Congratulations, you’ve got through dry January! You must be feeling pretty good about yourself right? In fact, you may even be keen to continue for another month given the spring in your step and how healthy you feel.
Alternatively, you may have already had that first pint and enjoyed every sip of it.
However, many people do get to the end of dry January and are truly changed by it, understanding their relationship much better. On the one hand, people can see that they don’t need it to have a good time, or prefer life without it. On the other, it can really highlight the struggles that a person has with alcohol, an unhealthy relationship that can often only be aided by alcohol rehab.
Many health experts will encourage you on a pathway of turning one month’s sobriety into two and beyond, but getting through February can be much more difficult, for a variety of reasons, most notably because January is a quieter month as a result of heavy spending over Christmas.
So, how can you do it? Here are three tips to keep your dry January running through into February…
Take up new hobbies
A first port of call is looking to replace alcohol with a fun alternative. Giving up booze provides you with the perfect opportunity to try something different. For many during dry January it’s a case of hunkering down with little money and battling through it. February can allow you to embrace sobriety a little more.
Think of activities you’ve always wanted to try but never had time or got round to it. That could be anything from pottery to dance classes, learning a language to joining a gym. Give something new a try and really throw yourself into it.
Get fit and healthy
Following a similar theme, look towards a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. This will not only improve your overall physical and mental health, but it will also help reduce any cravings for alcohol as well as provide you with more natural highs. After all, the buzz you’ll get off a run is much healthier, and much longer lasting than any alcohol you may have. Plus, you won’t get the hangover.
It can be difficult to take that step to joining a gym or lacing up your trainers to go for a run, so consider classes and group sessions where you can go with friends or make new ones while you’re there.
Find a non-alcoholic alternative you love
In January people tend to just avoid anything that could remotely throw them off the edge, or just ignore social occasions as a result of both money shortages and the fact they’re staying sober.
However, you can’t do that forever, so February should be the month that you test the waters again. Of course, if you do believe you have problems with alcohol addiction then this isn’t the advice for you, but if you’re simply looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle, then going to the pub and trying non-alcoholic alternatives can be a good option. You’ll find a wealth of stouts, lagers, IPAs and more available these days, particularly in craft beer bars where many independent breweries are really transforming the 0% market.
By finding an alternative, you can still enjoy those nights at the pub and with friends, but without the pressure of having to drink alcohol, helping turn a sober February into March, April, May and beyond.