Maybe it's your first time, second time, it doesn’t matter. But you have just done 30 days or so without alcohol, woohoo, go you. Even if you didn’t manage it 100%, if you did most of it that’s pretty good.
Hopefully you feel good; really good. You are sleeping better, you look better, feel better, hell, people have even noticed. There is something different about you. Glowing skin, it's easier to work out, your working day is so much easier, there's no more days wasted with hangovers, the list goes on. But the bottom line is you feel happier, healthier and life is easier. Who wouldn’t want that? It's like a magic pill in reverse.
So, if you feel that good why would you go back to drinking?
Obviously, I would love it if you continued being alcohol free, given that you feel great why wouldn’t you want more of that? Come on, tell me why you want to feel tired, low, anxious, embarrassed, sluggish, puffy and well, just a bit jaded.
All I want you to do is consider a few things, have a think. Be measured in your approach and decision;
· Occasional is the word. Moderate to many people means regular use and let’s be honest that’s not what we are looking for here, why would you want to use a harmful, highly addictive substance on a regular basis?
· Remember, if you have had a break you will have no tolerance, so please go steady. You are really gonna feel it. And actually, I want you to, so you can feel what alcohol really feels like when you don’t have a tolerance. So, drink your one drink slowly.
· If you are someone that prior to Dry January you couldn’t stop at 1, then be honest, what makes you think you can now? In my vast experience 30 days isn’t really going to cut it when making significant changes to drinking habits. If you were a binge drinker, then the longer you take a break the better.
· Before you have your one drink and beyond, consider these things – People, Place and feelings. This will really help. So, who are you drinking with? Someone that encourages you to drink more, or when you get together you get on it. You can’t stop, you are party animals, or just a bad influence on each other. It's maybe best to stay away from them for a while or speak to them and explain what you are doing. Same with the environment, is it somewhere that is going to encourage you to drink? Then how are you feeling? What mood are you in?
· A really good rule that helps a lot of people to manage an occasional drink is to not drink on your emotions. It really works, try it. When you have those feelings, you know the ones, God I really need a drink, I have had a rough day, I deserve a drink, life is shit, let's get drunk, those ones. Then don’t drink, you will learn to do other things which will take your mind off how you are feeling.
· When you are out and about and you fancy a drink, ask yourself - how will taking a drug enhance my experience now, because essentially that’s what it is, a drug. It’s a good question.
I would love to know what your plans are after Dry January, let me know.
If you want to continue check out my book for practical tips and loads of motivation There is No Magic Button.