Dry January

 

The Dry January campaign has been running since 2012 and is becoming exponentially more popular year on year. Dry January is the annual movement through which millions of people give up alcohol for the month of January.

Statistically, those in full-time employment are the most likely to take part, and people between the ages of 35 and 54 show the biggest interest in seeing through this sober month.

There are many upsides to giving up alcohol in January, apart for giving a well-deserved detox to the system, Alcohol Concern cites clearer skin, better sleep and weight loss as just a few of the beneficial side effects of taking part in it.

dry january

With many, many studies undertaken around the benefits of temporarily abstaining from drinking alcohol, this is a perfect opportunity to undo some of the damage done to your body ( and wallet) throughout the festive season.

Visit the Alcohol concern website to understand the story behind the fast growing campaign.  Join in to benefit your own well being, or do it to raise funds.

On a more serious note, the downside of consuming too much alcohol are numerous and well documented:

Brain

Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.  It can change mood and behavior too.

Heart

Over consuming alcohol in the longterm can damage the heart, causing problems including:

Stroke, High blood pressure, Irregular heart beat (Arrhythmias), Stretching and drooping of heart muscle

Liver

Heavy drinking can also take a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and inflammations in the liver including:

Cirrhosis, Fatty liver (Steatosis), Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis

Pancreas

Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

Mouth, Oesophagus, Throat, Liver, Breast

Immune System

Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  A recent research paper confirms that even a single drinking binge can compromise the effectiveness of your immune system by as much as 80% – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Skin

A heightened consumption of booze has repercussions for your skin as well as your head.

Alcoholic drinks dehydrate your skin and deplete it of vital nutrients, giving skin a dulled appearance. Repeated overindulgence can create permanently red, spidery veins…

With the above in mind, I am sure that some of you maybe mooting the merits of a DRY FEBRUARY and a DRY MARCH already!

 

Benefits of Dry January

 

Generally speaking your Liver needs around four to six weeks of recovery to start working more efficiently.

After a few days of restless sleep at the beginning of Dry January, by day seven you’ll likely have found yourself sleeping far more peacefully. You’ll also notice your sleeping pattern improve in the long run.

This means that you’ll also start waking up with far more energy the next morning, ready to take on the day.

Your skin will appear more radiant and your eyes will look brighter.

Giving up alcohol will give your immune system the boost it needs to fend off that lurgy that’s going round the office!

Tips on how to get through Dry January

 

Treat yourself

Put the money you’re saving from not drinking to good use – whether it’s saving up for a holiday or a new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on for ages. You’ll be amazed what four martinis can buy you!

Get a hobby

It’s important to keep yourself distracted and happy – that way, you won’t fall into the trap of having a glass of wine after a stressful day.

Join a book club, start that novel, or sign up to a new course. As long as it’s not wine tasting, that is!

 

If you are looking for inspiration to help you go Dry in January, there is a proliferation of publications on the topic of giving up alcohol, from The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge, to Drink Less in Seven Days and Mindful Drinking, also suggests that we could be seeing a sea change in terms of reevaluating our drinking habits.

Cheers to that!

 

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Resources

The Harmful Effects of Alcohol
https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

What Happens to Your Body During Dry January
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/dry-january-body-effects-what-happens-a8160536.html

Tips on how to get through Dry January
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/nutrition/having-dry-january-get-month-without-drinking/

2 Comments
  • Georgia Martin
    Posted at 10:31h, 23 January Reply

    Hi! I am currently taking part in the campaign. To be honest it’s very hard. I stared to do yoga and meditation. I just would like to ask you: what happen to the body and specially to the mind when I” try” to meditae? I am at the begining so I don’t really know yet. Hope you can help Xx

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