Published on: 3 January. Written by: Becky Bargh & Cara Barrett.
With the new year officially rung in, many Brits are opting to give up alcohol for Dry January – but with any new challenge, staying on track can sometimes be hard. Here, we give our top tips on how you can stay dry this January.
If you have decided to lay off alcohol in January – otherwise known as Dry January – you’re not alone.
An impressive nine million people are expected to sidestep booze for the first 31 days of 2023, as Brits attempt to jumpstart their new year with a health kick.
And, as the campaign’s organiser, Alcohol Change UK, marks its 10-year anniversary, staying away from alcohol has come into the spotlight more so than ever.
25% of people in the UK said they drank more in 2022 than 2021, with 1-in-6 Brits citing the cost-of-living crisis as the reason for their increased drinking.
But having a month off the ‘sauce’ can help you sleep better, improve your hydration and save you money, as well as calories.
So, whether you want to have a dry Jan, or to just cut back, here are seven ways to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.
1. Seek support
If you want to be supported throughout Dry January, you can sign up to the campaign through Alcohol Change UK, which will cheer you on throughout the month.
Participants can download the app for updates or sign up to coaching emails during January to help keep you on track.
2. Create a mantra
Set yourself a daily reminder of why you have decided to give up alcohol. It could be as simple as a Keep a post-it on your fridge or computer screen.
This keeps you reminded that you are doing Dry January and make you less likely to accidentally fall off the Dry Jan wagon and help to remove temptation.
3. Buddy up
If working out with a friend means you push yourself harder and are more likely to stick to your workout sessions, the same can be said with doing Dry January.
People who take part with a family member or friend are more likely to succeed. If one of you feels a wobble, the other is there to help you to keep on track.
4. Go low
Switching to non-alcoholic drinks, such as mocktails or alcohol-free beer means that you can still enjoy your favourite tipples without the alcohol.
By doing this, you’re less likely to feel like you’re missing out from having your favourite tipple.
Here are Vitality’s 5 top mocktails to enjoy come rain or shine:
5. Tot up the savings
86% of Dry January participants said they saved money, according to Alcohol Change UK. The average cost of a pint in the UK stands at £3.95, a 4% increase compared with 2021. And, if Brits have around 4.4 pints a week, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, that could save you more than £17 a week.
So, if you do decide to tot up your pennies, put the money you into a savings fund and reward for yourself at the end of the month.
6. Resist temptation
If you’re someone that reaches for the bottle at the end of a stressful work day, try not to have alcohol in your home. Instead, do something to mix up the end of your work day. Go for a walk or do some form of exercise to take your mind off wanting a drink.
7. Go out sober
If you’re ditching the alcohol but afraid you’ll miss going out, try going to an alcohol free bar.
Derby’s Yada and Nottingham’s Cafe Sobar are reimagining cities’ nightlife with their alcohol-free menus, while The Brink The Brink in Liverpool is helping its visitors to nourish their body and spirit.
At Vitality, we’re all about encouraging our members to make small positive lifestyle choices that can make a big impact to their lives.