When Lizzie Fletcher decided to quit booze for January, she had no idea how many benefits it would bring
By Lizzie Fletcher
Every January, people across the UK sign up to take part in Alcohol Change UK’s Dry January challenge. The premise is relatively simple: for the first month of the year, participants do not consume any alcohol.
|...for many it’s an opportunity to feel healthier, save money and, perhaps most importantly, reset their relationship with alcohol.|
In 2019, an estimated 4.2 million people took part in the challenge, and this will no doubt have increased this year. People’s reasons for trying Dry January differ, but for many it’s an opportunity to feel healthier, save money and, perhaps most importantly, reset their relationship with alcohol.
This year, I decided to give it a go. I wanted to try to be healthier generally, and what better way to kick-start the process than quitting the booze for 31 days straight?
The first few days were easy enough. I had a fairly indulgent Christmas and New Year period, so a respite from alcohol was welcome. I worried that once I headed back into the office I’d find it hard to avoid the traditional Friday night trip to the pub with colleagues, but it was surprisingly easy to resist.
I’ve come to realise that I can socialise with people in environments that supply alcohol without having to actually drink any. Plus, it’s great waking up on a Saturday feeling fresh and hangover free.
Like many people, I felt pretty sluggish coming into the New Year. Drinking has a heavy impact on your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic the morning after. Within just a few days of giving up, I noticed I was sleeping much better and waking up feeling energetic and motivated.
Along with a boost in my mood, an additional benefit has been the effect abstaining from alcohol has had on my bank balance. It sounds silly, but I hadn’t ever thought about how much I spend on booze. This is the first January I have ever managed to save money. It’s made me think about the things I could put my cash towards in the future if I were to continue cutting out the drinking.
I am really glad to have taken on Dry January. A large part of the process is evaluating your own relationship with alcohol. I’ve come to recognise that staying sober is sometimes the better option.
I would be lying if I said I’m never going to drink again. But I’m saving money, sleeping better and have been far more productive in both my work and personal life over the past few weeks.
I’ll raise a glass (of sparkling water) to that.
Three non-alcoholic drinks to bring some sparkle to Dry January
Brewdog Punk AF Alcohol Free IPA: I’m a fan of the original Brewdog Punk IPA, so was excited to try this alcohol-free offering. It has a great balanced taste, and it was easy to forget I was drinking a low-alcohol version. If beer is your preferred tipple, a plethora of alcohol-free and low-alcohol options are available. Check out Just Recruitment’s tasting notes to find one that suits your tastes.
Seedlip Spice 94: At £26 a bottle, this product isn’t cheap. But it’s innovative and worth a try simply because there’s not much like it on the market. It’s a spirit alternative made with botanicals, and is a great option if you’re missing your Friday night G&T. Serve over ice with a nice tonic and you’ll soon be, erm, ‘ginning’ from ear to ear.
Thomson & Scott Noughty Sparkling Wine: I have a penchant for prosecco, and found it hard to find a decent alcohol-free alternative. This offering from Thomson & Scott changed that. It comes in a traditional bottle with a cork to pop, which is a nice touch. Again, it isn’t the cheapest option, but I’ve come to realise that with alcohol-free drinks, it can be worth paying a little extra for good quality.
© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd
Published: 23 January 2020
If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Six ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions alive
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