What is community? In short, where there are people, there is community.
Schools, fell-running clubs, knitting circles and Neighbourhood Watch are all examples of places or passions around which communities grow. It’s often about a shared goal, a common need or interest. Within larger communities, smaller ones evolve and thrive. Much depends on an unspoken exchange of trust and a sense of belonging.
People are often stronger as a group; a community is more powerful than the sum of its parts.
The benefits of community on an alcohol-free challenge:
- Shared life experiences and advice
- Support is only seconds away
- Increased learning and self development
- Encouragement and inspiration
- Friendship and understanding
- No judgement
It’s plain that our concept of community is changing. Now, it is often to be found online. It’s great because we can find our tribe in seconds. We can settle back with a nice cup of Lapsang Souchong and be part of any like-minded community we choose without leaving the house. One Year No Beer is an example of this. Individuals across the globe can unite in their like-minded pursuit to find out what alcohol-free life has to offer. Whilst you can go alcohol-free alone, it becomes much more fun and informative when you utilise the power of a community.
A Learning Curve
It is safe to say that embarking on an alcohol-free journey can be a learning curve. There are lots of old habits to break down and rebuild, lessons to be learned and hundreds of ways in which to approach these tasks. Having others who have undertaken the challenge before you, sharing their experiences on what worked for them and cheering you on can be a valuable resource, especially in the early days.
Studies have shown that working in groups can be more beneficial to learning than doing so alone. This is due to the sharing of ideas helping to develop critical thinking and provoke discussions which all allow for the development of new knowledge. Having an online community where you can discuss how society views and behaves around alcohol can help to provide a new perspective, all contributing towards your alcohol-free personal development.
OYNB: A Caring Collective
When it comes to giving up alcohol, having a community around you is a powerful thing. If you have a bad day, reaching out to someone online, who understands what you’re going through can make a huge difference. Sometimes, we open up more willingly to strangers, as disclosure comes with less fear of judgment.
Certainly, being part of the OYNB community feels like a safe and welcoming place to be. And it’s not just about the support that’s available to you; it’s about what you feel able to give back as well. Lending a shoulder or friendly ear to someone in the same boat as you can feel empowering. When you join and participate in a community, you become part of its fabric. A community that inspires a feeling of collective responsibility is one that’s worth being part of.
Facing a challenge alone can be daunting. Having people in your corner, cheering you on to the next milestone can make the world of difference. Making the decision to stop drinking is a positive step forward into a healthier, happier future. Being a member of the OYNB tribe means that you’ve got encouragement and support whenever you need it – and that can really help in succeeding with your goals.
When you embark on your alcohol-free challenge, there will be both amazing days and tougher ones. The likelihood is that you’ll want to share both with people who understand how you’re feeling. Being part of a compassionate community is a bit like being part of a family: someone cares about what you’re trying to achieve, and they’ve got your back. You’re shored up and supported by people who want you to succeed.
And you get to give that back to others too. Being able to offer advice, life lessons and knowledge you have learned along the way to encourage to those just starting out on their journey can be a very rewarding aspect of being part of a community.
Giving up alcohol is a major turning point in life. After quitting the booze, people often start new hobbies and take up sports or activities. They might forge new relationships and gravitate towards people who share common ground, finding whole new groups and communities along the way.
“I’m an introvert who used drinking as a way to fit in with my rowdy colleagues. I carried on drinking at home to counter the stress of being in a job that I now realise wasn’t right for me at all. Once I went AF, I started doing some voluntary basketball coaching for kids at a sports hall. I’m now part of a community that I didn’t even know existed before. I’m helping people and I really enjoy it. Next year, I’m retraining as a teacher. Giving up alcohol with OYNB is without a doubt, the best decision I’ve made in years.”
Ben H. 34, Islington
OYNB is a tribe that thrives on solid, friendly support and leaving any judgements at the door.
We’re here because we want to see what alcohol-free life has to offer and have a blast while we’re doing it. Doesn’t that sound like a community that’s definitely worth being part of?