Cheers to Dry January

How does getting a better night’s sleep, saving money, and even getting brighter skin sound? 

If you’ve noticed a pattern that you’re drinking a bit more than you have in the past, you’re not alone. Statistics show that alcohol consumption has increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people drinking more at home. Increased alcohol consumption can lead to a number of health problems, so Dry January offers the opportunity to take a step back, and examine if your drinking habits could be doing your health more harm than good. 

Quitting alcohol has numerous health benefits including better mood, sleeping through the night, weight loss, brighter skin and a stronger immune system. More than just a “month off” consuming alcohol, the real benefits are seen with a healthy approach to drinking in the months following. 

Here are some tips to help stop or reduce your alcohol intake: 

Tell people 

Let your friends and family know you are taking part in Dry January and why it’s important to you. Support from your loved ones can go a long way to helping you achieve your goal. They can help keep you on track, and you may find some of them want to join you. 

Keep a diary 

Chronicle what you want to achieve by stopping or reducing your alcohol consumption and, most importantly, why. You can refer back to this goal and document your progress. Any unexpected benefits, or even slips ups that you overcame, can help you to keep on track.  

Find an alternative ‘treat’ 

If relaxing with a glass of wine after a hard day’s work, or a couple of pints with your Sunday Lunch has become ‘the norm’, try finding an alternative, healthier treat that you still enjoy. It could be anything from a relaxing soak in the tub, to bingeing on your favourite TV series with a bowl of popcorn. 

Alcohol substitutes 

Drinking alcohol whilst socialising can be particularly difficult habit to break. Luckily, there are a whole host of alcohol-free drinks on the market, designed to mimic the flavours of popular drinks. Why not expand your palate and try the exotic flavours of kombucha, or even try making your own ‘mocktail’? 

Educate yourself 

If you do choose to start drinking after Dry January, it’s important to understand what is considered ‘moderate’ drinking. 

Guidelines state that men and women should not drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis – that’s the equivalent of approximately 6 pints of beer, or 10 small glasses of wine, though it’s important to note that the strength of the alcohol can make a big difference. If you’d like to understand your current level of alcohol consumption, Alcohol Change UK has an interactive calculator on its site, as well as some excellent resources to help you to reduce how much alcohol you consume. 

If you’re struggling to stop or reduce your alcohol consumption, we’re here to help. Call us on 01234 831 768 and speak to one of our advisors, you’re not alone.

PLEASE NOTE: For people dependent on alcohol, stopping drinking suddenly can be dangerous. Please get in touch with your GP, or give us a call on 01234 831 768 if you have any concerns.