Surviving dry January

Oasis in the desert

It’s January, we’ve all overindulged over the festive season, and our waistlines and purses are (quite literally) paying the price. This is where Cancer Research come in. They’ve challenged us to a ‘Dryathalon’, otherwise known as Dry January. Participating in Dry January couldn’t be simpler, all you have to do is avoid alcohol for one whole month. When February comes a-knocking, you’ll be thinner, happier, healthier, and wealthier. You can donate the money you would have spent on alcohol to Cancer Research here.

The benefits of Dry January are obvious, with 16% of adults in the UK participating in 2016, but that doesn’t make it any easier! In order to help you on your mission to stay booze free, we’re bringing you some survival techniques that you may even enjoy.

Spread the word

Get the word out!

Avoid tempting invitations and spontaneous drinks by getting the message out about what you’re doing. Update your Facebook friends with your mission, and be sure to group WhatsApp your family members. You can even include a link to what you’re raising money for. You may even inspire a few others to ditch the booze too!

Don’t neglect your friends

Just because you’re not hanging out in the pub, doesn’t mean you have to see your friends any less. This is your month to try out every whacky activity possible together. See how you fare on an escape game, don your clown shoes for a bowling match, get your hustle on with a board game night, just try something! I guarantee that without the haze of alcohol, you will learn new and interesting things about the people you’re usually knocking it back with.

You might be forgoing the drink this month, but your friends may not be. One of the main reason people fall of the wagon whilst participating in this challenge is pressure from friends, colleagues, and family to ‘just have one’. You are going to need to remain strong. You can pretend to be on medication, offer to be the designated driver, or just be honest.

Find something to do

With nights that you’ll remember the next day, and weekend mornings now open, you’ll never have so much time to start some new hobbies. Whether it’s learning a new language, getting crafty, honing your dance moves, or perfecting your ping pong skills, January is your month. Set yourself targets to complete by the end of the month, and you’ll focus so much on your new craft that you’ll forget how lovely a glass of wine would be.

Try something else

Matcha smoothie
Green smoothie

Hands up who doesn’t feel like they’re socialising without a glass in their hand? To feel like you’re still in the loop, experiment with soft drinks. Plenty of restaurants and bars now provide a mocktail or virgin cocktail menu, with all sorts of delicious combinations for you.

You can take this one step further, and host your own mocktail night. With a host of fresh ingredients, a group of willing friends, and a cocktail shaker, you can have yourself a fantastic party. We’ve found some super mocktail recipes here for you to try out.

Get to the gym

Take advantage of your healthy sober glow, by getting yourself to the gym. Exercising will cause your body to release endorphins that will make you feel and look great. If the gym isn’t your thing, investigate joining a sports club or dance group, your perfect fitness regime is out there somewhere – you just have to find it.

Buddy up

Double up your efforts by enlisting a sober friend. Find a booze-free buddy to see this month through with. Find sober hobbies together, and back each other up in the face of peer pressure. When one of you lacks the motivation, it’s down to your buddy to lend you some.

Remember your motivation

Coffee cup and sticky note
Post it note reminders can be super handy

Whether it’s the money you’ll be raising for charity, the weight loss effect, or the money you’ll save, keep the reason for your dryathalon at the forefront of your mind. Place a prominent reminder in your purse or wallet so that if you ever go to buy a drink, you’ll have a swift reminder of why you shouldn’t. You can change the background on your phone, place photos on your desk, or post it notes on your dashboard to keep the message fresh.

Go easy

It’s not ideal, and I don’t want to hear your excuses, but we all slip up every now and then. If the worst happens do not berate yourself too much, just get back on the wagon with renewed determination. Try and work out where you fell down, and avoid being in that same situation or scenario again.

Reward yourself

Our last point is probably the most important of all. Whether you allow yourself a little treat every day, or a big treat once a week – recognise that you are doing some amazing for your body, your mental health, and for charity and act accordingly. Plan something you’ve always wanted to have or do for the end of January, the motivation will keep you going through the tough times.

To conclude

We hope to see you reach the end of January, happier, healthier, and proud of yourself! Do you have any tips for getting through the dryathalon? Let us know in the comments below, or find us here on Twitter.