Giving Up Alcohol For A Month – Is it Really Worth it?
It’s that time of year again when everybody is making resolutions, many of which will be broken in a matter of days or weeks. A lot of us participate in ‘Dry January’ where we give up alcohol for a month. After a lot of drinking over the festive period, many people feel like they need a break and it can definitely help with your waistline.
But there are plenty of people out there that say it’s not worth it to give up for a month and then just carry on as normal. Why bother? The truth is, even if it’s just for January, there are a lot of great reasons to give up alcohol. Here are some of the great benefits of giving up alcohol for a month.
Remember giving up alcohol for a month or more does not mean you can’t visit your favourite bar or restaurant, and socialise with family and friends. It just means you get the opportunity to taste test what alcohol-free drinks your favourite establishments have on offer – from wine and beers to mocktails, there’s never been a better time to go alcohol free.
Giving Up Alcohol For A Month – Why it Really is Worth it?
Assess Your Relationship With Alcohol
Before we look at the more obvious benefits of giving up alcohol, it’s worth considering your relationship with drink. Drinking is often touted as an enjoyable social activity, but the truth of the matter is that many people overdo it. Not only can this be harmful to your health, but you might find yourself using drink to self-medicate or feeling like you need to have a drink.
If this sounds like you, then taking a break for January could help you reassess your relationship with alcohol. If you find that it’s a real struggle to go without for even a few days, you should take it as a sign that you need to get some professional advice, either from your GP or a recommended alcohol rehab facility.
Even if you manage giving up alcohol fairly easily, it will demonstrate to you that you don’t always need to drink to have fun. And it will help change the way you see social situations. So, in the future, you can feel confident that you can drink sometimes, or go without other times, and you will also find it easier to cut down.
Lose Some Weight
Alcohol contains a lot of calories. If you’re having a few drinks every night, you could easily be consuming thousands of extra calories. This can add up quickly and put your waistline in jeopardy. Also, when you drink alcohol it slows down the metabolism so that your body can’t burn off all those calories immediately. A lot of people are trying to lose weight at this time of the year and cutting back on alcohol is one of the best ways to do it.
You might think that having a drink helps you sleep better, but this is not necessarily the case. There’s a common misconception that alcohol puts people to sleep. But in fact, when we drink we pass straight from being awake to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which means we spend less time in the other stages of sleep that are essential for us to feel refreshed when we wake up. You are more likely to be restless during the night when you’ve been drinking too.
Good sleep is vital to good health, and cutting back on alcohol will help you make sure you get plenty of restful sleep every single night.
Improve Your Skin
If you’ve been drinking several nights a week, this can definitely show up on your skin. Many drinkers have a dull complexion and before long they’re developing wrinkles as a result. This is because alcohol dehydrates you, which takes a toll on your skin and speeds up the aging process. Taking a month off from the bottle will give your skin a chance to recover and rehydrate, which will make you look and feel younger.
Improve Your Energy Levels
Another common side effect of drinking is fatigue, which again can add up quickly if you’re having a drink every night. Even if you feel wide awake after a few beers at 10 pm, when you wake up the next day your body won’t be completely recovered from the alcohol and your metabolism won’t be fully back online either. If you reduce or cut out alcohol for a while, you should find that your energy levels increase a lot.
Alcohol is expensive, and you might be surprised by the amount of money you spend on it over a few months. If you can give up drinking for a month, this will save you a decent amount of money. The festive period is always expensive, so January is the perfect time to tighten the purse strings a bit by cutting back on your alcohol intake.
Many people see Dry January as a way to reset after a busy Christmas period that involves lots of drinking. But it’s so much more than that and giving up alcohol for a month can benefit you a lot, no matter what time of the year it is.
Photos by Karolina Grabowska – CCO Licence
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