Why Wet January is the Way to Go If You ‘Failed’ Dry January

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Try Damp January (Photo: Metro.co.uk)

We know very well that an all-or-nothing approach is usually not the best thing to do.

Complete abstinence or extreme restriction tends to make us want what we miss, causing inevitable failure, followed by guilt, shame, and then total immersion in whatever we were trying to give up.

We know that, and yet each time the month of January arrives, we decide that we are magically capable of a resolution of steel.

Then a few days later, normal life rolls out and promises like dry January can easily slip away.

If you’ve ever hit alcohol a week after your vow to completely deviate from alcohol, try not to be too discouraged – or throw all your good intentions out the window.

Times have been tough recently (to put it mildly). It is not a massive failure to not quite achieve the noble goal of being completely alcohol-free.

But rather than giving up entirely, fighting or drinking alcohol because why not, why not try Damp January instead?

Wet January is pretty much what it sounds like.

Rather than aiming for total dry January abstinence, it’s about taking a more measured approach to measurements, and instead reducing your alcohol consumption, being more mindful of your alcohol consumption, and reflecting. to your relationship with alcohol.

What Damp January looks like to you may be different from someone else. It might be as easy as switching to a low-alcohol beer, swapping wine for water with your dinner, or just giving yourself a drink limit for your next Zoom social gathering.

The wet month of January gives you permission to jump in and continue pursuing your sober and curious goals, without the idea that if alcohol passes your lips, you’ve failed.

Yes, becoming teetotal has many benefits for our mental and physical well-being, but the same goes for reducing our alcohol consumption.

If you’re not ready to give up alcohol entirely, but feel like cutting back and drinking more responsibly, Alex Templeton of the Qured Home Physician Service has a few tips:

  1. We tend to think of bottles, cans, or glasses when tracking our alcohol consumption. Instead, start thinking in units: the drinking recommendation is 14 units per week for both men and women, or:
    6 pints of medium strength beer (4% ABV)
    6 medium glasses of wine (13% ABV)
    14 individual measures of spirits (37.5% ABV)
    Keep in mind that your limits may be lower than this, and drinking more increases the risk to your physical and mental health.
  2. If you drink with your family, partner, or roommates, try to be the last to finish your drink. Don’t accept every refill that is offered to you and make sure you don’t drink in circles – this can cause you to drink as much as the heaviest drinker.
  3. Half pints, small glasses, and singles rather than doubles are your friends. It is easy to lose track of how much you drink when it is in greater quantity.
  4. Make sure you eat before you drink, and beware of salty snacks that make you thirsty and make you want to drink more. Drinking on an empty stomach can lead to getting drunk too quickly, and more likely to wake up badly.
  5. It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you drink, but a glass of water with any alcohol is an easy and effective way to make sure you’re taking care of it – you’ll thank yourself for it in the morning.
  6. It can be tempting to “save” all units for a day, but it can be just as damaging and your body needs a break. Be strict about alcohol-free days to allow you to recover.
  7. Finally, write down when you think you’ve had enough for the day or week. Moderation is essential for managing your alcohol consumption and will help you change your drinking habits for the rest of the year.

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