Thinking of taking on Dry January this year? Here are some tips that may help you along the way.
After the indulgences of Christmas and the holiday season as a whole, Dry January is a welcome vacay for your liver (and your bank balance!), along with being a great way to kick off the New Year. Whether you’re participating because you want to start the New Year off a little healthier, cut back on drinking, save money, or just to give yourself a challenge, take a look at our top tips below to help you out along the way.
Some things are just easier when you have someone right there with you, and Dry January is no different. Try and rope in a friend, family member, or your S.O., and there will always be someone else at the party with a vodka soda, sans vodka.
If by mid-month (or the first weekend) you are really feeling the struggle and in need of a little pick-me-up, why not use the money you would have spent on drinks to treat yourself? Even if it’s something small like a new cosy sweater, it may be just what you need to power through. And physically seeing the amount you have saved might make you think differently the next time you’re about to splurge on that $115 cocktail.
We know, January can be hard. After the excitement of Christmas, getting back into work and your normal routine can be tough, but at the end of a stressful day (when you might usually crack into a cool beer or pour yourself a large glass of vino), try something different instead. Running is a great way to get some fresh air and rid yourself of negative energy – and in January our city’s notorious humidity is thankfully still at bay. Or if that’s not your thing, how about trying some yoga or making time for yourself with a digital detox? You’ll see the benefits in no time.
Get a new hobby
Was your New Year’s resolution to learn something new? Be it a language, a skill or something more active; now is the time to get out there and do it! By keeping yourself busy, you’ll be less likely to fall into your usual habits, plus if you don’t have a horrible hangover come Saturday morning, you’ll be much more likely to make it to that early class! And at the end of the month, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goal. Fancy getting crafty? We’ve rounded up some of the best creative workshops in the city.
If you can usually be found in LKF come the weekend (or on any given evening for that matter), try to make an effort during Dry January to plan out some different activities. It’s a great excuse to check out museums and art galleries, or how about booking into that show you’ve always wanted to see? Stuck for ideas? There’s plenty going on this month.
Replace cocktails with mocktails
Just because you’re not drinking, it doesn’t mean your social life needs to go out the window. Hong Kong has a ton of mocktails on offer, meaning you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. They’re also likely to much cheaper than their alcohol-laden counterparts and will leave you feeling fresh the next day, so it’s a win-win.
Realise you can still have fun
You may be reminded that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Many of us are guilty of leaning on one or two glasses to give us a confidence/energy boost, but (after a full month of abstaining) you may come to realise that you’re having just as much fun without it. What’s more, you’ll feel all the better knowing that you had a good night and will be able to wake up the next morning without a sore head. Hangovers do not get easier as you age!
Whether you want to actually start using that pricey gym membership, join a sports team, or try out a challenging hike, not drinking will 100% make this easier and, before you know it, you’ll be feeling better than ever!
Take time to notice any changes
It may just take a week, or it might take all month, but you will feel a little perkier after going without booze. Whether you’ve been more active, or have lowered your calorie intake (yep, forgoing those 2am chicken nuggets might have made a difference), make sure you take time to see everything positive that has come from it. Your skin is also sure to thank you after fewer late nights, so you may even be tempted to carry on this “new you” for a little longer than you first thought…
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on 9 January, 2017 and was updated in January, 2020.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of Unsplash, image 2 courtesy of Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of Unsplash.