For many people, starting the year with Dry January seemed a great idea after all that excessive boozing at Christmas. But now we are in February, many will be tempted to slip back into old habits.
The drink-related opportunities are many. Burns Night with its dram of whisky may have passed, but a glass of wine on Valentine’s Day, the temptation to wash down the pancakes on shrove Tuesday and even the possibility of a Welsh Beer when St David’s Day comes around on March 1st may all come to mind, as might the temptation to hit the pub when the Easter weekend arrives.
However, while the next Dry January may be 11 months away, there is Sober Spring. Designed by Alcohol Change UK as an offshoot of Dry January, it is a three-month break from alcohol that uses the astronomical definition of spring rather than the meteorological one, so it starts on March 20th.
That means if you have got back into bad habits in February and early March, you can take action by going back on the wagon and rediscovering the joys of non alcoholic beer.
Support can be found in the form of motivational blogs and emails from a team of influencers, while an app is available to track your sober progress.
The writers include Sober Spring founder Cathy Gray, who has written about her own journey to sobriety but is handing over the reigns this year as she goes on maternity leave. In her last blog, she noted: “It is very easy to lead an unexamined drinking life in our culture. It takes grit to dare to examine it and to say ‘no thanks’ for an extended period. “
It may be that the temptations provided by a sunny afternoon in April or May outside the pub will be hard to fight, while the start of the cricket season will no doubt bring open bars and pints being downed in the stands. But by taking on another challenge, you can take another big step towards permanently changing your relationship with alcohol for the better.