So, you’re doing Dry January – congratulations! I’ve collated a DRY JANUARY TOOLKIT TO SUPPORT YOU THROUGH THE MONTH. Enjoy!
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You’ve taken the first step and committed to doing Dry January, awesome work!
I did the same thing last year. After the month ended, I drank small amounts on and off until April 2020. Then, realising how great I felt without alcohol, decided to stick at it for the long term. I haven’t had a drink since.
Thats not to say this will be your story.
Maybe you just want a quick month to detox. It’s been a big year and many of us have used alcohol for comfort. In fact here in Australia, we spent an extra $2billion on alcohol than what was forecast. I read similar reports in multiple other countries. So if you feel like you consumed a little too much this year, you’re certainly not alone.
Or maybe, like me, there is a quiet nagging voice that gets a little louder when you find yourself with yet another wine in your hand when you promised you wouldn’t drink today. A little voice that suggests maybe there is something not quite right about the hold alcohol has on you. (Spoiler alert: alcohol is an addictive substance, so this is not surprising).
Whatever your situation, below are some tips that I found helped me throughout Dry January last year.
HAVE Alcohol Free Alternatives PREPARED
Its hard to deny there is something about the ceremony of pouring a drink at the end of a long day, or ordering a glass of champagne at a restaurant to toast with friends..
But you don’t have to miss out on these things just because you’re not drinking alcohol.
By replacing your drinks with alcohol free alternatives you can still enjoy drinking something special, without the headache the next morning.
There are tonnes of easy mocktail recipes you can access by hitting the green button below.
Or, if you’re in Australia, my go to for alcohol free wine, beer and spirits is Sans Drinks. The pink button below will take you straight to the store.
Not in Australia? Just google ‘alcohol free drinks’ and you’ll find a huge range located close to you.
Take a before and after photo
I know before and afters have been done to death, but there is a reason – they work!
Try to get a photo of yourself at the beginning of the month in natural light without make up. When the month is over, take another in the same spot at the same time of day (so the lighting etc is the comparable). You’ll be surprised at the result!
It’s a great idea to take one half way through the challenge too – the small changes you see will inspire you to keep going!
Change up your routine
We all have certain things that we associate with drinking. For me it was things like meeting friends for dinner, having a wine while cooking a meal, and having a champagne in the sun on a warm day.
I am reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and it really makes it obvious that at the the end of the day, we really are just creatures of habit. We repeat a certain behaviour or action often enough and it becomes ingrained.
So, instead of meeting friends for dinner, we now meet for breakfast or brunch. I do my meal prepping in the morning where possible. I replace my champagne in the sun with an alcohol free sparkling wine, or take my kids to the beach instead.
Identify your triggers and rework your day where necessary to avoid them.
What happens to your body during an alcohol free month?
Great question! I had the same one and couldn’t seem to find a complete resource on it, so I created one.
I’m one of those curious people who needs to know the ‘why’ before I choose to do something.
Why should you give up your beloved alcohol for 1 month?
Hit the yellow button below to find out.
other recommendations for Dry January
Here are some other things that helped me:
- Have a monthly calendar on display like this one and cross of each day as you complete it! This works especially well if you’re a visual person. There is something psychological about not wanting to break your streak, and it’s so satisfying to tick off each day.
- Podcasts. There are a tonne out there. My favourite is This Naked Mind, but if you type ‘sober podcast’ or ‘alcohol podcast’ into the search bar of your preferred podcast app, you’ll find plenty of others.
- On the morning after social events (where you might get a little FOMO by not drinking alcohol) plan something that you enjoy. My go to was breakfast with a friend, yoga, or even just a walk. Marvel at how great you feel and congratulate yourself for not drinking.
- Going out for dinner? If you’re not happy with the alcohol free drinks on the menu, don’t be afraid to call ahead and ask if you can bring your own. You might be surprised at the response.
But most of all, have FUN this month. Cherish your mornings. Marvel at how well you’re sleeping. Find a friend to join you. You are doing a wonderful thing for your body and mind by giving it a break from the booze.