If you (and your liver) are feeling a little worse for wear following the inevitable alcoholic overindulgence you experienced during the festive period, Dry January couldn’t have come soon enough. A time when many people take a break from the booze and ditch alcohol completely during the first month of the New Year has become nothing short of an annual tradition.
But while giving up alcohol for a month is ultimately a good thing, it’s not without its challenges.
To ensure you rise to those challenges and help ensure your Dry January isn’t totally unmanageable, we’ve compiled this list of helpful tips:
1. Don’t Hibernate
While it can be tempting to hole yourself up at home and shy away from the outside world during Dry January, don’t! Instead, make it your mission to get up, go out of the house and experience some new activities/hobbies.
Group hobbies, especially, are good for boosting your social interaction. Just don’t be tempted into having a swift half at the end of the afternoon with your new friends.
If you’re a less social person, why not take advantage of your hangover-free mornings by using them to fix up your garden ready for the spring.
If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys hobbies, take your mind off the drink by exercising. Physical activities are a fantastic way to relieve stress, get into shape and give your mental health a workout. When we exercise, our brains release endorphins (feel good hormones), which provide a natural high and boost our mood.
A good way to stick to this particular initiative is to get a friend or colleague to exercise with you. You’ll be less likely to skip a session if you’re committed to training with someone else.
3. Don’t Hide The Fact You’re Off The Booze
Some people try and hide the fact they are not drinking alcohol in January, but it’s one of the worst things you can do. If your usual drinking buddies don’t know that you’re staying dry for the month, how can they try and help you? Repeated requests to come out for a drink are likely to succeed as you cave in to the peer pressure.
Tell everyone you know that you’re going to be dry this month and they will likely support you in your endeavour. Don’t be shy; be proud that you’re doing something positive to kick-start your 2019.
4. Track Your Progress
Laying off alcoholic drinks means you will be consuming less calories and saving yourself a small fortune in the process. According to the NHS, a pint of 5% strength beer contains 215 calories, while a 330ml alcopop has 237.
A really good way to give yourself a mental boost is to keep track of how many calories and pounds (£) you are saving by not drinking for the whole month. Chances are you’ll be surprised.
5. Treat Yourself In Other Ways
Rewarding yourself for sticking to something is important. It gives you a boost when you may otherwise be feeling a little low, and helps you stay on track.
Perhaps you’ve had your eye on something new for a while, but haven’t been able to justify the expense. By calculating just how much you’re saving by not drinking, maybe you can buy that particular item and not feel guilty.
I joined Premier Choice Group as a Healthcare & Protection Consultant in 2017, where I now look after the needs of over 200 clients nationwide. Prior to joining the Premier Choice Group, I worked for a large Private Healthcare Insurer, VitalityHealth, and managed SME and Individual clients across the country.