Turning the page on a new calendar can feel like a good time to make changes and start afresh. From the overindulgences of December – not only food but also in all that we drink, too – January can feel like a good time to detox and commit to change.
For some of us, this means it’s time to re-evaluate our relationship with alcohol.
Dry January is Alcohol Concern’s flagship campaign – and it’s growing in popularity and success. We’re in the midst of the fifth annual event and, with more people than ever making the commitment, we want to know more about what it’s really like to give up the booze for a month.
We asked guest contributor Siobhan Keogh how her Dry January is going, and what challenges she has faced in reducing her alcohol intake.
Why did you decide to take part in Dry January?
I had a very messy New Year and Christmas and I thought it would do me good to cleanse my poor liver and body of all the toxins I’d been putting in my body. I’m not one for being super healthy all the time but, for me, to stop drinking every now and then is definitely needed.
When has been the hardest time for you?
I went round a friend’s house last Friday night for a ‘girls night in’ – not being able to drink homemade margaritas was really stretching my self-control! I think it’s important to still have a social life, though – it wouldn’t be as challenging if I stayed in and avoided social gatherings for the whole month.
Are your friends and family supportive of what you’re doing?
Very! To be fair a lot of my family are doing the same – we all like a drink, so it’s definitely needed! My friends were more shocked (mainly because I never usually say no to a glass of vino), but have seemed impressed by the fact I’ve not cheated.
Do you think this will reduce your alcohol consumption? Or will you return to normal?
I’d like to think that this will make me drink less – especially mid-week! I used to have the odd glass of wine of an evening, but it’s definitely shown me how much healthier I feel without it. I’m going to try to reduce my consumption to weekends only, and only if I’m socialising (my sofa and blanket don’t count!).
Keep going! Not only does it show you can stick to something and you don’t need alcohol in your life to have fun, it’s also really good for detoxing your body. Forget fad diets and juices, just stop drinking for a month – it’s made a huge difference!
To help you stick to your goal, Hypnotherapy Directory Team Member Jen, who is also taking part in Dry January, gives her tips for success.
Think of the money you are saving, a bottle of wine a week is £40 a month saved! Also, think about all those hidden calories you are avoiding; whilst trying to start (and continue) the year on a healthy note, I am definitely starting to feel my clothes getting a little looser.
Although we’re only a few weeks into the year, I seem to be sleeping better – and I think it’s as a result of doing Dry January. A tip I was told, that really works, is to replace the need for a glass of wine with something else to relax – like a nice, warm bath, or tasty non-alcoholic beverage!