Dry-January | The Trojan Horse into a Health focused 2020
Dry January is an annual movement through the UK run by Alcohol Change UK, through which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January. It was introduced as a campaign in 2014 by Alcohol Change UK and has only gained more popularity since then, resulting in over 4 million Britons taking part in 2017.
The only 'rules' for Dry January is no alcohol consumption from the 1st Jan to the 31st Jan. There are so many reasons to do Dry January such as to lose weight, save money on trips to the pub, improve your health, support a loved one cut out alcohol or to generally improve your relationship with alcohol.
A month of cutting alcohol out will have heaps of benefits directly related to alcohol itself. But there are so many domino effects that come further out from the initial benefits.
We want to delve in deeper behind the additional health and wellbeing benefits that can arise through a month of avoiding alcohol.
Dry January can be seen as a fad or not taken very seriously, just a late-night proclamation in a bar on New Year's Eve. But if taken seriously it can become a slingshot into the New Year with a focus on your physical and mental health. Regardless of your reason for avoiding alcohol, and whether you get to the 1st Feb and start drinking again or not, the 31 days without it may have helped you step in the direction of a health-focused 2020.
During the month, you may start eating healthier meals. Fewer trips to the pub for some may mean fewer takeaways, choosing to cook healthy meals at home gives you the chance to experiment with healthier options. So even when Dry January is over, you may decide to celebrate with a glass of wine, but that may be accompanying a home-cooked, healthy meal.
Should Dry January leave you feeling refreshed and cleansed after a month, it may have motivated you to create a routine to feel like that more. At TEA+, all of our products are designed by experts with routine in mind. A routine gives you an extra helping hand in controlling habits, and reaching goals you want to achieve easier. By creating a routine for a part of your life you need help with, can become an automatic habit the more you work at it. Such as a sleep/wake routine, sticking to set times to go to bed and get up again can affect your body clock, sometimes resulting in your body not needing an alarm to wake up at the same time each day. This can be put into place in many different aspects of your life and can be used to help you reach a range of goals you set for yourself.
I personally am taking part in Dry January, I want to reclaim my weekends. I enjoy a social trip to the pub as much as the next person, but I dread the morning after. Not only has Dry January given me the ability to use my weekends more wisely, but it has also helped me realise that alcohol isn't needed to spend quality time catching up with friends. Many people decide to do Dry January due to their relationship with alcohol. It is often used to reduce stress after a long day, increase courage and as a buffer when talking to new people. While challenging Dry January, many may discover that alcohol isn't needed to the extents they thought. This is an aspect of Dry January that may help mental wellbeing as well as physical.
So my overall point here is that yes, doing Dry January may give you all the physical benefits linked directly to the alcohol itself, but it also has the potential to slingshot you into a new mindset around health and wellbeing. So if you're doing Dry January and will aim to continue the alcohol hiatus further into the new year, or not, you will have created memories for yourself about how it has made you feel.
You can use these memories to help keep the mind-set you created and dive headfirst into a health and wellbeing focused 2020.