After the end of year celebrations, we are all in need of gentle nutrition and many of us are considering going for Dry January. How about you?
Alcohol is part of our social life and whether you think you drink too much or not, it is always good to check that you can do a month without a glass of wine or beer. And now is the perfect time as we will be surrounded by people willing to do the same.
So, are a few good tips to help you embracing Dry January the best way and benefit from the experience for the rest of the year.
1. Try carrying on living your life as usual
If you are a social drinker, you might be tempted to cancel all social events in order to avoid temptations. But this is a shame because being sociable does so much good to the soul – much more than a pint of beer.
Doing Dry January should be much more than proving ourselves that we can go for a month without drinking. Embrace your Dry January by experiencing going out and enjoying yourself without the help of an alcoholic drink… and my next point might give you some ideas
2. Find alcohol-free drinks that sheer you up
A major food trend of the moment is the rise of non-alcoholic beer, spirit and wine. In my opinion the alcohol-free wines are not there yet, but I love the wide range of non- or very low- alcoholic beers in offer today. All pubs now serve Becks Blue of 0.0% Heineken but I do recommend to try more interesting ones such as Brewdog’s Nanny State (0.5%), Big Drop’s Pale Ale or St Peter’s Without.
And for the one who prefer cocktails, you can play with the range of alcohol-free spirit from Seedlip. The taste is not exactly the one of gin but it is certainly delicious and interesting.
3. Reflect on the good it does to you
Instead of seeing Dry January as will-power battle that needs to last only for 31 days, try to focus on the good it does to you.
You shall sleep better; you are probably ingesting fewer calories; you feel more energised to exercise on Saturday morning; you’ve had more meaningful conversation with your friends at the pub; you are learning new things about yourself; etc.
Keep reflecting on how you feel and what good it does to you… and who knows, you might want to prolong Dry January a bit further down the year!
4. Yet, acknowledge when it feels hard
But of course, it will be hard at times. After all, a glass of wine really is a powerful thing, whether it is to celebrate a birthday, to break the ice at a work do, or to wind down after a tough day.
Taking note of when you miss alcohol will help you to know yourself better and understand what type of drinker you are. And it might help you to spot when you might need to develop new strategies to help you cope with certain emotions.
For example, if you need a little kick to interact with strangers when at a party, you might want to join a drama club to learn to harness your shyness.
Or, if you rely on a glass of wine to transition from work to family life, maybe you can try something else: practise meditation, go for a walk, listen to music, have a bath.
At first, it will feel a bit contrive but, with a bit of practice, you might find out that it does you the same good, if not better!
So, try to embrace Dry January as a useful experiment to better know yourself and be prepared to have your relationship to alcohol be changed beyond this month!
If you fancy going up a notch with a healthy start of the new year, why not join my online programme 2019 Healthy Kickstart. Find all the details here.