What I learnt from Dry January

Ben Dry Jan blog

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  

The Benefits…

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.

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