Dry January has been around for a few years now but this year it seems that more people than ever before have given up the booze for January. After the indulgences of Christmas and New Year, it’s no wonder that we want a break from alcohol and Dry January is the perfect way to do this. This year, I took part in Dry January and I wanted to share five things I learnt by going alcohol free.
The health benefits are huge
Let’s be honest, the main reason to take part in Dry January (or any alcohol free month) is the health benefits. Alcohol is bad for you, there’s no point denying it. If you want to lose weight, feel more alert and just generally improve your health then a break from alcohol is sure to make a positive difference.
I like the taste of alcohol and that’s ok
Personally, I don’t drink just to get drunk; I love the taste of alcohol. When Eisberg offered to send me some wine to try, I was intrigued to see whether alcohol-free wine was really comparable to the real deal. I love sitting down with a cold glass of white wine on a Friday night and it is something I missed during January – and I was pleasantly surprised that the alcohol-free Sauvingnon Blanc tasted like refreshing and fruity and, well, like white wine!
Still struggling with sleep? Cut out the booze
If you read my previous blog post, you will know that I’ve changed my evening routine to try and improve my sleeping pattern. I shared some of my tips for a great night’s sleep, but cutting out alcohol has also helped my sleep. My sleep is deeper and doesn’t have those vivid dreams I always associate with a drunken night’s sleep, meaning I feel more rested and alert the following day.
You don’t have to be all or nothing
I had two evenings when I drank in January; one night out for a friend’s birthday I knew I was going to drink for and one night when I took a glass of wine at a work event before I remembered that I was supposed to be doing Dry January (oops!) Previously, having a drink might have meant I snowballed and fell off the bandwagon but this year, I simply took this in my stride and didn’t let one evening of drinking ruin the rest of the month.
Overall, I enjoyed taking part in Dry January this year – mainly because I actually completed it! I haven’t particularly missed alcohol and during those “I’m stressed and need gin” moments, the fact I wasn’t drinking meant I resisted temptation and realised I actually didn’t need a drink. Although I’m still inevitably going to reach for that bottle on Saturday night, I’m now more likely to just have one and leave it at that.
Did you take part in Dry January? Whether you gave up the booze or not, you can donate to Alcohol Concern here.