If you took part in Dry January, whether you made a conscious effort to drink less, or gave up booze completely, well done! You made it! But what next?
Maybe you want to celebrate with a beer or a glass of wine, or vow to continue drinking moderately, or maybe you could even keep going. But whatever you decide, and before you decide to go on a drinking binge to celebrate a month of sobriety, here are some things you should first ask yourself.
Take stock of the surprising benefits
After a month without booze, you will have noticed improvements in your life, maybe finding you have more free time, boosted energy levels, and likely have a bit extra cash in your pocket too.
You could find that you’ve been sleeping better, and perhaps there is less drama in your life. There will be many benefits to completing Dry January.
The new habits
You may have replaced alcohol with new habits, such as hitting the gym or developing a new self-care regimen. Saturday and Sunday mornings without hangovers mean you can make more use of the weekend to indulge in your new hobbies too.
Set another alcohol-free goal
While Dry January might have seemed difficult at the start of the month, it will have become much easier towards the end, so why stop there? You’ve done 31 days, so why not go a few more weeks for 50 days, or 100, or stay Dry ’Til July, or even a whole year? Think about your life without alcohol and consider what, if anything, scares you about it.
If you’ve spent January ‘counting down’ until the end of the month, why not try ‘counting up’ instead, and see how many days you can get up to!
Think about what you’ve learned about yourself
It may be that Dry January has alerted you to what influence alcohol has on your life, and been a bit of a wake-up call. Maybe you’ve learned other lessons about yourself and found you feel freer without alcohol in your life.
It is important to ponder these questions carefully, as you take your next steps. Listen to your intuition, and take a moment to think about all you have gained before ringing your mates to organise a big night out.
No one is going to stop you if you wanted to celebrate the completion of Dry January with a beer or maybe two. But if you are going to enjoy alcohol again, you must take it slow after having a long break.
Moderate drinking can mean different things to different people, but some good tips include avoiding drinking on a work night, as that one beer on a Thursday turns into two beers, and then three, and it becomes several nights a week after work habit again.
If you do go out for drinks, then have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks, which will keep you hydrated and also quench your thirst, halting you from drinking your alcoholic drink too quickly.
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