Dry January originates from the UK but has now become a popular concept in all of Europe and USA. It is basically a one month long alcohol-free challenge to start the year on a bit of a detox, especially after the indulgent holiday and winter season.
Though some may see this as a time of giving something up, instead it's worth thinking about what benefits having an alcohol free month brings.
Why should I stop drinking alcohol for 30 days:
- Lower your blood pressure and reduce your chances of heart failure
Allow your liver time to heal - your liver is the hero that flushes toxins out of your body, excessive alcohol consumption damages the liver and has been a contributing cause to several chronic illnesses, 30 days without alcohol helps your liver recover fully.
- Better sleep - alcohol affects your sleep wake cycle and research shows it negatively affects the quality of sleep. Cutting out alcohol helps you restore your body's natural rhythm and get more, better sleep.
- Better skin - alcohol dehydrates, can reduce your collagen levels and cause other skin problems such as redness. Cutting out alcohol for a month (and reducing long term) will work better than any expensive facial treatment.
- Lower your risk of cancer - alcohol is a recognised carcinogen with many studies showing a close link between alcohol consumption and several cancers including breast cancer.
- Healthier weight - not only does alcohol affect your metabolism and impedes the ability to burn fat but it also leads us to overeating and excess calorie consumption. Most alcoholic drinks are very calorific, especially with a mixer. Skipping it for a few weeks will help you lose weight and feel healthier.
Strengthen your mental health - alcohol makes us happy because of the dopamines it releases in our brain. When drinking alcohol regularly your brain starts making less dopamine to compensate and you can become dopamine deficient, making you feel especially down when you're not drinking. Having a break in January allows you to recover and feel more balanced.
During the festive season, it's easy to get into the habit of drinking everyday, which can cause several long term complications to your health. Having the break during dry allows you to reset and build healthier drinking habits for the rest of the year.
Now that we covered the why, let's talk about the how. Here are some tips from us to make sure that dry January is a breeze.
Find an accountability buddy - yes, find a friend, partner, a family member or even an app (we can recommend the alcohol change Try Dry app) to do dry January with. Countless research shows that sharing a goal with someone else, having them do it with you or just check in on you, makes you stick to your goals better.
- Plan some weekend activities in advance that don't involve drinking - e.g. book some cinema tickets, plan some walks, bike rides or board game nights with friends. Keep your schedule busy with fun activities that don't involve drinking and you won't even notice the month fly by.
- Create a reward system for yourself - alcohol is expensive so when you're not drinking you're saving. How about putting some money aside for everyday you don't drink and rewarding yourself with an item you want at the end of the month?
Be prepared for events - if you are going to an event where you'd normally be expected to drink, come prepared. This is where alcohol-free drinks can really come in handy, bring a bottle of alcohol-free aperitif to a dinner party or make cocktails with alcohol-free spirits. It's more fun than drinking tea and means you are participating without missing out.
- Learn something new - start yoga, sign up to dancing classes or pick up piano. By picking up a new activity you will not only be distracted but see this time as interesting and productive.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Don't see this as a time you have to give something up but a time to show our body some detox love and start the year feeling strong and healthy.
And what better way to enjoy dry January than with alcohol-free drinks that are healthier than a lemonade and taste amazing :) Find out why not drinking has never been so easy with alcohol-free spirits.
Join us for DETOX IN STYLE and write to us and share your questions, thoughts and experiences during dry January