Considering Dry January but not sure you can make it through the month? These 5 tips will help you keep your resolve and stay on the wagon.
Dry January offers the chance to kick start a healthy New Year by giving up alcohol for a whole month.
Founded in 2011 by Alcohol Change UK, the campaign’s popularity has grown and grown each year.
But while millions of Brits sign up each year, many of those people won’t make it through the month without giving in to temptation.
So, if you’re one of the people hoping to make the pledge but worried about wavering and falling of the wagon, we’ve gathered our best tips to help you successfully complete Dry January.
What are the benefits of a Dry January?
Not drinking alcohol for a month can offer an array of health benefits. Not only will you have a better night’s sleep, it can also help you to lose weight, have more energy, and enjoy a more positive outlook on life.1
Abstaining from alcohol for a month can make our wallets happier too. And these are just the short-term benefits.
Participating in Dry January can also help us re-assess our alcohol consumption and the attitudes we have to our health in the long-term.
It can also help to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol, boosting your immune system and reducing your risk of liver and heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
What do our consultants think about Dry January?
Dr William Alazawi, Consultant Hepatologist at BMI The Sloane Hospital said:
"Going dry for a month can help in lots of ways. It can give your liver a rest and a chance to recover from all the food and drink you enjoyed in the run up to Christmas and New Year.
“Alcohol is full of calories, so a month off can encourage weight loss and give your New Year’s gym resolution a bit of a boost.
Avoiding alcohol can help you sleep better, wake up refreshed and feel more positive for the day ahead.
So, here’s how you can stick to it…
5 ways to increase your likelihood of staying dry in January
Signing up is the easy part. You know the benefits to your health (and wallet), but when it comes to January the challenge is often harder than you expect.
If you’re really committed to seeing out Dry January, take note of these tips before temptation becomes too much.
1. Tell your family and friends
Making your intentions known is the first step to an alcohol-free month. Telling those close to you will help explain why you’re not having a glass of wine at dinner, or joining your mates for your usual Friday night pint.
Not only will you get nods and smiles of encouragement, you may even inspire others to join you!
2. Avoid temptation
Don’t have alcohol in your home and avoid places or social gatherings in January that will tempt you to drink. This can be difficult after the excesses of the festive season, but just think how much good you’re doing to your body.
If you have to attend, volunteer to be the designated driver – that way you can easily refuse a tipple.
3. Treat yourself
Why not put the money you’d normally spend on alcohol aside and see how much mounts up? You can then treat yourself to something totally alcohol-free!
There are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained which don’t involve drinking – you could go to the cinema or arrange a day out with friends.
Cutting out alcohol shouldn’t be a punishment. If you do things throughout the month to make yourself feel good, you're more likely to be successful.
4. Monitor your progress
There’s nothing more rewarding then monitoring your progress and seeing your success. You can follow your progress with the Dry January app from Alcohol Change UK.
If the prospect of an entire month without alcohol is daunting, give yourself even shorter goals to get through it. Acknowledging milestones can help you get to the end goal.
5. Start now!
Cutting down before cutting yourself off might be the best way to make Dry January a roaring success.
To see what you’re capable of before the pressure’s on, try not drinking alcohol for a whole week. Your body won’t be in total shock once the New Year rolls around, and you’ll already have started to feel the benefits of reducing your alcohol intake.
After all, there’s no point taking part in Dry January if you’re going to go back to binge drinking the rest of the year.
Does Dry January sound like too much of a challenge?
Some people may find it harder than others, and those who find it particularly difficult may take the time to consider why they rely on alcohol on a regular basis.
If this is the case for you, consider asking your GP for advice. You can also take a free online assessment to see how your drinking compares to other people and to government guidelines.
To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337
or make an online enquiry.