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November 17, 2022

Five ideas for weekend fun that don’t involve alcohol

Wellness Weekend

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When the clock strikes 5 p.m. on a Friday and the weekend begins, it may feel like all anyone wants to do is get their hands on a drink and unwind. But overindulging on weekends often results in miserable morning hangovers that can derail the entire next day.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to relax that involve no alcohol at all. Not only will you skip the nasty hangover; cutting back on alcohol can also lower your risk of heart disease, improve your brain power, help your liver heal, and make losing weight a lot easier.

So, if you’re ready to have an alcohol-free weekend, here are five great ways to enjoy it:

1. Relish the morning

One benefit of not drinking the night before is that you can truly enjoy the next morning. And there are endless options for what you can do with this newfound time in your day! You can savor an early-morning workout, cook a nutritious breakfast, get a head start on your weekend to-do list, or simply cherish the quiet serenity of the early morning hours while reading a good book.

2. Explore your neighborhood

If you live in the city, consider renting a bike and pedaling to a neighborhood you’ve never fully explored. In the suburbs and more rural areas, pick a hiking or historic trail to conquer. Many trails have markers or information boards where you can learn something new about the area while also getting some great exercise.

3. Try something creative at home

Staying home from the bar will leave you with plenty of time to embrace your creative side. Try making a healthy recipe you’ve never attempted before. If cooking isn’t your thing, challenge yourself to another creative project — like painting a picture that can be displayed in your home, creating a personalized pinboard, planting a garden, or building a unique piece of furniture.

4. Discover something hidden

There are hidden gems all across America. It usually takes a bit more work to reach them, but every local area has a “best view,” a long-standing culinary institution, or a unique attraction that’s far enough off the beaten path that most people miss it. Do some research and find these hidden places in your area. It might take a little bit of a walk or planning for a day trip, but experiencing something that most people haven’t seen can be highly rewarding.

5. Reconnect with an old friend

After more than two years of living through the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have lost touch with some people due to social distancing guidelines, working from home, or simply being tired and stressed out. Now that vaccines are widely available and highly effective in preventing severe illness, an alcohol-free weekend presents the perfect opportunity to catch up with an old friend or colleague. Research shows that reconnecting with people we care about has significant mental health benefits, so skip the bar and make plans to spend some quality time with someone you haven’t heard from in a while.

Whether you’re not very into alcohol to begin with or are just looking to take a break from drinking, there’s a lot you can do without a cocktail in your hand. So, skip the booze this weekend and try something new — you’ll probably have a better story to tell your co-workers on Monday!

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