1. Jasmine says, "Make some kind of routine"
I HATE the idea of getting in a routine. It sounds boring and difficult. But trust me - this doesn't have to be a complete overhaul. Making sure you go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time and literally leaving the rule at that could make a huge difference. Alternatively, for some people who work late night jobs or have children this isn't as easy, so instead of focusing on a specific bedtime / wakeup call, make sure you have some sort of wind down or wake up routine that surrounds it. Whether it's 9.30pm or 1am, try stretching gently before bed and journaling any worries or thoughts before the lights go out. If all you have is five minutes and you're exhausted, take that five minutes - set a timer even! And when you first wake up, making sure you stretch your body. I know someone who tried the Whim Hof breathing method in lieu of their morning coffee and they said they've never felt more energised! I personally can't give up my morning java, but there are definitely steps you can take to benefit you mentally and physically, even if your work / life balance is a bit chaotic.
The routine doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be complex. It just has to exist.
2. In turn, Jasmine advises, "Keeping busy."
Make plans and make sure they fit your budget. I can go a bit overboard with planning outings, gym classes (I love Class Pass to see what I fancy more long term), but actually just having a sleepover with a girl friend or starting a book club is a low cost but very socially connecting. And keeping busy alone is just as important. Make time for hobbies, reading guilty pleasure books (you don't HAVE to start your 'new year, new me' with self-help books you know you won't finish) or doing puzzles with an funny podcast on in the background. You may even find new hobbies you enjoy! My sister-in-law took up knitting in Dry January last year and for Christmas I got the best woolly hat. I swear, Eleanor, I really do like it. No you do not need to knit me any more.
There are plenty of pleasurable things to do alone or with friends that don't incorporate drinking, and you have to tell yourself that. With that in mind...
3. Mica Francis Angel says, "Set your intentions."
Why are you going booze-free this month? Knowing the why is always going to help. We all have different reasons. Most people just went a bit hard at Christmas and need a break. Think of the benefits to your heart, your liver and sleep. Research the benefits of cutting back so you can focus on the positives! For some people it can be more complex; perhaps they feel they rely too much on alcohol to feel comfortably socially. Maybe your intentions in Dry January should be finding the people that make you feel comfortable (see point 4.) Or perhaps learning to sit in the discomfort of feeling vulnerable or unsure. It may not be pleasant, but it is the human experience. You may find you're stronger than you thought.
Rather than thinking of abstaining, try changing it into a more positive choice. Another fabulous ambassador of ours, Tarryn, has spoken before of changing the mindset. Rather than "I can't drink" you can change the thought to "I get to make the most of my weekend." or instead of "I can't go hard tonight at the pub and let loose" change it to "I still get to be social tonight and enjoy tomorrow."
You have to tell your brain what you want. Repeatedly.
4. Erica says, "Find your community"
BREAK UP WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
Just kidding. This tip will look differently to everyone. If you've got the right people in your life, they'll encourage and support you on your Dry January efforts - they may even join you on it. Strength comes in numbers, but you can always ask them to do check ins with you. Finding your community could come in some cool alternative spaces too. Libraries, late night cafes, or - if you're in a cool city - finding non-alcoholic bars like Torstigbar or Club Soda.
For anyone worried or feeling alone in their efforts this month, then we encourage you to look online. That might be what you're already doing by reading this, right? Just a search for Dry January in the TikTok search engine will find experts, influencers and mortals like you and I documenting their month. There are also Facebook or Reddit groups that you could find. I took up ballet classes this month (don't laugh) and was delighted to find some like-minded women who wanted to do something different with their evenings.
Whether you put yourself out there into new environments or seek support online remember: you are not alone.
5. Three Spirit says, "Find your alternative."
Come on, you didn't think you'd get to the end of this without us mentioning it, did you? If you're reading this, chances are you're already a fan and know what we're about. But for anyone else, let us explain what we're about...
Drinking together is a social ritual that dates back thousands of years, and a good quality alcohol alternative like Three Spirit that still provides a function means you won’t miss out on that connection. We want to offer drinkers a real choice, a real alternative to alcohol that is not so much about compromise but rather about pleasure. Our mission is to help people reduce alcohol consumption and turn onto the myriad pleasures that our botanical elixirs can deliver in terms of novel flavour profiles and bespoke sensory benefits
We're bold and different, and if we just might not be your thing, that's okay too. As long as you find an alternative that you enjoy, that's the point.