In 2016, over 2 million people took part in Dry January, making it the most successful yet attracting people from all over the world in support of Alcohol Concern.
Many seek to take this opportunity to change drinking habits, with some choosing to stop altogether and embrace sobriety permanently. Here are 7 ways to a successful Dry January, or indeed any time you choose. If you need support, you can contact us in strict confidence.
1) Make changes
Change the people and places where you socialise. So much of our socialising can revolve around alcohol – use this as a chance to take up new healthy hobbies and to meet new people in different environments that don’t involve drinking.
2) Safe House
Make sure there are no sneaky bottles in your house to remind you. Replace your usual tipples with flavoured waters, cordials or other non-alcoholic beverages. Planning your replacements will help you to complete your challenge.
3) Be accountable to someone
Ask a friend or partner to do the challenge with you. Hold one another accountable, and check in with them on a daily basis.
This will encourage you to stick to the plan and to stay on track, as you support one another.
4) Replacement Therapy
This helps to create change by replacing old unhealthy habits with new positive habits – so replace your drinking activities with something else that will help your long term health goals. Ideas you might want to try could be exercise or joining a hobby club that appeals to you, or you could play music, go to comedy shows. You can also take this time to address your diet and add enjoyable and nutritious foods into your diet to feed your pleasure sensors.
5) Keep yourself occupied
Create an alternative structure to your day and plan your free time differently. Commit yourself to dedicating more time with family and friends. Incorporate mindfulness, take the time to slow down and appreciate your interactions, and perhaps stay focused and positive by keeping a journal of 3 positive things you notice each day of your challenge.
Take the time to understand yourself, and on the physical impact your alcohol consumption has been causing your body and notice the improvements you feel as you give your body a break from these effects.
You’ll probably notice your energy levels improve, and if you’re working under supervision of your GP, you may consider screening for any vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Take the time to notice changes in your feelings, as alcohol is a known depressant. Without it, you may discover other areas of your health that you want to address – and this may be the first step to improved general health.
7) Keep things simple
During your month of abstinence, stay safe and surround yourself with happy, cheerful friends who are able to enjoy themselves with positive pastimes. Make sure you’re enjoying yourself and whatever you’re doing.
Happiness is an inside job, which is can be created quite simply by helping other people. So see how you can make someone else’s day an enjoyable experience.
If you need confidential support for a more permanent change, for you, your organisation, or a loved one, please contact us using the form below in strict confidence – with Salutem Health, you are in safe hands.