What is Dry January?
Dry January is the annual movement through which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January. In this article, Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director for the UK P&I Club, shares her experience and journey participating in Dry January.
Doing Dry January:
- Enables individuals to take control of their relationship with alcohol
- Drives a conversation about alcohol: "Why do we drink it?", "What does it do?" and "How can we reduce the harm it can cause?"
Giving up alcohol for one month can bring improvements in concentration, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, not to mention the benefits for your liver.
Once again, this year I am taking part in the Dry January challenge and swapping my recreational alcoholic tipple for a glass of water! Two weeks into the challenge and I can already feel the benefits and it has not been as difficult as I thought.
Although there will be times where I could be tempted to break the abstinence (at social events with friends, business entertaining etc.), I will stand firm. The biggest benefit I have noticed is increased energy and better sleep. My skin is a little brighter and I feel more alert, particularly in the morning. I have also saved money on my weekly shop by dropping off the regular bottle of wine. These benefits are most welcome after the excesses, which December traditionally brings, such as seasonal celebrations and New Year festivities.
Here are my tips for getting through the month of "Dry January".
- Download the app for support and keeping track of your journey
- Share your plans with friends so you can gain their support and they might help you if you feel like being impulsively derailed
- If you do feel tempted, remind yourself why you started in the first place
- Remove the temptation, plan for events where alcohol isn't key, (e.g. sporting activities)
At the end of January, there might be a tendency to revert to old habits (especially given that my birthday is 1st February). However after surviving without alcohol for a whole month I probably will be inclined to continue the healthy lifestyle. During 2022, I had over 200 "dry" days which I logged in the Dry January app. This year my target is 250 "dry" days. That ensures the positive impact of Dry January lasts a little longer... and I am sure my health will thank me for it!
Additional information and support on Dry January can be found here.
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Crew Health Programme Director
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