Is there any point to Dry January?

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4 January
12:35
4 January
12:57

Yes! If you feel you need to give yourself a break from alcohol, then having a focused, structured time period in which to do this will make it easier. 

Our self-esteem gets a boost anytime we carry out what we say we will, for example, when we intend to start jogging tomorrow and then actually go. Following through on your intentions will raise your confidence, improve your trust in yourself and help you feel better overall. Of course there is the chance that you won’t make it through the month without a tipple. But there are long-term benefits to giving it a go. A recent study found that even those who don’t succeed in completing the self-set challenge had increased powers of abstinence and reduced consumption patterns up to six months later. 

"Realising that most of your social activities typically involve drinking can prompt you to find ways to socialise without it."

Taking a month-long break will also show how you and your life feel without alcohol. Even if the month of abstinence reveals that you are miserable/lonely/bored without your regular habit this clarity will mean that you can do something about it. For example, realising that most of your social activities typically involve drinking can prompt you to find ways to socialise without it. 

Consciously choosing to change a behaviour (especially one that has become default such as sugar or alcohol consumption) makes us more aware of the emotional contributors to why we are doing it. We can then choose how we want this to fit into our lives with more awareness, and have more of a sense of balance. 

Once the month is complete you can also then decide how much or little alcohol you actually want to consume. Maybe only on weekends, versus having a glass of wine when you come home after work at night, or whenever you feel stressed out. 

"Taking a month-long break will also show how you and your life feel without alcohol. Even if the month of abstinence reveals that you are miserable/lonely/bored without your regular habit this clarity will mean that you can do something about it."

Connecting with other people who are doing Dry January too will support you and give you accountability, helping to keep you on track when tempted off course. 

Starting the year all that alcohol-free time for self-reflection will allow you to get really clear on what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Taking time out means that you will also have time to discover new ways to relax and give yourself what you have come to think alcohol will give you, like taking up a hobby/fitness/seeing people you haven’t seen in a while or rediscovering music or literature. You may find these new ways to relax suit and nourish you far better and they will continue long after the month has ended.

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