Seven tips to get you through Dry January
PUBLISHED: 21:00 02 January 2020
It's more than likely you spent at least part of Christmas and the new year period enjoying a drink or two - but Dry January represents a chance to reset.
The Dry January campaign, promoted by charity Alcohol Change, has risen to prominence in the UK in the last few years, with 4.2 million people giving up alcohol for a month at the start of 2019.
However, research commissioned by Budweiser found that half of people taking part in Dry January believe they won't make it to the end of the month without a drop of booze.
Here's some advice to help you through the month if you've signed yourself up to Dry January.
-Use money as your motivation
A study by the Office for National Statistics found that the average household spends more than £70 a month on alcohol. With Christmas likely to have left many wallets empty, Dry January offers the chance to build up savings again.
For a more accurate figure, the Try Dry app by Alcohol Change includes a calculator that works out your weekly savings.
-Socialise, without feeling pressured to drink
Dry January is a chance to make not drinking feel more normal.
Many people feel under pressure from friends or family to have pint or two at the pub, but taking part in Dry January provides everyone with more choice.
-Swap a cocktail for a mocktail
Dry January shouldn't prevent you from enjoying yourself, so be sure to check out the alcohol-free menu at a range of Suffolk's bars.
Revolution in Ipswich, for example, have plenty of 0% alcohol mocktails on offer and staff can prepare you a drink on the fly.
-Think of the health benefits
Alcohol in moderation has certain benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease.
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However, experts have found a cutting it out for a month can aid with weight loss - which may be advised after Christmas.
-Make plans that don't centre around alcohol
Time you would normally spend drinking alcohol can be replaced with other social activities, such as watching a film at the cinema or playing sport.
A month away from the pub will allow you to try out something new.
-Reassess your relationship with alcohol
NHS studies estimate nearly one in ten men and one in 20 women show signs of alcohol dependence. Dry January represents a chance to take a step back and see how much you really drink.
However, those who may show signs of alcohol dependence should consult medical professionals before taking part.
-Make it known you're taking part
The Hawthorne effect proposes that we alter our behaviour when we know that others are watching and observing us.
Telling friends and family that you're committed to Dry January will increase your chances of getting through the month without tasting a drop of alcohol.
'You can still enjoy the pub'
Megan Taylor, who manages the Irish-themed Halberd Inn in Ipswich with her partner Martin, said her pub had brought in some alcohol-free drinks in anticipation of Dry January - including 'Nosecco' and 'No Sin Gin'.
Miss Taylor added that January is typically the quietest month of the year, but encouraged people to not rule out the pub entirely.
She said: "The pub is still the same place in January, even if you're not planning to have a beer, cider or wine.
"It's still a place you can enjoy with friends and family, with the same atmosphere.
"We don't want people to seclude themselves at home when they can still have a good time."