Dry January seems to be under scrutiny much more this year, with people either sneering at the idea or preaching about the importance of abstinence. For anyone who doesn’t know what dry January is, it’s when you commit to abstaining from any alcohol for the month. I’ve been doing it for years now along with occasional break during the year. I like a glass of wine but I also appreciate having some time out.
As a society, we seem to have fallen into a pattern of telling each other what to do. My Facebook is full of people sharing articles either for or against certain ideas but underneath there is a message – do it this way.
I’m not a doctor or any kind of health expert and I don’t know if dry January has any physical benefits. The evidence seems to be mixed.
So this isn’t intended to tell you to do dry January, it’s a reflection on the benefits I’ve found and why I enjoy it.
– I find it useful to assess my relationship with alcohol. Taking a break has made me realise I use a glass of wine as a bit of a crutch. Bad day at work? Pours a glass. Good day? Pours a glass then too. Dry January helps me identify those patterns and think about my drinking habits.
– I spend time on other things. One glass of wine makes me feel a bit lethargic and whilst I love the fact it relaxes me, it also means I don’t do much else. I’ve enjoyed getting my house organised and using my time differently.
– I wake up feeling more refreshed on weekends. I still don’t sleep brilliantly but I do wake up on a Saturday full of beans.
– I’ve definitely saved money. It’s expensive to drink in London and there are so many knock-on costs: takeaways, taxis and the like. It’s been nice to feel like I’m leaving January with a bit of cash for once.