January is the month when our get up and go has officially gone. As we cling to the bed post on the first working Monday of the year, like a petulant child who has wrapped themselves around their mother’s legs. January is a challenge in itself, but with New Year Resolutions and attempting to break old habits, it can be even more difficult.
By the time Christmas is over we are ready to make changes to our lives and make promises that we vow to never break. We are looking for ways to make money and lose weight but more often than not the promises we make to ourselves aren’t realistic;
‘I will never eat chocolate ever again, for as long as I live’
‘I will run 20 miles every morning … before and after work’
and within a week we are back to our old ways. Resolutions should not be made in the heat of the moment; you must be dedicated to change. Smaller goals like Dry January are easier to achieve and once you have completed it, you can set bigger targets as the year goes on.
To some, the prospect of going without alcohol for 31 days is as daunting as a hangover after a three day binge but Dry January can only have a positive impact. It may seem like the final straw (with everything else you have to contend with), but if you remove alcohol from the equation, you are probably killing at least three New Year resolutions with one stone. Alcohol has many side effects but the effects of abstinence (even in the short term) are worth it; sleeping better, losing weight and feeling more energetic.
For many people, life is temporarily made easier by a glass of something strong. People often use alcohol to relieve stress, to escape the realities of their every-day lives but what most of us do not realise is that alcohol is never the answer. At Aquarius we recognise that people use substances to cope with a variety of challenges and we support people in addressing their problems and finding ways of overcoming them.
What would be your reason for taking part in Dry January this month?
To lose weight?
Some people who took part in Dry January last year lost as much as 6lbs.
To save money?
Depending on how much you spend a week, you could use that money towards a fancy meal.
To get a better night’s sleep?
Last year 63% of people reported better sleep after a month off alcohol.
People who give up alcohol for one month are statistically more likely to drink less in the long term. It is a good way of proving to yourself that you can do it! It also gives your body a chance to breathe and detox after the lashings of alcohol consumed over the Christmas period. If you want to give up alcohol for January but feel that you haven’t got the willpower then it is easier to take each step as it comes:
And so it begins
The initial stage is often the easiest because the twelve days of Christmas often leave you feeling like you never want to touch a glass of alcohol again. You lie in bed with a wet flannel on your head proclaiming – ‘New Year, New me’. Hair of the dog has taken its toll and the delayed hangover has finally caught up with you but how long will it last before you are craving your next bout?
The hump period is the stage at which your self-control begins to waiver and you feel that you can’t go on any longer. The Christmas debt is catching up with you and the temptation can feel overwhelming, but you’re half way there. When you first started you probably never thought you would get past a week, but you are your own worst enemy and if you put your mind to it you are capable of more than you think!
The last (but not least) hurdle
See. It wasn’t as bad as you thought. By this stage you should be beginning to see healthy improvements. Your skin should look healthier, your sleep should be more regulated and your waistline should be shrinking. A month without alcohol is just the beginning but if you continue to stay dry for the rest of the year imagine what wonders it will do for your body and mind.
So why don’t you give it a go? It won’t be as bad as you think and you never know, it could change your life for the better!
Categorised in: Aquarius