What I’ve learnt from Dry January

*Short disclaimer: I drank three times in January, technically a failure but also still of an achievement – 3 isn’t 31 people! Okay, it was four.*

I can’t be the only person that has woken up at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, dribble down my face, a hazy memory of the evening before and a strong will to leave my own body. Manically googling jobs in Canada because the hangover guilt is so terrible that I never want to speak to anybody I may have seen again, right?

It’s no secret that Drunk Claire is ruining my life, so after the Christmas binge – I decided to embark on the daunting adventure that is Dry January. I’ve learned many things, most of which are trivial but also some important lessons that will stay with me in the future (we hope).

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Here are the things I’ve been mulling over, in this DULL and HOPELESS month:

  1. I am offered an obscene amount of free alcohol – IT’S EVERYWHERE.
  2. I get drunk for the sake of it so often – Every Friday night I leave work moulding my plans around drinking. It’s been nice to wake up feeling fresh and actually be productive on the weekend.
  3. We’re all aware that drinking is expensive but nobody seems to mention the cost of a hangover! Pot Noodles, cheeky takeaways and cherry Tango add up you know.
  4. Breaking the seal is nothing compared to drinking two pints of water. This entire month has been a constant trip to the bathroom.
  5. With that being said, we drink an excessive amount of liquid during an average night out. In what world would you drink 6 pints of juice in the space of four hours? (Worried about exposing my binge drinking to the world – obviously, have never had 6 pints in one day😳)15032892_10154042472241662_2050351731904795784_n
  6. Cooking is more fun with wine and The Pointer Sisters. That is a fact.
  7. Hangovers have a much bigger effect than I’d ever thought. I found that I still feel horrendous on a Wednesday if I’ve been drinking Friday and Saturday and I’ve found a definite improvement in my sleeping pattern and energy.
  8. AND my mood. I’m sure many of you have had a grumpy moment during a night out or woken up in the morning hating absolutely everything about your life. I think we often forget that alcohol is a depressant and it does have negative side effects if abused.17498438_1323542611058619_209970759052647722_n.jpg
  9. I was excited about losing some weight with ease as this is supposed to be one of the perks of putting down the drinks. This didn’t happen, but with that being said – I have replaced drinking with eating great food 6 times a day soooo…
  10. Whilst we’re on the subject – I’ve realised this month that I am never going to go to the gym. This was my chance to finally step on a cross-trainer (or whatever it is that you healthy folk do) and I just didn’t. I’ll just stick to always choosing the stairs I guess.3.jpg
  11. Loads of TV shows revolve around dating. I’m putting this in here as I’ve spent a small sum of this month filling pub-time with The Naked Attraction, First Dates and One Night with My Ex. In hindsight, drinking is probably better for my health.
  12.  There is plenty of time in the day, I am just failing to be productive.
  13. When I have made it out to the pub, I’ve found that it really is no different. I just tend to sing ABBA slightly less.
  14. I’ve always thought that I’ve relied on alcohol for confidence and although I think this is absolutely the case in some situations, this month has given me the understanding that there are social situations in which I am completely comfortable sober. It’s reaffirmed my knowlege that there is no point in me getting blind drunk just to have fun – which is something that I will be trying my very best not to do from now on.
  15. I remember the first time I ever tasted vodka – I was convinced that I’d never drink because alcohol tastes RANK. I’ve found that this is no longer the case and I actually enjoy the taste of some alcohol. Particularly; red wine, prosecco and a chilled Red Stripe. (Check me out being so grown up)
  16. My final lesson has to be that January 2018 has lasted for ten months. I can’t be the only person that has been counting down the days of Jan and honestly, I don’t think it’s because I haven’t been drinking, it’s just a dreary month in general.

This has definitely been a positive experience, particularly as I’ve found it much easier than I thought I would. It’s a work in progress but it has improved my attitude towards alcohol which can only be a good thing. Alongside this, it has also urged me to try and keep trying to better my health and wellbeing where I can, so maybe you will see some gym selfies on the old gram after all.

I find that we have an unhealthy drinking culture in Britain, we’re encouraged to drink from such a young age and the idea that it is directly linked with having fun is instilled into us from the very beginning. I’m not saying that we should be alcohol free health nuts that eat hemp seeds and spend their weekends at craft fairs (actually me tho) but I think there could be great benefits from cutting down and improving our approach to drinking.

Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Every January 1st people awake thinking “this is my year, I’m not going to do all of the horrible unhealthy things I did last year. Somehow in the past 12 hours I am new. I am different. And I will be better.” Gyms are flooded with people, Holland and Barrett run out of stock and Nutri Bullet make enough money to last them until the next New Year.

But come January 12th we’re all back to our old selves; inhaling chocolate because it’s all we’ve been thinking about for 12 days. We’re a very greedy species, we indulge far too often and let’s be honest – we don’t really care. So I’m here to give you ideas for realistic resolutions, perhaps this year it’s best to set goals that you know you can complete. You can save yourself from the disappointing reminder that you’re a terrible human being that procrastinates too much and will never be able to get through the week without a glass of wine.

Drink more

It’s important to support independent businesses and your local pub is just as good as that random health food shop you always say you’ll shop at but constantly fail to. You may think that partaking in dry January is a fantastic idea but the truth is, alcohol is good for the soul and down time is just as important as working.
Keep spending that hour on your phone in the morning

Yes, I suppose social media is ruining our conversations. Sitting in bed for an hour every morning scrolling through apps like a zombie probably isn’t productive. But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, you’ve got to get the likes. How else will you measure your self worth in this cold, plastic society?
Keep drinking very little water

Being hydrated is probably overrated anyway and let’s be honest, you don’t have time to keep going to the toilet during your busy day. Keep telling yourself that the health benefits of drinking water are a myth. You’ll be fine!
Ensure you have 6 hours sleep every night

8 hours is far too much, you don’t want to be too well-rested in the day. You need your lack of sleep and dependency on caffeine to stay alert and be at your best performance! This will also give you more time to watch more trashy television and ridiculous YouTube videos.

Eat any (vegan) food that you want  

I don’t know how many times I have to say food is love before the world agrees. Restricting calories and going on silly diets will only make you unhappy. Who wants to sit at work all day dreaming about pasta to go home and eat a salad? You’re only gonna snack afterwards. Do yourself a favour, eat the pasta. Or if you really want to do better this year, eat a pasta salad.
Avoid the gym

You’ve walked to the pub, you’ve done some pretty brilliant drunk dancing. You’re good for the week! You don’t want to tire yourself out before work tomorrow.
Remain happy in your messy room

Tidying is futile, it will just get messy again in a few days. Save yourself some time and live peacefully amongst the chaos. PLUS messy people tend to be more intelligent…this random article says.

Cancel that yoga class

We all know you’re only going to go once and there’s no point getting to know people just to let them down. Maybe try and do a yoga YouTube tutorial at some point this month. That’ll do!
Watch more Peep Show

I have nothing satirical to say about this, it’s just a brilliant resolution that we should all work towards.