Beyond Dry January.
I’ve taken part in dry January for the last few years and have always enjoyed the improved energy, amazing sleep, clearer skin and increase in brain-function that accompanies a steady stint of sobriety. This year, I’ve decided to take it further to 100 days alcohol free. It turns out that I am not alone in my ‘sober curiosity’; 43% of British women and 83% of British men want to drink less and there has been a recent dramatic increase in sober blogs, Instagram accounts and literature (see Cath Gray’s ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’, Belle Robertson’s ‘Tired of Thinking About Drinking’ and Ruby Warrington’s ‘Sober Curious’) with authors leading the way to show us that you don’t have to be an alcoholic to benefit from cutting out alcohol. Though initially my friends applied a fair amount of peer pressure to sway me from my decision, saying that they ‘can’t be my friend if I don’t drink’ and that I would be ‘boring’, I think that they are coming round to the fact that I am still the same person without a wine in my hand (i.e. not boring, thank you very much :) ) and that actually, I now have more time and attention for them (and myself) which leads to a more fulfilling friendship.
In a recent podcast with Russell Brand while discussing her decision to spend a year sober, Jack Monroe said that she’d been complaining that she didn’t have enough time but then realised that she was spending 3 hours per night drinking and 1 hour in the morning recovering. Over a year, that adds up to 1460 hours lost. What could you do with all of those extra hours?
In addition to the benefits I’ve listed above I’ve found that in my first 40 days I’m able eat more, read more, exercise more, complete more self-care (getting up early enough to moisturise - blimey), find time to organise my finances, my desk, my bathroom cabinets, my general life! I feel more engaged with work and family than ever before and better able to deal with the inevitable challenges that are thrown at me. I’m actually looking forward to the next 60 days.
If anyone wants to join me, I’m happy to share the blogs, IG accounts and books that have inspired me so far and keep me focussed on my goal.