After a year of staying home, hardly socialising with friends or seeing loved ones a lot of people began drinking alcohol more than usual at home. Many have now decided to give Dry January a go this year.*
The movement to give up alcohol for the month has become increasingly popular the last few years, as some make health-related resolutions while others look to dry out after an indulgent Christmas. Forbes reported more than 6.5 million people planned to take part in Dry January in the U.K., a jump from 3.9 million in 2020, per Alcohol Change UK, which brought the challenge to the mainstream. Since then, the trend has shown no sign of stopping, and the pandemic might have something to do with it, giving it more momentum.**
Nearly one-third (29%) of adults surveyed said they drank more in 2020 than previously. People reported drinking earlier in the day (26%) and drinking more often (31%), according to Alcohol Change UK. People also reported “drinking to cope” and expressing concern about how much they drink.***
The premise of stopping drinking is simple, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
How to Make A Change That Lasts –
Be clear about why you’re doing it
Whether you’re sick of hangovers, want to sleep more deeply, want to save money or you have a health and fitness goal, it can help to write these reasons down somewhere you can access easily. It will keep you going if the going gets tough.
Work out your triggers
Many of us will have found ourselves with new triggers to drink, or maybe with existing triggers being pulled more often or earlier in the day. If you can work out what your triggers are, you can make sure you’re ready for them when they rear their heads.
Many of us use alcohol as our go-to way to have fun, de-stress or treat ourselves – our trigger response. This is an important association to break. What other treats could you have stored up for your Dry January?
You’re not alone
Taking on 31 days alcohol-free with support from Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, doubles your chance of staying totally dry for the full month, and having ongoing benefits six months later. The charity offers the – Try Dry app free, which lets you track your units, calories and money saved through Dry January. You can download at https://alcoholchange.org.uk/.
Think about the future
It can be helpful to think of Dry January as a boot camp for developing a healthier relationship with alcohol long term. A quarter of people who drink alcohol want to cut down in 2021, and evidence shows that Dry January is a great way to do that.