Dry January 2019: The first year I’m participating in the phenomenon since I started drinking alcohol at 18—and I couldn’t be happier about it.
What is Dry January? If you haven’t heard of it, allow me to break it down for you.
Dry January is a month-long period (in January, duh) where you abstain from drinking even the slightest drop of booze. Some people do it as a way of raising funds for charities, to detox after the Christmas period, or just out of personal choice. Either way, it’s become more popular in recent years.
In fact, this year alone, 3.1 million people in the UK are doing Dry January.
Why? Well, according to Moment magazine, 43% of British women reportedly want to drink less for a number of reasons. They are, what’s referred to as, “sober curious,” which basically means that they’re interested in a life with less alcohol. Don’t get me wrong—this isn’t because they’re alcoholics. Rather, they’re starting to question their current drinking habits and the effects that booze is having on their overall wellbeing.
Makes sense, right?
Whether you want to jump on the bandwagon, are slightly intrigued, or have decided there’s no way in hell that you can cope without having a cheeky glass of Prosecco every week, here are my reasons why I’m doing Dry January this year. Bring. It. On.
I want to challenge myself.
Like I said before, this is the first time I’ve ever done Dry January and I want to see if I’m up for the challenge.
According to Doctor Hilary Jones, Health Editor on Good Morning Britain, “We do have a drink problem in the UK” and I want to push the current boundaries that I’ve set for myself.
I, like so many others, went to university and grew up in the binge-drinking culture thinking it was the norm to go out drinking 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.
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. It’s about time I start drinking according to my own wants and wishes and I believe Dry January is going to help me significantly.
I want to save money.
Do you know how much money I used to spend on alcohol on a weekly basis? I’ll tell you—a lot.
Nowadays, I have other things I would rather spend my money on—travel, fashion, and grown-up, Grandma-style things like cute things for my home and nice meals out.
It goes without saying that 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 it’s enough to pull me through.
I want to feel better physically.
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.
Nah, sadly, those days are now far behind me. It’s impossible for me to drink a few bevvies these days without waking up with a stonking hangover—a hangover that not only lasts the day but gets worse as the day goes on. Sigh.
According to my pal Doctor Hilary, Dry January and refraining from alcohol will help you to feel much better within yourself. Your quality of sleep will improve, you’ll have more energy, and 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.
Me? 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, then you don’t know just how good you’ll feel without it.
I want to improve my appearance.
Keen to hear more Dry January benefits? Well, I’ll just keep going then.
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 clearer, glowing skin. Your hair will also be less dehydrated, which makes it easier to manage and promotes its natural shine.
Sounds like a win, win to me.
I want to improve my 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 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, but 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.
I want to change my lifestyle.
That being said, 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, but 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 think I’m just going to become more conscious of how much I usually drink as the month goes on (which isn’t that much anymore to be fair) and it will make me want to drink even less.
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.
Are you doing Dry January? If so/not, what are your reasons why? Let me know in the comments below, beauties!