27 Dec Your Dry January Survival Guide!
Greetings Friends and welcome to my top tips on completing a successful Dry January. This time last year, I was making some serious plans to do a year with no alcohol whatsoever, and with all the support Dry January has to offer I thought it was the perfect place to start. Now, after a pretty successful booze-free year, I’m planning on carrying on and seeing where this journey takes me next.
I’ve always been a social drinker & I prided myself on often being the last one standing. Now this, of course, is always followed by the inevitable day after in bed, subsisting on a large Dominoes and Netflix and litre after litre of fizzy water. After probably 10 too many weekends in a row like this, a burgeoning beer gut and some serious sleep issues, I
decided to quit drinking alcohol and, not one to do things by halves, I set myself the task of quitting for a whole year. Scary stuff!
So how was my year, you ask? Amazing! What I really wanted to get out of this was an understanding of why I drank and what that was doing to me as well as taking some time to work on myself and get my life in order. What I will say is running your own business for four years really does start to take its toll!
Now, a year later, what I found was a huge transformation – I feel great! I sleep really well almost every night (and I found that this improved as early on as two weeks after quitting) when before I had terrible insomnia, often spending 3 or 4 nights a week wide awake. I also lost around 10Kg (after I got all those sugar cravings out of my system) so now none of my clothes fit me, in a good way! I’ve also become so much better at handling sticky situations (these crop up a lot when you have your own production space to deal with) and I’m definitely feeling ready to take on the new challenges that 2019 has for me.
So here are my top tips for you to get yourself from the 1st of Jan to the 31st without a sip of the hard stuff!
- Write down how you feel on Jan 1st.
This is the thing that really helped me through my year. I know a lot of us are planning a big night on NYE and that’s going to lead to lots of us feeling pretty crummy come Jan 1st. Write it all down – every gory detail of how crap you feel and why you don’t want to feel like that for the rest of the month – and refer back to it when you feel like you want to quit. Trust me, it’ll help put you off that icy cold pint or gin & tonic at the pub.
- Plan ahead for the month and get yourself some Dry January treats.
Nothing makes Dry January worse than feeling like you’re missing out on all the delicious things you would normally be drinking. Why not order yourself some treats in now so when you get home from a long day your fridge is already full of tasty delights? I put together our Make Dry January Awesome pack for just this reason but if you’d rather make something on your own there are lots of other sites out there. I frequently order from LightDrinks (I’m a sucker for the Mikkeller alcohol-free) and Dry Drinker also has a pretty great selection. Like to choose your drinks in person? Why not join us at the Club Soda Mindful Drinking Fest on the 12th and 13th of Jan!
- Organise some socialising that doesn’t centre around alcohol.
For me, the worst thing about January is the long nights spent inside doing nothing. IMO, you should be celebrating what a great job you’re doing and plan some fun things to do with your friends. Why not see a movie (I mean, who isn’t planning on crying along to A Dogs Way Home this Jan), try your hand at miniature golf, go to a boardgames café or, if you’re really into organising things, why not plan a scavenger hunt for you and you’re friends to enjoy!
Claim back your Saturday mornings.
This year, I’m planning on getting up early and getting some miles in on my lifetime goal of walking around the coastal paths of the UK. Living in London there are some really easy to access parts of the coast so I’m planning on ticking them off this January. Now, that’s a lot of effort so, if walking 20 mile a day doesn’t do it for you, find your own thing – it could be a morning Yoga class, your local parkrun (it’s free!), a morning cooking class or even visit a morning rave to get those endorphins going! Whatever your bag is, get yourself up and at em and celebrate being fuzzy head free.
- Don’t give up if you stumble.
Perhaps I’ve made it sound really easy to do this? It’s not! And that’s totally OK but, the important thing to remember here is not to give up. I wouldn’t have made it a whole year if I’d given up at the first sign of trouble (I’ve cracked several times this year – you try cycling across the beer mecca that is Belgium and ending up in the final bar only to be told that the only alcohol-free option is Coca Cola…) What you should know is, it’s ultimately down to these stumbling blocks and pushing through them, that I made it to the end (and you can too!)
And that’s me! All I have left to say now is good luck, & don’t F it up!
Robyn is the Co-Founder of Square Root. Having spent the last 12 months attempting not to drink alcohol Robyn loves to share her story and experiences to help others to achieve the same. Robyn has made the choice to carry on with her alcohol-free journey & you can keep up-to-date on her exploits on her Instagram page.