If you’re new to the alcohol-free world, Dry January can be a daunting experience. Whether you’re planning on doing it just for the 30 days or for the long term, cutting out alcohol can be a challenge, especially in a month associated with being blue!
Don’t fear, however, as ZeroZilchZip is on hand to provide you with all the expert tips you may need to ensure that your Dry January is successful and one to remember.
Remember the why
Like many things that challenge you, remembering why you’re doing it can be a tough thing to do, especially when it gets hard. No matter your reason for doing Dry January, whether it be due to your poor relationship with alcohol, health reasons or simply because you want to give it a try, it’s important you remind yourself why.
Our tip is to write down at the start of the month all your reasons for doing it, whether it be in a notebook or on a whiteboard so you see it more often, and revisit this message when you’re finding it tough.
The more articulated your reasoning the better as often it’s easier to express your feelings and reasons by writing them down than it is by saying them out loud or keeping them in memory, this way when you go back to them you can see clearly why you’re doing Dry January and won’t forget your why.
Some of the most popular reasons for doing Dry January are as follows:
- Large health benefits including reduced blood pressure, reduced cancer-related proteins and clear skin.
- Weight loss, alcohol is very calorie dense.
- Promotes self awareness surrounding relationships with alcohol.
- Saves money, perfect for treating yourself at the end of the month to that new pair of shoes or whatever you’ve had your eye on.
- Increase in mood, clearer thoughts and more energy. Overall improved mental health.
- Allows you to use your spare time for other activities that don’t involve drinking.
It’s so important to remember just how good you’ll feel after the time off the booze and also the massive sense of achievement you’ll feel once completed!
Track your progress and check in
Research shows that tracking and monitoring your progress increases your chances of succeeding. This is no different when staying off the booze for Dry January or further. There are many apps that allow you to track your sober journey, each with their own features, but they generally allow you to see how well you’re doing and how long you’ve abstained from alcohol for.
Seeing the number of days increase is a good way of motivating you to stick to your goal, as you’ll see the number grow and not want to ruin your progress. It can be a good way of making it into a challenge or even gamifying the month off, either way, we think tracking and monitoring your progress is a good idea.
The Try Dry app has been specifically created for those attempting dry January, and is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK. It has everything you’d need for tracking and monitoring your Dry January attempt including:
- Counters to show you how much money, calories and units you’ve saved by not drinking.
- A feature allowing you to monitor your drinking patterns.
- Energy level, sleep and craving trackers.
- General notes section to allow you to record your thoughts, can allow you to revisit your why.
- Additional tools and resources allowing the month to be as successful as can be.
As well as Dry January, these apps can be used for the rest of the time you intend of staying off the booze or reducing your intake, if you choose to do so.
Support each other
Just like most things, attempting something with people by your side is easier than going alone. This is no different with Dry January.
Whether you’re doing it alone or whether some of your friends and family are in on it with you, it’s important to support each other through a month that some may find really tough.
Supporting each other through a successful dry January can be done in several ways, here’s some of our favourites:
- Buddy up, complete the challenge with someone else and that way you’ll motivate each other to complete it successfully.
- Text/call your mates, especially at the weekend when it may be hardest, to offer words of encouragement and find out how they’re getting on.
- Remind them why they’re doing it, gently.
- Be a positive figure, make sure your friends and family know that it’s a good thing they’re doing it, it’s a fantastic achievement and should be seen as positive.
Good friends support friends through whatever, this month can be a time where friends and family come together and ultimately solidify their friendship. If that isn’t a sure fire reason to ‘survive’ the month, we don’t know what is!
Plan your next adventure
Instead of seeing it as a challenge, view Dry January as an opportunity to do things you’d usually miss out on because you’re hungover or busy drinking!
The world has so much to offer, all of which is probably better for your mental and physical health than drinking alcohol. Trade the glass of wine for a hike or take up that new hobby you’ve been thinking about doing for ages.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for spending time with loved ones whilst doing things other than drinking, these are the memories you could remember forever.
As an added tip, plan these exciting new things at times where you’re most likely to be drinking or the morning after your usual drinking time, that way you’ll feel more obliged to go and will have additional reasons to not drink alcohol. If they’re planned with other people even better, you don’t wanna let them down either!
Find alternatives and make a plan for when you’re offered alcohol
One of the first things we’d do is donate any alcohol you have to friends and neighbours you have in your home, that way you won’t be tempted…
The world of alcohol-free has been expanding massively over the last few years. Less people are drinking, more people are converting to the booze-free lifestyle. Who can blame them? There’s endless benefits to being alcohol-free and sipping alcohol free beers, wines and spirits instead of binge drinking that same old lager every weekend.
There’s nothing wrong with ordering your new favourite alcohol-free beverage when out with your mates, just because you’re alcohol-free, doesn’t mean you need to miss out! If anything it’ll make the night better and easily remembered, not to mention the fresh head in the morning.
You’re bound to get offered a drink at some point or asked why you’re not drinking, so be prepared, make sure you stick true to your word and remember exactly why you’re doing it.
We have a huge selection of tasty alcohol-free beverages here at Zero Zilch Zip, all for helping you with that Dry January challenge, it’s always happy hour over here!
So whether you’ve recently stopped drinking or you’re a seasoned pro, check them out and find your next tipple, perfect for helping with them January blues and ensuring this Dry January is a successful one.