Well, it’s that time of year again. The time where everyone quickly makes resolutions that they have no intention of sticking to (mine incidentally, is learning to not give a f*ck). Everyone is busy signing up for gyms that they’ll never go to, decluttering their homes and of course, attempting to do dry January. As a non-drinker, I always find the idea of dry Jan somewhat bemusing, time and time again I see people fail to give up alcohol, even if it’s just for a few weeks. And part of me gets it – it does take a lot of perseverance and of course, you must learn to not bow to peer pressure (a very hard thing to do in a culture, such as the UK, which glorifies alcohol), so good on you guys for trying.
Yet, however hard staying away from the ‘oh so tempting’ booze seems, it’s definitely possible, and who knows you might actually learn some things along the way. If you are one of those people who sets out every year with the great intentions of doing dry Jan yet only seem to last until the first trip to the pub, then here are some tips to help you get to the first of Feb without booze.
Hit the gym
This may seem like an obvious one seeing as it’s Jan, but if you are going to do it you might as well do it properly. Also – there is nothing worse than going to the gym with a nightmare hangover – trust me, I’ve seen people try and it’s not pretty. If you are serious about getting healthy come 2018, then I found this quirky little alcohol calculator which shows you how many calories you are avoiding just by not drinking. You gotta start somewhere!
Hide your booze
Or get your housemate to hide it from you. Out of sight – out of mind. It really could not be easier. Also – don’t buy anymore just because you can’t find your own.
Learn about the effects it will have on your body
Although there hasn’t been that much research done into the effects one-month off alcohol can do to your body, there was one survey which was conducted and it found that 4-5 weeks off drinking which found the following:
- Liver fat fell on average by 15% and by almost 20% in some individuals. (Fat accumulation on the liver is a known prelude to liver damage)
- Blood glucose levels dropped by 16% on average
- Total blood cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, dropped by almost 5%
- Ratings of sleep quality rose by just over 10%
Obviously, these effects can reverse quite quickly if you start heavily drinking again, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Create an alcohol-free piggy bank
This is my favourite tip! Simply put aside all the money you would have spent on alcohol for the month and use it to buy tickets to the theatre (Hamilton anyone?) or a holiday or something. You’ll be surprised by how much you can end up saving. I save on average about £200 or more a month just by not drinking, and that has paid for endless holidays I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to go on. The choice is yours!
Get the alcohol-free stuff
If you have tried everything and are still struggling, then just get the alcohol-free stuff. Almost every pub now serves alcohol-free beer, and Seedlip is an excellent choice for alcohol-free gin. Although – I would advise staying away from the alcohol-free wine – I’ve failed countless times to find one that doesn’t taste like vinegar. There are also a plethora of alcohol-free bars which have popped up all over London, so why not head to one of them when you next meet your mates?
So there you go, hopefully, this will help all you guys out there who try and do dry Jan every year but never quite seem to make it to Feb. Good luck – I salute you!