Are you giving Dry January a go this month? You're nearly there so don't give up. Here are some tips to help you succeed.
After a prosecco-fuelled Christmas break and a gin-soaked New Year’s Eve, Dry January might sound easy, but by this stage, you may be struggling – especially now the temperatures have dropped and cosying up with a glass of red wine seems so inviting.
But, having a break from the booze is great for your waistline, your liver and your bank balance, so here are a few tips to help you make it through to the bitter end… for 31 days, at least.
1. Buddy up
Don’t go through it alone. Bribe a friend, partner or flatmate to do Dry January with you. Sipping on Schloer won’t seem quite as boring if you’re in it together.
2. Get a hobby
You will be amazed how much extra time you’ll have on your hands when your Saturday and Sunday (and Thursday and Friday…) mornings aren’t spent nursing a killer hangover, so make good use of the extra hours. Pick a new hobby, bake a cake, meditate. You’ll never have felt so virtuous and smug.
3. Keep busy
A good idea is to keep busy at the times you would usually crack open a bottle of wine. So if you’ve gotten into a ‘8 o’clock means wine o’clock’ habit make that the time you telephone an old friend, go for a run or clean behind the back of the fridge. Seriously, whatever it takes.
4. Treat yourself
It’s scary how much of our hard-earned cash we spend on booze. With a glass of wine costing at least a fiver, you’ll find yourself with some extra pennies this month. Use your new-found loose change to treat yourself. Top of our list: a facial.
5. Join a booze club
There has been a boom in online groups and communities that aim to help you cut down your alcoholic intake. Why not sign up to Club Soda, which was set up by former politician and businesswoman Laura Willoughby to support people who want to give up the sauce, or even just drink less. They also organise events around the UK to help people socialise without booze. You might even make a few new friends out of it.
6. Avoid the pub
It goes without saying but being in a bar or a pub, surrounded by people drinking alcohol, is tough. Being the only sober person in a room full of drunks is not fun for anyone. So for January, persuade your mates to join you at the cinema, gallery or museum. And, thank god for coffee shops.
7. Tell people
We’re not suggesting you get all virtuous on people, or be a martyr, or make other people for guilty for drinking, but the more people you tell that you’re doing Dry January the more you’re likely to stay off the sauce. No one wants to lose face, after all.
8. Healthy snacks
You might find yourself eating more to fill the void left by alcohol. So stock up on plenty of healthy snacks to prevent you from reaching for the choccies and biscuits as you binge on House of Cards. Here are some sugar-free snack ideas to get you started.