Dry January: What is it, how to do it and why do it

Do you have that mate who, when the clock chimed midnight on January 1st, put down their drink and vowed to give up the booze until February?

Dry January is a challenge growing in popularity in the UK as a way to reset body and mind following the hedonistic whirlwind that the festive period becomes for so many of us. Of course, much of the seasonal revelry will take on a different form this year as we shape our lives to the different coronavirus restrictions.

But that might make Dry January an even bigger attraction in 2021, so here’s the info you’ll need before committing. 

What is it?

Dry January is a pledge to go through the whole first month of the year without drinking any alcohol.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your normal lifestyle. If trips to the pub are allowed where you live, you should still support those local businesses – just order a lemonade with your meal rather than a beer!

The term was monikered by the charity Alcohol Concern, to raise awareness of problems stemming from alcohol abuse, and to help people find the support they need if they have developed any kind of alcohol dependence.

How to do it

Well, it’s dead easy – don’t drink any booze for the whole of January! You might want to do it on your own, with your partner or with a group of mates. Having people to support you, or offer encouragement to, can really help you make it all the way through January without touching a drop.

Some may even try to raise money for charity during the process, making it an even more worthwhile process.

Why do it?

  • Get healthy: The charity Alcohol Change reported that 65% of Dry January participants enjoyed better overall health, while 7 out of 10 enjoyed better nights’ sleep as a result.
  • Save money: A whopping 86% of Alcohol Change’s respondents reported saving money, something that is even more important in January, a month where we all typically examine our finances after the festive period and ahead of the year to come.
  • Challenge yourself: It could form part of a New Year’s resolution, or just give you something to motivate yourself through what is often one of the toughest months of the year.
  • You could do good: If friends and family are willing to back you with some cash, you might even be able to raise some much-needed funds for a charity of your choosing.

Good luck!

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If you’re taking up the booze-free challenge in the new year, we wish you all the very best of luck. Remember, going without the drink doesn’t mean you have to go without the fun, so be sure to keep making plans where you can.

If you can pull it off, the month might change your outlook on things going forward, or just give you a challenge to test yourself with.

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