an organisation that works in partnership with an NHS Trust, helping people who have become physically dependent on alcohol or drugs to work towards a medical detox, and remain abstinent afterwards. In this role I have also been involved in setting up a 'Controlled Drinking Group' for clients who are not physically dependent on alcohol but are psychologically dependent or habitually drinking too much. This group teaches clients techniques and strategies to reduce how much they drink when they are out, as well as to have days off.

Within my private practice, I provide Skype or telephone consultations to anyone who is concerned about their own, or a loved-one's drinking or recreational drug use. I can be contacted confidentially using the private message function on LinkedIn.

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