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Are you up for the Dry January challenge?

Hand up with beer glass

Are you ready to put 2020 behind you? Why not start 2021 as you mean to go on and take part in Dry January? Thirty-one days alcohol-free, your chance for a break, a tee-total reset.

If you’ve found yourself slipping into habits you wish you could break, this is a great opportunity to try something new. Relax with a bath rather than a bottle. Reclaim your mornings, be hangover free and make time for that hobby you’ve missed. See your skin get brighter, your wallet fuller and your days busier.

Not only does evidence suggest that just one month without alcohol helps you to cut down on your drinking beyond January, it also has amazing health benefits for your body. These include lower blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes risk, as well as lower cancer-related proteins in the blood.

Taking part in Dry January is also proven to improve sleep, with 70% of participants saying they slept better. 86% of people save money, and 65% of people notice generally improved health.

Committing to an alcohol-free month may feel slightly tougher now than other years, and you may be asking yourself how do you take on the challenge in amongst the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty. Below are some useful tips and snippets of advice from people who have been moderating or alcohol free throughout the pandemic:

  • preparation is key - decide in advance how you are going to deal with moments when you crave alcohol - have a bit of chocolate in the cupboard just in case or find something to do to take your mind off your cravings
  • look after your general mental health – eat healthily, get outside, take regular breaks
  • find alternative treats and ways to relax – this could be a great tasting alcohol-free drink
  • be kind to yourself – focus on what you’re gaining not losing, and remember, any progress is a step in the right direction

Cllr Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, said:

“We’re proud to support Dry January, and we hope residents can face this challenge head on to see the great health benefits that come with drinking less alcohol.

“After the year we have all had, I know it’s easy to turn to alcohol and drink more than we normally would, but remember, this isn’t about stopping drinking forever. It’s about helping to create a better relationship with alcohol all year round and making 2021 the best it can be.”

If you feel like you need additional support during Dry January, please contact New Hope on 01344 312360 or email new.hope@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Research shows that people who take on Dry January officially and sign up with Alcohol Change UK, whether online or via the free Try Dry app, are twice as likely to go the whole month without drinking.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t go it alone, sign up for support today, and good luck!