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Dry January – Tips for Kicking the Booze

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The New Year is here, and we’ve officially made a start on our resolutions. A popular way to go is kicking bad habits, and that’s where Dry January comes in. Whether you’re just looking to save a few quid, or you want to give your liver a break, it’s the perfect time to give it a go.

So, to give you a head start on Dry January, we thought we’d put together a few tips on how to make the most of the month off drinking. From inspiration to keep you focused on your goal, to the positive impact quitting the booze can have your body. So, have a read, and get your New Year off to a flying start.  

Give Your Mind and Body a Break

So, it’s no secret that alcohol has a bit of a negative impact on the human body. The hangovers we experience after a heavy night of drinking is a pretty obvious clue that we aren’t necessarily built for binge drinking. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that giving up the booze can have a pretty positive effect on our bodies.

white and black ceramic mug filled with brown beverage on gray textile near Wild at Hearts book

When we drink a lot of alcohol, our bodies need to work extra hard to process it. Our livers go into overdrive, our brains are frantically trying to work out what’s going on and our heart and lungs start pumping at irregular speeds. People who don’t drink tend to be healthier because the body doesn’t need to spend its energy processing toxic chemicals.

Alcohol is not good for the skin, with it being a diuretic it dries the skin and reduces its elasticity. In a nutshell, it tends to make people look older. By quitting the booze, you should see collagen levels going back to normal and any redness and inflammation caused, should disappear.

We’ve all been there, sat in bed with a chronic headache trying to piece together what happened last night. We tend to analyse the events of the night, swapping between feelings of shame and horror. Experiencing a “moral hangover” isn’t pleasant, but it wouldn’t happen at all if we didn’t inhibit our decision making with alcohol.

Swap out the alcohol for something softer with a trip to Tesco or ASDA.

Save Yourself a Few Quid in Dry January

You can save yourself a few quid with your sobriety, as it’s well-known that alcohol is expensive. It’s believed that the average UK household consumes £868 worth of alcohol a year (this statistic likely differs for student households). That’s money that you could save for a rainy day throughout Dry January.

Around the world the British are known for our fondness for a tipple, with us consuming around 800ml more pure alcohol than the world average. This is probably a sign that we might be drinking too much as a nation anyway. So, it couldn’t hurt your wallet to cut back a little in the New Year.

When you save some cash, you can put it towards a reward. Whether you want to be a sensible person and whack it in a savings account, or you want to treat yourself to a holiday, you’ve got the finances thanks to your month off drinking. It’s worth trying to work out how much you’ve saved. Simply take the average cost of a drink and how many drinks you have in a week, and you’ll see the costs you’re avoiding.

Keeping your eye on your bank balance is a great way to keep up the motivation and stick to your guns through Dry January. Whether it’s the drinks themselves or the kebab you treat yourself to at the end of the night, the costs stack up, so you can even save on those drunken impulse buys.

Put that money towards your travels or maybe even a day out with TUI and Travelodge

Set Your Targets and Get Support

It’s always a good idea to get your goals in order. Make sure your targets are realistic, write them down and make sure you’ve got reminders around you. That way you’ve got it on your mind and your less likely to slip up. And if the urges do come, just keep your eyes on the prize. Ride out the wave and those urges will go away.

black and white typewriter on green textile

Always remember that nobody’s perfect and slip ups can happen. In that case, it’s not the end of the world, just remember that cutting back is better than nothing at all. You’re still going to see some serious positives if you cut back on drinking by 50%, so there’s no need to be too hard on yourself if you do fumble and have a drink or two.

It’s always good to get support with your goals. When you’ve got them outlined, make sure your friends and families know. That way they can avoid inviting you for drinks and keep you away from triggers. Whether it’s giving you a pat on the back when you’re smashing it or putting you back in your place when you’re thinking about ordering a cocktail, support is invaluable.

The support doesn’t just end with your family and friends. There are plenty of online resources to check out. Whether you want to get educated on the negative effects of alcohol, or you want to visit the tips Drinkaware website for some practical advice on quitting, there’s plenty of help at your fingertips. They even have a “Drinkchat” feature so you can talk about your specific situation if you need more personalised advice.

From fabulous fashion at ASOS, to a tasty treat from Hotel Chocolat, the money you’ve saved could be used to give yourself a little reward this January.

Sticking to Your Goals

When it comes to quitting, one of the best ways to beat the temptation is to keep yourself busy. So, picking up a new hobby and keeping your hands busy is a strong way to go. Whether you want to take up something arty to feed your creative streak, or you want to get into upcycling furniture for a hobby with practical results, it’s worth getting busy.

person holding blue and white tread

Channel some of the extra money you’ll have left over into your new hobby. That way you can create a bit of a reward system for your efforts. Whether it’s some new kit to fuel your creative outlet, or you just want to pile it into some savings and do some travelling down the line. It’s both a great way to keep your mind off the booze and keep your eyes on smashing those targets.

Just remember the downsides of drinking and the positives of quitting. From the reduced heart risk and the weight loss potential, to the fact you’ll be avoiding those horrible hangovers. Most people sleep better, they’re more focused and have a bit of extra cash in the bank, so bear that in mind.

So, set your targets, get some support, keep track of your drinking, take note of what you’re saving, and power through Dry January. There are so many positives to cutting back or quitting entirely, it’s well worth slotting it in with your New Year’s resolutions. While it’s unfortunate that pubs may have had to close their doors thanks to the Coronavirus, it does mean there’s less temptation to drink out there.

Get creative with a little help from The Works and keep those hands busy.

Treat yourself to a day out with Red Letter Days with the money you’ve saved this January.

Keep Motivated Through Dry January

So, when it comes to Dry January, we hope you give it a bloody good go! Remember that you don’t have to achieve perfection and stay motivated! We hope these ideas have gone some way to helping you kick those booze, whether you just want to cut back, or want to quit drinking entirely. Your liver will thank you for the effort.

And don’t forget that there’s nothing stopping you going beyond January. When the month ends, that doesn’t mean you have to fall back on old habits. Just remember the money you’re saving and how much healthier you feel, you might find that you’re keen on keeping up with the cutting back.

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