What is the Dry January challenge and why you should take part next year

As the world slowly begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic which ravaged the world for the past 2 years, some clubs, bars and pubs are starting to open. Before we pop the champagne or have a cold pint of Carlsberg to celebrate the past year, we should never forget that too much of anything is always a bad idea. Drinking too much has been known to cause many health complications both short term and long term. Some of these issues are alcohol poisoning, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, various cancers, poor immune systems, dementia and even anxiety.

As a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, alcohol consumption has unsurprisingly increased. Therefore, it is a good idea to cut down on alcohol by trying out Dry January.

What is Dry January?

Dry January is a month-long challenge in which participants refrain from consuming alcohol for the whole month of January.

The challenge began in 2013 as a public health initiative organized by the Alcohol for Change charity in the United Kingdom. Dry January has been a part of the cultural vocabulary since its inaugural iteration with 4,000 participants.

Why take part in Dry January?

As previously mentioned, over-consumption of alcohol can cause many health complications. That said, people might be wondering how abstaining from alcohol for a single month can have any tangible health benefits. Surprisingly, even staying away from alcohol for a single month can have health benefits. According to a research published in BMJ Open, regular drinkers who refrained from alcohol for 30 days slept better, had more energy, and lost weight. They also decreased cancer-related proteins in their blood, as well as their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Furthermore, Dry January can also be used to reflect on one’s drinking habits. People frequently lose their alcohol appetites and realize that drinking does not need to take up so much of their time. If this describes you, try continuing for another 30 days, or simply accept your new attitude about drinking as a once-in-a-while treat.

Advice for those keen on taking the challenge

Firstly, you could have a non-alcoholic beverage to replace alcohol. This will not only help ease you into this new lifestyle but also allow you to continue hanging out with friends without having to be a social-drinker.

Secondly, you should remove temptations to drink alcohol from your life. Keep alcoholic beverages out of your home. Bring your non-alcoholic drinks when you are welcomed to someone’s house.

Lastly, you can get your friend and family to help you with the challenge. By letting them know you are taking part in the challenge, they will be more considerate by not tempting you with alcohol during outings or at home.

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