Check out these great tips if you are having a break from booze

I LOVED the idea of a Dry January as much as the next person but in the past I really struggled to get through it.

January tends to be a bit of a dull month; there aren’t many nights out or events booked in the diary - In many ways not drinking should be easier. 

What if your birthday is in January? (Mine is!) I used to insist that all my friends waited until 5th Jan before we started our Dry Januarys – we sometimes added the extra days on to Feb and we sometimes didn’t (my husband’s birthday is 2nd Feb).

I remember one year when I allowed myself weekends ‘off’ as the thought of a whole month without a drink was too much at that time.

I definitely said things like “Dry Jan is for losers, Dry Jan is for amateurs and Dry Jan is not for me!” I knew that my relationship with alcohol wasn’t good, I knew I wanted a change and I also knew I didn’t know how to make things sustainably different.

Admitting to myself that I wanted something else on the 1st Jan instead of an almighty hangover was hard when I had ‘celebrated’ New Year’s Day that way for so long, admitting to other people that I was going to change started off really hard but became easier over time.

The gift in Dry Jan for those of us who want a different relationship with alcohol is being able to use it as a ‘cover all’ reason.  Dry January is a reasonable and socially acceptable ‘excuse’ not to drink this month.  Embrace it fully!

My tips for a successful Dry January:

See it as a month to enjoy and not a month to endure

Buy some lovely alcohol-free alternative drinks to experiment with – you may well find something you actually prefer to your usual drink

Take the time to really NOTICE how you feel in mind, body and soul – make a few notes each week about any positive differences you observe

Choose a replacement activity for the time that you would’ve spent drinking before.  Will you read that book you keep meaning to, will you add 5k steps to your fitness tracker or will you use that meditation app?

Undertake a new socialising activity.  Call that friend you usually drink with and invite them for a walk and coffee – enjoy the positive social interaction without the hangover the next day

Join a community of like-minded people who can support you, who understand the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing right now.  I recommend Bee Sober, a kind, helpful and supportive online community – support and advice always on hand.

Why not try the 30 day sober experiment 

Source: Sarah Williamson, Bee Sober Senior Coach and Ambassador

  • Recovery Coach Professional
  • Trained and Certified Trauma Informed Drink Less/Alcohol Free Coach
  • NLP Practitioner 
  • Addiction Professionals Practitioner Member