If you’ve pledged to give up alcohol this month, you may find yourself battling boredom. We’ve got your back; here are the best ways to make it to February without breaking your promise!
Words: Philip Ellis
Make a date with your TV
January is a long, cold month; it’s only natural to find yourself daydreaming about a warming glass of red wine in a cosy pub somewhere. Of course, the downside to going out is the whole “going out” part. Why not nest under a blanket with the remote? You can catch up on all of the films and TV you missed. Plus faves like the musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, sci-fi blockbuster Star Trek: Discovery, Sartrean sitcom The Good Place and bonkers soap opera Riverdale are all returning, with new episodes streaming weekly on Netflix.
Read these gripping thrillers
Crime novels might be primarily marketed as something to take on your summer holiday, but they’re also perfect for those cold evenings when it’s pitch black outside by 4pm. Gone Girl kicked off the current trend for twisted mysteries which are as much about the inner lives of their female protagonists as they are about whodunit, and while we’re well and truly over books with ‘girl’ in the title, 2017 saw some stunning entries in the genre. We suggest you pick up Bonfire, a conspiracy thriller by actress-turned-novelist Krysten Ritter, Exquisite, Sarah Stovell’s tale of obsession told by two unreliable narrators, and the chilling new release Lullaby by Leïla Slimani, in which a terrible crime is confessed in the very first sentence, and the rest of the novel is devoted to exploring why.
Chill out and limber up
If you’ve ever wanted to take up yoga, studios across Birmingham tend to offer introductory deals in the month of January. Not only does the meditative aspect help relieve that back-to-work stress, it’s also a great way to work on your core. If you want to push yourself that bit further, then you can try hot yoga, which is literally impossible to do with a hangover.
Keep your mind sharp
Looking for a way to socialise that doesn’t involve going to the pub? You could always try game night; but most games tend go down better with a pint or a glass of wine, especially if you’re a sore loser, or one of the many people to affected by PMSD (Post-Monopoly Stress Disorder). So leave the Cards Against Humanity at home, get your squad together, and work against the clock to crack all of the puzzles required to make it out of an escape room. There are two in the Jewellery Quarter; Clue HQ on Lionel Street, and Escape Live on Henrietta Street.
Switch booze for brews
We would never recommend sublimating one addiction for another, but instead of heading to the bar on a Sunday afternoon, why not try one of Birmingham’s fab independent coffee shops? Spots in the city centre include 200 Degrees on Colmore Row, York’s on Stephenson Street and Faculty in Piccadilly Arcade. Alternatively, head out to Harborne to try the recently opened, Scandinavian-style Caffiened on Gordon Road. Take a look at our top picks of independent coffee shops across the city here!
When all else fails… go to a bar
If you simply can’t stand staying home any longer, then don’t worry, a number of bars in town have non-alcoholic options on their cocktail menu. Be At One and The Alchemist both offer delicious, booze-free concoctions, so you can be as sociable as you like and then call your hungover friends the next morning to brag about how fresh you feel.