What I learnt from Dry January
Christmas had left me feeling a bit sluggish so I allowed myself to be talked into signing up for Dry January by my wife, who was doing it for charity.
It was the first time I’d ever done it - in fact, it was probably the longest I’d gone without an alcoholic drink since I turned 18. This is how I got on…
What I learnt…
That I automatically associate drinking with certain things:
- Opening a bottle of wine on a Friday night without really thinking whether I actually want one, just because it’s Friday night
- Cracking open a beer because football is on TV
- If we have a nice dinner planned, eating out, or eating with friends
Non-alcoholic wine is vile!!! (enough said)
Going out and not drinking is actually quite nice:
- Can drive/no taxis/ go home when you want
- No hangover
- No midnight feast
- It's sooo much cheaper!
- 4 pints of soda water makes you go to the loo just as often as 4 pints of beer…
It was really important to have the support of someone dong it too (My wife - I think I would have caved if she had been drinking at the weekends)
Cravings pass: if we fancied a drink we would do something else to pass the time instead. Having dinner or going for a walk seemed to help, as the original instinct to pour a glass of wine would go
Much better and very regular sleep (Always 11-7)
Felt really bright in the mornings (particularly at the weekend)
Didn’t spend as much money
Lost weight gained at Christmas and then some (around 1 stone overall)
What will I do differently as a result of Dry January?
Not drink just because it’s what I normally do or just because it’s the weekend
Would I do it again?
Yes, I’m already planning ‘Sober for October’ - I think just before and just after Christmas are a good plan!
Ben Halpin is one of LionHeart's support officers. He's pictured with his Dry January staples, water and tea.