Since it’s launch in 2013 Dry January has gained increasing popularity. But January is no longer the only month with an extra incentive to take a break from drinking. Sober October is an initiative launched by Macmillan Cancer Support encouraging people to take a month off from drinking and seek sponsorship for their efforts. Are you thinking about taking a month off drinking? Here are five reasons why Sober October is a really good idea. (And if you’re looking for the best alcohol alternatives, these are my favourites.)
BETTER ENERGY LEVELS
One of the biggest impacts alcohol has on us is to deplete our energy levels. From hangover exhaustion to the general lethargy common after just a couple of glasses. Give your body a break from drinking and you’ll be surprised at just how much more energy you have.
If you’re trying to lose weight, drinking alcohol won’t do you any favours. Here’s an article I put together on the truth about alcohol and your weight which explains how alcohol can promote weight gain and prevent weight loss. According to Alcohol Change UK’s website, 58% of people who did Dry January last year lost weight.
Alcohol may help to knock you out initially, but the reality is your sleep is compromised by drinking. Many regular drinkers who take a break from drinking notice significant improvements in how well they sleep.
BRIGHTER, CLEARER SKIN
Alcohol is not your skin’s friend. It promotes oxidation, inflammation, dehydration and a number of other processes that compromise skin health and speed up ageing processes. Here’s an article I wrote for the medical aesthetics industry’s magazine Aesthetic Medicine explaining the impacts of alcohol on skin health.
RESET YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ALCOHOL
Alcohol is so ingrained in our society and often in our day to day lives too. It’s rare that we really take time out to consider whether our relationship with alcohol is healthy. When you give yourself a break, notice what triggers you to want a drink. Do certain people, places or emotions dive a desire for a glass of wine, a beer or a G&T? One of the best questions you can ask yourself is whether drinking alcohol is giving you more than it’s taking.
While the five reasons listed here are all health related, Dry January can also save you money! If you’re thinking of giving Sober October or Dry January a go, Alcohol Change UK’s website has lots of useful resources to help keep you motivated. I can also highly recommend reading (or listening to) Craig Beck’s book, Alcohol Lied To Me. It gives a fascinating insight into our relationships with drinking and prompts you to look at alcohol with fresh eyes. It makes for a very enlightening read.