Dry July: My Tips for a Successful Booze Free Month

Staying away from alcohol for 31 days is a rewarding and noteworthy challenge. It’s a fantastic initiative. Not only does it raise money for cancer patients, their families and carers, it also gives your body a much needed break. While I understand rallying donations can be hard, finding the willpower to avoid espresso martinis for a whole month is easily considered the more arduous task. The best thing to do is remember that the pros far outweigh the cons… and it IS only one month. You’ll steer clear of those nasty hangovers, have a hella lot more energy, will be thanked by your wallet, and of course by your waistline!

We all know that drinking alcohol affects our body and health. Taking a break, even for 31 days, allows the body to recover and repair. I’m not saying you should stop drinking for the rest of the year. I for one love sitting down on a Sunday evening to a nice glass of red. All I’m saying is that it’s good to be mindful of the benefits. So what actually happens to your body in those 31 days? After 12 hours, detoxification begins and blood sugars start to normalise. One day in, it’s possible to experience the withdrawal symptoms of sweating, anxiety or insomnia. Within one week, quality of sleep should improve and your body will feel more hydrated. Within two weeks, you may notice some weight loss due to cutting out those hidden calories. And before the month is up, your blood pressure will have stabilised.

But, I hear you ask, how do you survive and keep your social life intact? Aside from knitting, cleaning the house or writing poetry, what on earth is there to do? I know I know, it’s hard to imagine how life would be if you weren’t enjoying a glass or two on the regular. I have pulled together my top tips for a successful Dry July. These are definitely ideas worth considering, will help cement your willpower and also help you keep up the more social side of things. 

1. Keep track of your $ saved
If you normally start your Monday evenings with a cheeky beer at the pub, write down that $10. Or if your Thursday nights end with a bottle of red, keep track of that $20. And if you think that on an average night out you’ll have 6 drinks, take note of that $80. At $110 a week, you will save $440 over the course of the month. When you think about it, that’s substantial cash! You’ll feel more productive once you see the change you’re saving – maybe it will even inspire you to cut back more often!

2. Stay social
Not drinking certainly does not mean you have to stay in and not have any fun. I think that Dry July is an eye opener as it makes you realise how much emphasis we Aussies place on going out and getting lit as our predominant way of socialising. Sure, this is a massive generalisation, but one that runs reasonably true for our society. I’m a huge believer that you don’t have to be drinking in order to have a good time. But if going out and being the designated driver is not your thing, use Dry July as an excuse to be a little more creative with the way you socialise – think movie nights, evenings planning your next vacation, board games nights, or home made pizzas!

3. Take advantage of mocktails
When you’re out at social events where people are drinking, make some easy swaps. Lose the vodka from your vodka lime soda, or use it as an excuse to try out some new mocktails. Most places will easily be able to throw together some fancy AF mocktails that look just as spectacular as their alcoholic counterparts. All you have to do is ask! If you have people over at yours for drinks, why not test out your new mocktail skills. Keep your eyes peeled next week’s article about my favourite go-to mocktails. 

4. Use it as an excuse to try something new
Always wanted to join that Spanish class? Or go for that Thursday Salsa? Dry July is the perfect excuse to try something new. Let’s face it, the options are immeasurable, and there is much to be said for upping your skill set.  Whether it be a healthy habit like yoga or surfing, or something more intellectual like a new language or a coding course, there is so much that we are yet to learn. We often make the excuse that we don’t have enough time to do the things we truly want to do – Dry July will mean you are probably pulling back from your big nights out, so think of all the free morning hours you will gain!

5. Remember your why

My top tip for a successful Dry July is to remember exactly why you made this pledge in the first place. Was it to raise money and awareness for cancer? Was it to give your body time to heal after too many dusty Saturdays? Or was it because you needed to think about your regular (and sometimes destructive) consumption patterns? Your why is always your strongest motivator. It is what will give you the motivation to push through when it gets tough. Whatever the reason, Dry July is always a worthy cause. Just don’t forget to remember your why.

If you want to change your relationship with alcohol and find out more information on changing your drinking habits, check out https://www.hellosundaymorning.org/

Dara HayesComment