Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know that January has been a dry month for some. If you’ve taken on the challenge then this article is for you. Maybe you went dry because you like a challenge or maybe it’s a great start to your new sober life. Should you fall into the former group there’s a risk of going heavy on the alcohol come February which as we know isn’t ideal for supporting our health but equally can even undo all the benefits which you gained from being dry throughout January. So for those of you who are counting down the days until you crack open a bottle of bubbly or a can of beer read on for our top tips on how to healthily transition out of Dry January.
Don’t lose sight of your mental wellbeing
One of the factors which is commonly reported from those who partake in Dry January is the huge benefit it has on reducing anxiety, stress and low mood. As you start drinking alcohol again in February don’t lose sight of the mental health benefits. This is a great way to remind you and encourage you to drink in moderation.
It’s ok if you want to enjoy a few drinks every now and again but this is the perfect opportunity to reset your boundaries in order to ensure that alcohol doesn’t creep into your diet on too much of a regular basis. Set boundaries of where you’re going to drink, who you’ll drink with and what times/ days of the week are acceptable drinking days.
Alcohol in moderation ca be harmless and some argue that in small amounts a glass of red every now and again may have heart health benefits. Although, remember the key here is moderation. The UK government recommend consuming no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (for males and females). Remember this isn’t a target, it’s a limit! Alcohol has worse effects on long-term health when it’s consumed in large amounts so do spread your drinking out over the course of the week rather than drinking it all in one night. We recommend at least 3 alcohol free days per week to help drinking in moderation.
Dabble in alcohol-free
There have been more alcohol-free spirits, wines and beer released this year than ever before. The choice for alcohol free options is vast. Try switching up your G&T’s for a non-alcoholic G and T sometimes. You’ll still feel that you’re enjoying your drink without the negative effects the next day!
Focus on your why
If you engaged in Dry January you would have had your reasons. This is the perfect time to reassess your reasons as they may be a great cause for reducing your alcohol intake as you approach February. If you were using alcohol as stress management tool maybe now you’ve found other ways to manage your stress and if not we really encourage you to check out meditation, yoga, walking outdoors, podcasts and creative hobbies as a way to manage your stress without turning to alcohol.
Finally, go slow and avoid hyping up the end of January. The more hype you put on the first week of February the more of a novelty drinking alcohol will feel and there’s more chance you’ll be over consuming it! If on February 1st you want to enjoy a glass of wine by all means go ahead but remember to drink in moderation whilst you’re at it!