Lessons from doing Dry January (Properly)

Last year I embarked on a mission to do Dry January, however I continued to drink on pretty much every weekend of the month and when I was sober, sat at home eating everything – so in hindsight, I’m not sure it was a success. Naturally I still wrote an insightful blog post about it that you can find here.

So with that in mind, this year I decided to do it properly and really commit to the teetotal lifestyle – whilst ensuring that I was still socialising and living my best life. Here are some of the pesky life lessons I’ve gathered from this month:

Alcohol free beer makes you feel drunk

Around halfway through the month I decided to give in a try and Heineken Zero, something that in my humble opinion tastes the exact same as beer (until you have a delish boozy beer) but is wildly overpriced.

Anyway, I’ve had a 0% beer and I’m feeling funky fresh and then it hits me – that tingly tipsy feeling that we all crave so much and I realised that the placebo effect is a real and wonderful thing.

Booze is really expensive *surprise surprise*

I’ve discovered this month that doing Dry January is a great idea, even just to rebalance your bank account after Christmas. Danger zones include the Deliveroo and ASOS website though so be careful with that one.

Drinking is not my personality

In a fun discussion about the Dry Jan mission during the throngs of a booze-filled NYE, I remember exclaiming that I had no idea how I’d get through it as “drinking was my personality”. An incredibly sad thought, in hindsight.

I don’t think I’m alone in using alcohol to get through social situations without curling up into an anxious ball on the floor – and this is the trickiest part of Dry Jan for me. But this year, something was different! I actually managed to spend time out with pals without clamming up and running away so that’s a bloody victory lads.

The pub is the same without drinks!!

I said this last year and I’ll say it again – the pub is the exact same, just cheaper and less hazy.

Hangovers are the work of evil

I am now terrified of having a bad hangover, so that’s brilliant.

& on that note, spending a month free of hangover guilt has been the best thing. I’ve barely felt anxious and haven’t worried about whether I’ve embarrassed myself so much I have to pack my things and move to Canada so that’s a plus.

I’m 1000x more productive when sober

Sundays have become filled with chores, lunch prep and writing which is a DREAM. This is also my fourth blog post this year which is unheard of. Luvvit.

Sober-fun isn’t too hard to find

My biggest reason for not drinking has always been that my social life revolves around the pub and last year, I spent the whole of Dry Jan refusing to leave the house. SO I’m very proud of myself for actively trying to have fun this year – it’s actually been pretty great.

I still choose junk food and avoid the gym

Turns out that some things can’t be blamed on booze.

Weight-loss remains at an all time low!

I always assumed that ditching the drinks would lead me to lose a stone immediately and I have no doubt that if I did it for longer than a month and paired it with healthy eating and exercise – it absolutely would. But for now we’re staying the same pals. I do weirdly feel lighter and happier about my body – which did not happen last year.

Getting through a working week without feeling sick is FUN

I don’t think I realise how often I go to work hungover, which is by no means from crazy nights out but simply from having one pint too many (which for me – is two pints).

Old habits die hard

After spending the month praising Dry January and talking about how brilliant I feel, how much money I’ve saved and how I could continue to be sober for the year – I still spent Friday 1st February with a bottle of Prosecco, exuberantly dancing to Ariana (basic I know).

However, all jokes aside – I really do hope that this month does have some lasting effect and helps me to make good decisions about alcohol in the future!

If you’ve had a boozy January, don’t forget to send me your embarrassing drunk stories – they make the world go round.

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