Preparing for your dry month: Our top five tips

Lauren Booker | December 2020 | 7 minutes

With January fast approaching, you might already be preparing for your dry month - go you! Whether you’ve done it before or you’re a complete newbie, here’s our top five tips for stopping drinking this Dry January.

2020 was a tough year, and many of us have found ourselves drinking more than normal. One in four of us who drink alcohol want to cut down in 2021. That's where Dry January comes in: it's your chance for a total reset. In this blog, we give you a few tips to get prepared for the dry month ahead.

1. Throw it away!

If you’re planning on doing Dry January, the best thing to do is remove all the booze from your home. Throw it away or, if you can’t stand the idea of half a bottle of spiced rum going to waste, put it somewhere hard to get to, like your attic or somewhere else with a lot of spiders.

2. Make a plan for situations where alcohol is on offer

This Dry January, it's not as likely that you'll be regularly visiting pubs, bars or restaurants for big social gatherings due to whatever coronavirus restrictions might be in place. But in case you do end up in one of those situations, you need to be prepared. Deciding beforehand what you’re going to do will really help you when the time comes. Whether it’s sticking to alcohol-free alternatives (that still look the real deal – if your local doesn’t stock alcohol-free beer and wine you could try a soda and lime) or practising saying no, make sure you have a plan.

3. Treat yourself

Not drinking for a month will save you money. And you should use that money to treat yourself. If ever you feel a craving coming on, remind yourself that with every drink you don’t buy, you’re one step closer to buying yourself a holiday, some new shoes or a fancy dinner. That’s great motivation!

It’s important to break the association between alcohol and treating yourself if you want to manage your month. Instead of a glass of wine or a pint, have or do something else you enjoy. You want chocolate? Have chocolate. You want to watch that film for the eleventh time? Let yourself.

4. Assemble your support group

You can try Dry January alone if you want to, but it’s a lot easier with the support of your friends and family. You could even suggest that two (or more!) of you do it together so you can keep each other motivated. Even if no one else wants to join you on your dry journey, it’s important to have a support network in place – people who won’t ply you with drinks, and to encourage you if things are tricky. Your sober buddies don’t have to be physically there. You can find support through the Dry January Facebook community, which is even more buzzing than usual!

5. Fill the gap with fun stuff

Now it’s almost winter, days are really short. Even shorter if you’re hungover and are trying to sleep it off. Now that you’re sober, you’ll have much more time to spend on things you enjoy! As we said in tip three, if you want to watch TV, you should. But you could also use that time to learn a thing you've always wanted to learn, like salsa dancing or playing the guitar. You could even put some of the money you’ve saved towards paying for a few lessons, once they're allowed to restart!

These are just five tips to help you go alcohol-free for Dry January, but there’s loads more advice on the blog. You can get extra support by signing up for support emails, or downloading Try Dry: the app for Dry January and beyond for free. For even more tips and tricks you could also buy the book, Try Dry: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze.

The most important thing to remember for Dry January is to enjoy it. It’s not meant to be a month of deprivation – it’s your chance for a break, to see what life without alcohol is like, so that if you want to cut down later it’s a doddle.

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! Download the free Try Dry app to take on Dry January with support and double your chance of long-term benefits.

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