More and more people each year are committing to avoiding booze during the first month of the year, and in the past this initiative has been praised for its health benefits
What is Dry January?
Since 2013, the charity Alcohol Change UK has been campaigning to encourage a ‘Dry January’, a month long period when individuals abstain from alcohol. The organisation hopes to encourage people to think more carefully about their relationship with alcohol, and the organisation itself has come a long way since then, with around 130,000 people taking part in 2021.
More and more people each year are committing to avoiding booze during the first month of the year, and in the past this initiative has been praised for its health benefits, but is cutting out alcohol for a month actually good for your health on a long-term basis? The answer is yes!
Why it's worth a try?
Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability for people aged 15-49 in the UK. It is also linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. Cutting back on alcohol long-term almost certainly reduces your risk of developing these conditions.
Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, or to socialise. It helps us learn the skills we need to manage our drinking. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about when we drink and how much, so we can avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to. Moreover, not drinking will save you money – so use some of it to treat yourself!
Are there any tips on completing it?
A month may seem like a long time, so here are a few hints and tips to make it the best possible experience for our students attending:
- Find a substitute non-alcoholic drink instead - For social situations, why not opt for an alcohol-free beverage, like sparkling water; a diet soft drink, or a non-alcoholic mocktail or beer. This can go a long way to helping, but if you are concerned about excess calories, be sure to check the sugar content before imbibing.
- Plan some activities to look forward to - Why not go on a day trip with a friend; discover a new hobby; try a different takeaway restaurant or cook yourself an elaborate meal every week?
- Avoid temptations - Keep alcohol out of your home, and when you are invited to someone’s home, bring your non-alcoholic drinks with you.
- Enlist others to help you - Let your friends and family know about your intentions and ask them to help keep you accountable, or better yet, get them to undertake the challenge alongside you.
How to get involved?
All you need to participate is be eager enough to take part in the challenge. Are you interested to challenge yourself?
Find out more about the ‘Dry January’ campaign here.
Download the TRY DRY app to double your chance of a totally alcohol-free month.
Listen to the Try Dry podcast now for some added inspiration, interest and ideas for your Dry January.