You’ve probably heard of Dry January, otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this post. It’s a campaign by Alcohol Concern that started back in 2012; the aim of which is for you to steer clear of alcohol for the month of January. It’s gained popularity year on year since then. And Public Health England even got on board in 2015. It’s kind of a big deal.
Here’s Why You Might Want to Give It A Go
How are you feeling after the Christmas blowout? How about after the New Year’s Eve party? More than likely a little worse for wear (unless you were already ill in bed like me and didn’t do anything for New Year’s Eve).
Staying off the booze in January is a great way to help you bounce back from the Christmas bulge and start feeling awesome again.
I like to look at Dry January as a Resolution Trial Run and start the real resolutions in February. One of the reasons so many of us drop our New Years Resolutions is because a year is a really long time. So once we get a month in we tend to feel a little disheartened because we’re just doing (or not doing) the same thing over and over. This way, you can spend January just doing this one thing that will make you feel all kinds of awesome, then you can ride that wave of awesomeness into February to start on your real resolution. Plus you’ll be feeling super proud of yourself for having already achieved one goal right at the start of the year, which makes you much more likely to smash the goals you set next!
Then there’s all the health benefits (the all kinds of awesome I just mentioned). You’ll sleep better, have better concentration, be able to work out better, your liver will be working better, and as a combination of those last two giving your metabolism a boost – you’ll more than likely lose a little bit of weight too! Which was probably going to be part of those New Years Resolutions you were going to set until you started using January as a trial run wasn’t it?
AND if you make it all the way through January without drinking, research from the University of Sussex has showed that 72% of people who do exactly that drink less in the following six months. So all those benefits can be carried on through the year! Winner!
Sounds Good! How About Those Tips?
Oh yeah, the reason we all came here. These are my top tips for getting you through Dry January:
Focus on the positives
This is always one of the most important things you can do when you’re putting yourself through a challenge, or going through a challenging time. Focusing on the positives reminds your brain that this is a good thing, which makes it easier for you in return.
Make it easy for yourself
Just like when you’re eating better, it’s easier to keep eating better by getting rid of all the crap in your house. Do the same with alcohol. Either give it away like the charitable sober friend you are or stick it in the loft or something. you don’t have to pour it down the drain – that shit’s expensive. But it might be an idea to take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach.
On that note, avoid going to bars. If you’re regular routine is to walk into a bar and Joey’s already got a vodka cranberry waiting for you because he saw you coming in and you’re bros, that’s going to make life a lot harder for you. If you’re tucking away the drinks at home to make things easier for you, why would you go to a place where there are hundreds of options on shiny well-lit shelves to tempt you?
Tell all your friends
Be “that guy/girl”. Post all over Facebook about how you’re doing Dry January. Tell people at work. Research shows time and again that telling people what you’re doing makes you more likely to follow through. Pride’s a bitch. Plus you might get a “sober buddy” or two to help you through. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Get your sober buddies together on Saturday night and do something else rather than going to the bar. That way you won’t really feel like you’re missing out. Go to the cinema, the comedy club, or you could all go round to one of your houses for a board games night. We all had enough fun just watching Snapchats of each other play all kinds of new board games at Christmas, why not get them out again? You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have.
Remind yourself how well you’re doing
Download a habit-tracking app like Way Of Life for iOS or Habit! for Android and tick your good habit off every day as you stay Dry. Seeing that green bar of success get longer and longer will make you feel all proud and tingly inside. And make you more likely to keep going.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
How do you plan to get through Dry January? Do you think you’ll use any of these tips? Let me know in the comments! Even better, post a picture of your sober cinema trip or board games night the Facebook group. Have a great time!
Title image via.