Choosing not to drink for the first month of the new year is by no means an easy feat. British society is drink-centric and a tipple will accompany most social events.
As with any commitment, there’s an urge to relapse, but we’re here to help you stay sober for the full 31 days. Remember why you started, whether it be for charity or improve your health consider the benefits of staying celibate weighed against those of the instant gratification (followed by lament) of satisfying your thirst early.
Heaps of benefit come with staying dry for the full month, obviously, you’ll save a little cash while you’ll see your health improve. As Alcohol Concern explains, “62 per cent had better sleep and more energy, and 49 per cent lost weight.”
There’s plenty you can do if you’re not going out to bars, or tailoring your evening around drinks. Have a look at some fun activities that don’t involve a tipple.
1. Try an event you wouldn’t usually consider
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Whether that be a workshop or Ted Talk there’s plenty of interesting events you can find away from the bar. Use Eventbrite to find events going on locally, for the adventurous why not give a neon naked life drawing a go? Or perhaps a one-day fitness retreat. There’s plenty to choose from!
2. Embrace fitness
No alcohol means no hangovers, so less excuses not to workout more. Why not embrace your fitness during this period of sobriety and get into a consistent routine without the disruptions a hangover can have. Search YouTube for something that appeals, there’s something for everyone with workouts at different levels of experience.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
We’re all guilty of relying on alcohol to help us through some of the more uncomfortable situations in our life. Whether it be an awkward first date, a dinner with the in-laws, obligatory meet-ups with old friends, the list goes on. Try an occasion you would otherwise heavily rely on alcohol for without it, see how it goes and if you find a connection.
4. Board games
Switch out the bar with a night of board games with your friends. If there’s one thing that can have an intoxicating effect more so than alcohol it’s a competitive board-game night. By the time you’ve finished there will be at least one row and fall out.
5. Escape rooms
Something that can get you just as riled up as boardgames do, escape rooms are both great fun and infuriating, the pressure of confinement with a time limit evokes some interesting emotions. You’re placed into a room with a team of friends and have to escape before the time runs out by solving the clues. From full-on panic to absolute rage, escape rooms can bring even the calmest of people to the brink of punching someone in the face. But all in good fun!
Get sucked into a new world and narrative, preoccupy yourself with a long series. Netflix is constantly updated their catalogue of shows to watch whether they be old classics or exclusive premiers.
7. Treat yourself
Alcohol is fairly calorie dense, a single 250ml glass of wine can set you back 173 calories. We’re not condoning replacing your newly opened up calorie gap with something equally unhealthy, but why not have the occasional treat? It’ll keep you motivated, track and help reduce the risk of a relapse.
8. Free experiences
Make 2018 about experiences, book new experiences and try different things. Expand your horizons to something new, it could be as simple as walking up a local hill, taking your first hot yoga class, or creating your own home spa.
9. Invest in yourself
Make a commitment to fulfil your New Year’s resolutions. Head over to the School of Life for inspiration where you can find workshops to help you change yourself for the better.
It’s important to manage expectations with a dry January, there aren’t going to be any miraculous transformations, but giving your liver a brief hiatus from the battering of Christmas and New Year will be worthwhile and help you start off 2018 in good health. If you haven’t already get the Dry January app which includes a progress callendar, calorie and money saved tracker to help you through the month.