My Dry January story: "You are not giving anything up, you are gaining. "

March 2021 | 7 minutes

In this blog, a Dry January participant shares their story.

It was Christmas 2020, the culmination of a roller coaster year due to Covid-19 when I had my “aha!” moment. I was not my normal energetic, positive, confident self - on the inside. On the outside, no one would know. Like many people I was discouraged by the increasing toll of the pandemic and the boredom of lockdown. I was so bored with the routine of working hard and long days, that I would cap it off with a couple of glasses of wine, which increased in frequency from weekends, to daily. Even before the pandemic, I had put on a few too many pounds that did not sit well with me.

While on December break and with the opportunity to rest and reflect, I realized that the daily glass of wine was becoming a habit - and I wasn’t even enjoying it. As I looked to a re-set beginning in 2021, making positive improvements to my health, my attitude, I looked for ideas and inspiration to keep me motivated.

I decided to eliminate alcohol as an obvious way to lose weight and feel better. I found the Dry January campaign, run by Alcohol Change UK, and it really resonated with me – it was framed as a positive lifestyle choice. They offered a lot of free resources to help – I found the blogs most helpful to me, as well as some of the scientific-based research. They also offered an app for daily tracking, Try Dry; that was not for me, but I know others found it very useful. The tone of the program is very inclusive – it is a friendly, upbeat resource that gives you tips to be healthy by eliminating or reducing alcohol.

The second thing I did was to add daily yoga in addition to my usual workout routine. I now have two sources of positive affirmations and multiplied my health benefits.

"If you are considering Sober Spring, go for it! You are not giving anything up, you are gaining."

It is now mid-March, and on the cusp of Sober Spring. I sleep better, have less anxiety, and I have lost weight! My goal in February was to enjoy wine on Fridays only. One of the benefits of eliminating alcohol is that you never have to think about whether you will or won’t drink, or how often or how much! So, for me, keeping a firm rule has really helped me continue to enjoy health benefits... and some cost savings too, some of which I donated to a local foodbank in January.

In the past couple of months, I have met many people of all ages who have participated in this or similar programs, for a variety of reasons. So, if you are considering Sober Spring, go for it! You are not giving anything up, you are gaining. Whether you last a day, a week, a month or a year, be proud of your accomplishment.

I am appreciative of the Alcohol Change UK program and know it is always there if I need a tune-up – and there is a community to welcome and cheer me on!

Looking for a fresh start? Sober Spring might be just what you need!

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