Dry January 2022

Many of us will have heard of Dry January, a month off the booze after the excesses of Christmas and New Year.

But what’s the point? Is it just a chance to set yourself a challenge to give something up and maybe save some cash, or does it provide an opportunity to also get something back?

I decided to do Dry January as I haven’t done it before. I felt like my alcohol consumption since the start of last summer had been quite high and I wanted to challenge myself to see how easy/hard I would find it. 

Illustration of 3 woman sat a table with wine glasses

I think the saying ‘if you don’t have a drink, then you’re being boring’ makes you feel the need to drink as opposed to the want to drink. I have to admit, I did once walk past a pub and saw a group of girls drinking these fancy gin and tonics and thought ‘I could drink one of those right now!’. But once I’d walked past and carried on with my day, the desire of wanting that drink just went away.

In regards to the fear of missing out, it’s not something I really experienced. I was raising money for a local charity by doing my Dry January, a lot of my friends knew that I wasn’t going to be drinking as they had sponsored me. They didn’t even question me ordering a soft drink which helped me a lot.

I have spent quality time with my friends and family and actually felt like I’ve been able to listen and tune in more to people.

I won’t say it’s not been hard, but it’s been SO much easier than I ever expected. I have spent quality time with my friends and family and actually felt like I’ve been able to listen and tune in more to people. I have been out to bars and restaurants and ordering a Diet Coke has felt normal, even when my friends are ordering wine and beer. When the people around you are aware what you are doing, they support you.

Being able to wake up on a Sunday without a hangover has been amazing and something I’m so looking forward to doing in the future. Normally I would’ve lazed around all day eating junk food but recently I have been out and about, going on long walks, jumping on the train to places I’ve never visited before. It really has given me a different outlook on alcohol. 

People have told me I seem so much happier and less irritable which makes me want to consume alcohol less and less.

I think my main achievement of the month has been proving to myself that I am able to do anything I put my mind to. Not only have I been able to tune into people more, I have been able to listen to myself more. My mind feels so much clearer and also shedding a few pounds due to cutting out drinking has been a welcomed surprise!

Its having that clearer headspace that really makes the difference. People have told me I seem so much happier and less irritable which makes me want to consume alcohol less and less. Looking forward, I will focus on planning things at weekends that don’t solely centre around alcohol, which is what I’ve found to be one of the best things about this month and I am determined to carry that on.

Thanks to Emily for sharing her experiance on taking part in Dry January 

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Airedale Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Agency trading as Project 6 is a registered charity number 1173006 and a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales number 3430925