Is it Time for a Dry January?

Among a myriad of New Year’s traditions, resolutions and etc., Dry January became a popular challenge for many. The concept is simple – give up alcohol entirely from your diet for the duration of January. For some, it’s a way to take a break from excessive drinking during holidays, for others it’s a way to “detox” and kick start health-related New Year’s resolutions.

Officially, Dry January is known as a campaign run by Alcohol Concern, a charity which is tackling problems with overconsumption of alcohol and the many issues it can potentially cause. Since 2015 they have been working with Public Health England, which also encourages people to participate, as according to their words, it can continue to help people with their drinking habits for weeks, even months after the challenge.

And it works too! Not only do 72% of participants improve their drinking habits, even 6 months later, but many sources also confirm other benefits of participating. Big drinker or not, giving up alcohol for a month would show a few health improvements. And with that recurring resolution to get healthy in the new year, why not give this challenge a go?

Here’s a list of reasons why you might like to try the challenge:

1. Rethinking your habits

Dry January is an opportunity to rethink how one consumes alcohol and in what situations. The unfortunate reality is that many of us can feel pressured in drinking environments, ending up consuming far more than we originally planned. But, if we dedicate the whole month to not having a drop of alcohol, we can find a way to decline social pressure or just have a good reflection on our own habits. Some people may find that they need alcohol far less to enjoy themselves, or not need it at all.

2. Saving money

Whether you go for your drinks to a fancy bar, a local pub or just get your fill at the corner shop, alcohol always costs a pretty penny. By not consuming it, an average participant can save some money, which can either be spent on something else of course or be donated to the charity itself!

3. Weight loss

We always hear that alcohol is empty calories, and it’s true! Depending on how much you drink usually, you can even lose a few pounds in a couple of weeks. Alcohol consumption also leads to the likelihood of increased junk food consumption, so if you cut back on alcohol, you might not feel the need to get a greasy takeaway afterwards.

But most importantly, Dry January heavily focuses on community and supporting each other, whether or not we have difficult relationships with alcohol. For some, it’s just a detox month, for others it’s a way to take back control, but we are more likely to succeed at it if we doing it together and supporting others. So next time you hear a friend or a family member trying the challenge, maybe offer to join them and see how it changes your life for yourself.

You can find out more about Dry January and even download resources here.

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