Dry January is a month-long period (in January, duh) where you abstain from drinking even the slightest drop of alcohol.
Some people do it as a way of raising money for charities and some do it to detox after the Christmas period.
Either way, it’s become more of a popular notion in recent years. In fact, 3.1 million people in the UK are doing Dry January 2019.
Why? Well, according to Moment magazine, 43% of British women reportedly want to drink less for several reasons. They are “sober curious,” which basically means that they’re interested in a life with less booze.
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t because they were once alcoholics. Rather, they’re starting to question their current drinking habits and the effects that alcohol is having on their overall wellbeing.
Whether you’ve done it before or this would be your first time, there are some big benefits of doing Dry January. Bring them on!
It’s a Challenge
Newsflash: I’m personally doing Dry January because this is the first time I’ve ever done it.
According to Doctor Hilary Jones, the Health Editor on Good Morning Britain, “we do have a drink problem in the UK” and I want to see if I’m up for the challenge.
After all, I (like so many others) went to university and grew up in the binge-drinking culture thinking it was the norm to go OUT out multiple times per week and exceed the recommended intake.
However, as I’ve got older and become a full-blown adult (the struggle is real, I know), I’ve realised that the way I used to live wasn’t necessarily healthy for my body nor my mind.
Plus, I wasn’t drinking because I enjoyed drinking. I was drinking because everybody else was doing it and I wanted to fit in. And there’s no valour in that.
You Save Money
Do you know how much money I used to spend on alcohol on a weekly basis? Well, I’ll tell you – it was a lot.
Needless to say, drinking is expensive. Sure, I might miss my weekend tipple during Dry January, but then I just think about my bank balance at the end of it all.
And that’s enough to pull me through.
You Can Improve Your Physical Health
Gone are the days where I used to wake up fresh and ready to embrace the day after a night of partying uptown until 3am.
Sadly, it’s now impossible for me to drink a few bevvies without waking up with a stonking hangover. And this hangover not only lasts the day but gets worse as the day goes on. Not cool.
According to my pal Doctor Hilary, Dry January and refraining from alcohol will help you to feel much better within yourself in the following ways:
- Your quality of sleep will improve
- You’ll have more energy
- You’ll generally want to conquer the world on a Sunday morning instead of going back to bed to hibernate for the rest of the day
Personally, I’m excited for a whole month of being hangover free. And it’s true that unless you give booze up for so many days, you won’t know just how good you’ll feel without it.
You Can Improve Your Appearance
In addition to helping you feel good, abstaining from alcohol will apparently help you to look good.
Say goodbye to random breakouts from sugary cocktails and hello to clear, glowing skin. Your hair will also be less dehydrated, which makes it easier to manage and promotes its natural shine.
And this sounds like a win-win to me.
You Can Improve Your Mental Health
I don’t know about you but, as well as feeling physically rubbish the morning after a drinking session, I also feel mentally broken.
It’s no secret that alcohol is a depressant. And, on a personal level, it seems to affect my mind more detrimentally now than it’s ever done before.
It probably doesn’t help that I already suffer from anxiety. That said, a post-alcohol haze seems to make me feel super low now compared to how I used to feel in the past.
And do you know what? It just isn’t worth it to me anymore.
It Helps You to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Finally, I’ve decided that now that I’m in my late twenties, I’m also “sober curious.”
Sure, Dry January is a great way to detox after the very boozy Christmas and New Year period. However, refraining from drinking has long-term effects as well as short-term effects.
According to research by the University of Sussex, if you participate in Dry January, you tend to drink less in February and beyond.
Personally, I’ll probably become more conscious of how much I usually drink as the month goes on (which isn’t that much anymore to be fair). As a result, it’s likely to make me want to drink even less in the future.
Dry January Benefits for All
Whether you’re all for it or totally against it, you can’t refute Dry January statistics and the various health benefits it brings.
Either way, I reckon it’s going to be one of those things where you can’t knock it until you try it. And I’m going to try and embrace it with open arms.
Wish me luck!
Are you doing Dry January? If so/not, what are your reasons why?
Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded Trendy Tourist. Since 2017, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.