Alcohol ... Don't Give Up Giving Up!

Alcohol ... Don't Give Up Giving Up!

04-01-2022

No one said it was going to be easy but don't give up giving up alcohol ... it truly IS worth it in the end!

As I write this we're a few days into the new year - a time when we traditionally decide to make changes in our livestyle and to become a more healthy version of ourselves for good. Add to this we have also seen the start of the annual event that is Dry January, when people around the globe go on a month long journey of sobriety after the overindulgence of the festive period.

Change is not going to be easy though - as many of you will aready have discovered. But DON'T GIVE UP ... it really is worth it in the end.

As we have said before, this year's "Dry January" was always going to be exceptionally tough. With new years day falling on a Saturday it meant that many of us didn't start back into a normal routine until the Tuesday (Wednesday for those North of the border) so the temptation to remain in festive holiday mode was always going to be strong. 

A 6,000 participant study into the benefits of Dry January by De Visser in 2019 published the following benefit findings:

  • 86% reported a noticeable saving of money
  • 81% felt in greater control of their drinking
  • 70% reported significant improvements to sleep quality
  • 67% had greater concentration levels
  • 66% reported a marked increase in energy levels
  • 65% had generally better health
  • 54% reported a weight loss

Some extremely positive benefits we think you'll agree? Benefits which really make sobriety a challenge worth taking on.

Every case is different though and everyone's reason for going dry is going to vary. For many of our readers and followers it's going to be about taking back control of their drinking and the resulting health factors. That's why we suggest that you don't look at it as just a challenge of staying sober for 31 days but that you use it as a catalist for long term change. Use it to take back control over your relationship with alcohol and retain this control for the long term. Out with the old habits and in with a new way of living with (or without) alcohol on an ongoing basis.

For that reason it doesn't really matter too much if we slip up a little along the way. If you've already had a drink over the weekend and see yourselves as already failing in your Dry January attempt you haven't ... simply pick yourself up and go again. It's a distance thing - not a sprint.

Face facts - it was never going to be easy. Alcohol is a drug - and a really powerful one at that. You're trying to break a routine as well as at least a certain degree of physical addiction. Temptation in the form of left-over bottles from Christmas is likely to be all around you and you're coming out of of a few weeks where you've been drinking in excess and on a more regular basis too. It's therefore no wonder that many of us secumb in the first few days of the January challenge but, seriously, don't let this stop you trying.

Each morning say to yourself "today, I'm sober" and set yourself a short term challenge to go through the day without a drink. Tomorrow, regardless of the results, tell yourself the same again ... and the next day and the next. Aim short term and the long term will look after itself. Don't be put off by physical changes - you may find it difficult to sleep to start with, you may find yourself thinking about it more ... all completely normal as your body adapts to being drug free. And don't be put off if you falter on any day - just pick yourself up and go again tomorrow.

And don't worry about when you start ... does it really need to be the 1st of January? And if we have a drink does that really need to mean we've failed? Of course not ... start when you like and, if you suffer a set-back, start again when you like. Our Sober Support Wellness Calenday and resources may help you. It gives 30 days of motivation but is not date specific. The accompanying audio resources can help you whenever you need them. Find out more about The UNIQUE Sober Wellbeing Printed Wall Calendar and MEGA Support Resource Pack.

Whilst only you truly know your own reasons for wanting to give up dry January give you an amazing oportunity to seek the support of those around you without the need to go into your own drinking concerns in detail (unless you choose to). Grab this support with both hands and work with your own group of friends and relatives to form new habits and lifestyles which don't centre around alcohol and that can continue into the future.

Good luck ... you're amazing!