After a month of heavy drinking, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Dry January is a good idea. With the time off, the seemingly unending hangovers, that little beer belly and your empty wallet, you’d be forgiven for waking up feeling that going teetotal for a month to solve all of your problems.
The truth is that it won’t. Here’s why:
January is January and it’s going to be grim – it’s just one of those things. Grass is green, you’ll pay taxes, and January will be grim. That’s just the rule. So why would you make the worst month of the year even more depressing by staying in drinking tea every weekend?
January is the best time of the year to be a socialite. It’s 50% off pretty much everywhere, you’re more likely than ever to get a seat in your favourite bar, and the tram won’t be jam packed on your way home. If you must give up alcohol, surely it makes sense to wait until February when it’s expensive again.
If you think January’s tight for you, waiting for that payday at the end of the longest month of the year when you got paid earlier than usual in December, imagine what it’s like for your local pubs, restaurants and bars who you’ve vowed to stay away from all month. January hits our favourite small, independent hospitality owners the hardest.
People are a lot less interested in your dry January story than you think they are. You know what’s funnier than dry January chats? ‘Guess what I did after a gin last night’ chats.
Obviously, alcohol isn’t great for you. But if one of your resolutions is to get fit and lose weight, why add to that stress by giving up alcohol too? By cutting down and choosing your drinks wisely, you can still hit your fitness goals without having to go teetotal. Plus, the promise of a gin and tonic at the pub at the end of the run is a sure fire way to make me go faster.
In the long run, it’s better to make healthy and sustainable lifestyle choices rather than extreme, temporary changes. This is because you’re pretty much guaranteed to go on a wild one on the 1st February when you’re allowed a drink again. If you’re able to cut down and monitor your alcohol intake better, you’ll stand a better chance of sustaining the positive change and seeing better results throughout the whole of 2019 – rather than throughout January until you go straight back to normal.
We aren’t suggesting that it’s a terrible idea to give up alcohol in all cases. If you feel that your relationship with alcohol is harmful or dangerous to you or your loved ones, you should absolutely endeavour to cut down or stop drinking. If you aren’t sure whether your drinking habits constitute as unhealthy or not, why not try giving The Big Alcohol Conversation’s drinks calculator a go to check.
Alternatively, if you’re seeking help or advice in Greater Manchester relating to you or a loved one and alcohol, head to your borough page to see what’s available in your area.