December is the season of excess.

We eat countless mince pies, wolf down chocolate like it’s water and probably drink a bit more alcohol than we should. To counteract all this indulgence, every year thousands of people across the country take part in Dry January.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, Dry January was started by charity Alcohol Change UK in 2013 to encourage people to not drink alcohol for the first month of the year. People participate both as a challenge and to raise awareness of alcohol dependence, and can provide you with some great health benefits.

Better Sleep

A drink can make it easier to get your head down at night, but sleep after alcohol is often less restorative than drifting off naturally. Dry January can help you benefit from better sleep and more energy.

No Hangovers

While lots of people enjoy drinking, few look forward to the hangover the next day. Going dry for January will allow you to spend your mornings however you like, whether it’s a delicious full English at Lakeside or bracing walk around Ferry Meadows (or both!)

Change in attitude

64% of Dry January participants drink less alcohol even 6 months after it has finished. A break from drinking can give you time to analyse your habits and consider where you could change them.

A Sense of Achievement

By the end of the month, you should have a real sense of achievement having set yourself a goal and completed it. Given the price of alcohol these days, you will have also saved yourself quite a bit of money!

Five Quick Tips for a Successful Dry January

  • Tell people about it – let people know you’re taking part so they don’t unwittingly offer you an alcoholic drink.
  • Remove temptation – Dry January will be a lot easier to accomplish if you don’t keep alcohol in the house.
  • One day at a time – whatever you’re abstaining from, a month can seem like a long time. So instead of focussing on the long-term goal, take it one day at a time and set yourself mini-goals.
  • If you slip up at any point, don’t be too hard on yourself – this doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Pick up where you left off and start again.
  • Monitor you progress – checking on how you’re doing can be a great way to maintain motivation. You can check your progress using the Dry January app.
  • Treat yourself – cutting something out of your life can be a challenge, so be sure to reward yourself with the odd treat. At Lakeside, we’ve got a range of delicious non-alcoholic drinks including locally produce apple juice, herbal teas and indulgent hot chocolates. See our menu here.

Are you trying Dry January? Let us know how you get on.

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