Published 14th January 2020

survive dry january

New year, new you? 

Welcome to 2020, everybody! If you’re like us, you probably jumped into 2020 with a bang and are perhaps now not feeling as healthy as you’d like (which is, funnily enough, the same way we feel every January). Maybe you’ve come up with some new year’s resolutions to help you get off the couch more, eat fewer carbs or hit the gym more, or perhaps you’re going the Dry January route.

What is Dry January?

Dry January is a commitment to abstain from drinking alcohol for the 31 days of January. The point of Dry January is to detox, reboot our systems and possibly even lose weight. It might sound a bit extreme but you must realise that all those daily after-work drinks add up. Even though a glass of wine here and there can be good for you, those of us who enjoy more than a glass a day are probably feeling the effects not only on our wallets but also on our energy levels and waistlines. 

At the same time, if a daily drink is your norm, especially when you are out and about, it can be tough to be totally sober for 31 days. To help you out, we’ve collated some of our top tips to help you survive Dry January.

Drink alternatives

Not having a drink doesn’t mean that you can’t have a drink, if you know what we’re saying. So often we associate going out and socializing with an alcoholic drink, but there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks that make great substitutes. We’re not talking Coca-cola or water because those are two extremes, but how about a zero alcohol beer or a virgin cocktail? Non-alcoholic gins are especially popular at the moment and are surprisingly delicious. So you can still nurse a drink at the bar without actually drinking.

Get a sober buddy

There’s no need to do this alone! Find a friend or convince your partner to do Dry January with you. Any teetotaler can tell you how annoying drunk people can be so it’ll be nice to have someone around you can have a decent conversation with after 10pm. Plus if you really don’t feel like being surrounded by alcohol, you can meet up with your sober buddy instead. If nobody wants to hop on the wagon with you, there are plenty of online forums where you can make virtual friends who can hold you accountable.

Make plans…or don’t make plans

There are two options here and which one you choose will depend on you. If you find yourself drinking mostly on social occasions with your friends, you might want to chill out for a month and catch up on all those series you’ve been meaning to watch. If going out is going to make drinking too tempting, rather avoid it altogether – you’ll save loads of money! On the other hand, if you like a drink no matter if you are with friends or alone, plan activities which don’t involve drinking – going to a movie, attending dance classes – to keep yourself busy during the month.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

If you are celebrating a special occasion in January or find yourself succumbing to the temptation of a drink or two, don’t beat yourself up about it the next day. Dry January is a way to realise our level of consumption and reset our systems. A drink or two here or there is not the end of the world. Just don’t let that one slip mean you’ll fall into your old patterns of binge drinking!

Reward yourself

At the end of your Dry January, you should notice that you have a few more banknotes in your wallet than usual. Drinking is expensive and abstaining from alcohol for a month will save you serious money. With this in mind, consider how you’re going to treat yourself at the end of the month and remember this each time you want to add a six-pack to your shopping trolley.

Dry January may be easier for some people than others but there are so many reasons you should at least give it a try. Besides the health and financial benefits, it’s a great way to start a new year – healthy, detoxed and refreshed.

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