January 2021 was my first intentional Dry January - a month-long annual alcoholic abstinence. After the typical excess of Christmas, Dry January can make for a good mind & body rest and recuperation.
Personally I sleep better, get up more refreshed in the morning and feel a bit more “with it” when I’m not drinking. I wouldn’t say I drink heavily, most of the time, but I imagine many people who drink feel the same way. What’s a bottle of wine or two after work between friends, huh?
I didn’t especially plan to do it this year. I don’t think I’ve even attempted it before, so it wasn’t a thing I had in my mind. I’ve quit drinking a bunch of times over the years. The longest of which was when I turned 30. I had a large glass of champagne with a birthday meal at a restaurant, and made a decision to quit “for a while”. That turned into 13 weeks of sobriety followed by a rather messy friends' stag “do” in Ibiza. Not the best way to re-introduce intoxicating liquor into your life. 🤮
This January, I haven’t really missed drink too much. I have alcohol in the house, and the shop isn’t far away, I just resisted. It was a little tricky in places due to some personal stress, but I managed to hold the line. Once in a while I’d think “I fancy a glass of wine” or “I could do with a beer”, but I just decided it wasn’t worth it. The month kind of flew by.
There was a personal profit in that I slept and felt better, but there was also a financial benefit of course. A whole month of not buying any beer or wine (the only things I really drink) left a few quid extra in the bank at the end of the month. So I decided to put that ‘spare’ money to good use by donating it to Mind, a UK-based mental health charity. It felt like a good way to end Dry January on a positive note for myself, and others in need will benefit also.
Now, onwards to Dry February!