Dec. 23, 2021 – Mindful drinking, by contrast, means “bringing awareness to your behaviors in terms of your decision to drink alcohol”: for example, tallying how many cocktails you consume in a given night, or paying close attention to why, where and when you’re drawn to drinking.

This moderation mind-set might particularly appeal to people searching for ways to scale back on troubling habits they developed during the pandemic. Studies have shown a dramatic increase in problematic drinking over the last year, especially among women. As the pandemic slogged on, “We had a real spike in people coming to us,” said Millie Gooch, who founded the Sober Girl Society collective in 2018. The community connects sober and “sober curious” women for events like “boozeless brunches” and virtual breakfast discussions. Ruby Warrington, a writer in New York, started using the term “sober curious” five years ago. At the time, she said in an interview, her drinking habits appeared to be under control: She never blacked out, or even drank more than two nights in a row. But she drank more than she wanted to, she didn’t feel able to say no. Ms. Warrington craved a middle-ground approach to drinking: the ability to interrogate her relationship to alcohol without ending it completely. In 2018, she published “Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol,” articulating the philosophy behind what she calls “choosing to question” her impulse to imbibe. Ms. Warrington says that interrogating one’s drinking habits often leads people to adopt more mindful drinking strategies.