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Dry January in lockdown: five tips from the experts

The Wellhub Team

Since the new lockdown hit in the UK, some have said that Dry January is cancelled - but we're here to tell you that it isn't, and give you five great reasons to keep going.

Since news broke of the new lockdown, some have rushed to say that 'Dry January is cancelled.' We get it - when things feel tough, the last thing you want is something else that feels tough. On top of that, lots of us have seen alcohol as our go-to treat over the past year - something we can enjoy even in the depths of lockdown.

But the thing is - people take on Dry January for a reason. Over the first lockdown, many of our drinking habits slowly - or maybe not that slowly - changed. Something which brought us pleasure in the past might have become a habit that no longer felt like a real choice. Of course, that won't be true for everyone - but for the one in three of us who found ourselves drinking more in 2020 than in 2019, it might be.

Lots of the people saying that now isn't the time for Dry January are probably thinking of it as a challenge, as giving something up, when in 2020 we all had enough challenges and enough taken away. But to many of us, Dry January isn't giving something up: it's getting something back. It's a chance to hit reset and get your energy, your calm and your time back. To get your YOU back.

So here are five reasons why Dry January is NOT cancelled. You can do it!

1. Remember the reasons you're doing Dry January

You decided to do Dry January for a reason, and we reckon it was a pretty good one. Whether it was to boost your mood, improve your sleep, help you feel healthier, or to reset your drinking long-term, remember your reason and remind yourself when things feel tough. Maybe you could even write it down.

2. Don't listen to Twitter - most of us are keeping going!

Here's the inside scoop: people aren't giving up on Dry January. You're part of a 6.5 million-strong club taking on a Dry January. While many of us have had a wobble in the past week, we're not seeing people giving up. We're seeing people wobbling, asking for support, and getting back to their Dry January.

3. Setbacks don't mean your Dry January is over!

On the subject of wobbles - if you've had a drink in the past few days, that doesn't mean your Dry January is over. Blips are normal. In fact, setbacks are a great opportunity to reflect. What happened? How did you find yourself in a situation that led to drinking? Could you avoid that situation, or if not what will you do next time you find yourself in it?

This is where the real learning happens. Knowing your triggers and finding ways to avoid them next time is how you will make real progress through the month.

If you're really struggling with your Dry January and feel you need more support to make a change, you can find it here.

4. Dry January could make your lockdown better... will alcohol?

Let's not beat around the bush: lockdown is rubbish. But will alcohol make it better? Lots of us use alcohol as a short-term solution to our problems, numbing difficult feelings. But problems often feel even worse the next morning. In contrast, Dry January could actually make not just your lockdown, but your whole 2021 better. It's a way to get back to drinking more healthily and happily, with 70% of people who do Dry January with our support drinking less six months later.

Even if you're not looking for a longer-term change, the short term benefits of a Dry January are something to get excited about. Better sleep, more energy, saving money, looking fabulous and more are on the cards - not to mention all the amazing health benefits under the surface. You might not have seen these benefits just yet - but don't worry, the good stuff is around the corner!

5. We've got your back

Taking on Dry January might well feel harder than it did when you first decided to do it. But that doesn't mean you have to give up - we've got your back. Depending on what will work best for you, you could...

 

Content supplied by Alcohol Change UK