January: The gyms get busier, the Wholefoods queue gets longer but these days, the queue at the bar seems shorter. Abstaining from alcohol in January has become increasingly popular in recent years, and has even earned itself a punny name - ‘Dryuary’ (try saying that after a few beers… maybe that’s the point?). For those who need a little convincing to put down the pints and park the Patrón, here are 10 reasons why we think dry January is a great idea…
Christmas is over and its time to tighten those purse strings after a month of extravagant spending. Save the money you’d usually spend at the pub and your bank balance will be looking healthier in no time. Except when you take those extra pennies to the January sales.
Make the Most Out of Your Weekends
Can you remember the last time you felt fresh on a Sunday? Not only will Dry January save you pounds, you’ll also have time to really make the most out of your precious weekend. Get up early for that training session you never make or plan a fun day out with your friends or partner. It’ll be a refreshing change to go out and enjoy yourself instead of wallowing in bed with a heavy head.
As much as we might try to ignore it, alcohol is extremely calorie dense and is often a big obstacle in your efforts to lose fat and get leaner. Give your progress the boost it needs and see what a difference a month off the booze could do to your body.
Improve Your Health
Weight loss might not be your goal, but we can’t avoid the fact that excess alcohol won’t be doing wonders for your health. After an undoubtedly boozy Christmas, be kind to your liver and give it a break, even a month can reduce your risk of an alcohol related liver disease.
Gain the Confidence to be Yourself
We all love a drink to help us feel at ease and, let’s be honest, to make us feel like we’re a little more fun! Meeting a date or group of new people always seems easier after a stiff drink. However, it’s important not to rely solely on alcohol and after a little practice it’ll soon become normal to be confident around anyone, with or without a drink.
Break the Habit
Sometimes we don’t even realise that drinking has become a habit, as we automatically reach for a glass of wine after a stressful day or a few beers with dinner. Dry January is a great excuse to find other ways to unwind and break the immediate response to reach for the bottle.
Spend Quality Time With Your Friends… and Remember it!
Let’s be real here, having a few drinks and getting tipsy with your friends is pretty good fun. However, how many times have you woken up with no recollection of the night before? Spend some quality time with the ones you love this January and actually remember it.
Although it might seem to perk you up, alcohol actually lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain and can make us feel low, not to mention how you feel with the hangover that often comes with it. Save your friends from experiencing your grumpy moods and see if giving up your regular drinking habit could make you feel a little bit happier.
Better Night’s Sleep
Proper sleep is essential for your health and can have a drastic impact on your energy levels and muscle recovery. Abstaining from booze is known to give you a better night’s sleep, so pick a non alcoholic drink at the bar and wake up feeling refreshed from a good, long snooze.
Still struggling to motivate yourself? Then how about doing it for someone else. Persuade your friends and colleagues to chip in and donate to your favourite charity, as long as you make it to the end of the 31-day challenge. The money you raise will hopefully give you the motivation you need to keep going and you’ll feel great about the good your doing for your body, and for a good cause.
This blog was written by Kathryn Armitage. Kathryn: the creator of lifestyle blog, A Healthy Wanderlust. Covering everything from culture and society to health and travel, check out her blog for a lot of seriously good food, opinionated rants and plans for world adventures. You can also find Kathryn on Instagram and Twitter.