10 Tips For Getting Through Dry January

Posted by Dr Kate Garside on

Dry January 

Dry Janaury tips 2020

Well the end is in sight and there are only another 9 days to go until the end of dry January. If like me you are one of the many doing Dry January this year you might find these Dry January tips helpful to keep you going.

I've done Dry January successfully for the last few years and also do the same in October so Ive learnt a lot from doing this. The first year I had several lapses but got straight back on track the next day. This year so far no lapses.

Top 10 Dry January Tips

  • First thing to say is that Dry January does get easier the more you do it. In my experience the first time you do Dry January is the worst, and it often feels like you will not be able to complete it. Do not give up as it as the urge will pass.
  • Distraction works very well so if you feel an overwhelming urge to drink alcohol do something to distract your brain until the urge passes , which it does. Tidy up, wash dishes, put laundry away, answer e-mails. Make sure that it is something that you do not associate with drinking.
  • Fake it to fool your brain-There are some very good alcohol free beers and some excellent tonic water such as Fevertree which when put in a glass with ice and lemon taste great and no one need know that you are not drinking alcohol. There are some great mocktails (non alcohol cocktails) around to. Some of them are so good that I cant tell the difference. 
  • Exercise helps enormously-January tends to be a month, when our enthusiasm for exercising is at its highest, after the excesses of the festive period, so channel this energy and enthusiasm to help you stick with Dry January. Going to the gym or a class after work is a great de-stresser and helps avoid the risky time when you come in from work, and may reach for a glass of something alcoholic to relax. 
  • Find other ways of unwinding-for example a hot bath, reading a book or magazine, listening to calming music. Yoga or Pilates are great for relaxing or listen to a guided meditation. There are some great little apps for this now. Even Alexa has a guided meditation of the day which lasts about 8 minutes and is great for unwinding.
  • Avoid going into social situations which you associate with drinking alcohol, as you may find it difficult to resist the urge to drink, as your brain has a pleasant association, between that particular place and drinking alcohol.
  • Offer to drive if you are going out for a meal or an evening socialising where alcohol will be available. Offering to drive means you will be less tempted to drink, plus it gives you a legitimate reason not to drink.
  • Be aware that friends, family or work colleagues may sabotage you. Those who are not doing Dry January may put pressure on you to drink alcohol so you need to plan for this.
  • Be aware of your triggers to drink-for me its certain times of day, evening social occasions, evening friendship groups and cooking with red wine always triggers me to want a glass. Probably best to avoid cooking with alcohol if your doing dry January even though the alcohol boils off in the cooking, its still very tempting to have a glass or two.
  • Be prepared-If you are going to someones house for a meal or drinks in January take a non alcoholic alternative with you that you enjoy, as not all hosts provide good alternatives. 

Hope you've found these Dry January tips useful

Final thing to say is that if you have a lapse forgive yourself, and move on. We are only human after all.

The health benefits of reducing your alcohol intake are great so it is till worth doing even if you miss a day and these benefits can carry on into the following months as I usually find that my urge to have a drink after work is greatly reduced after doing Dry January. 

 

 


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