Dry January
Dry January

Introduction to Dry January

The presents have been opened, the family have returned home, the children are back in school and it’s that time of year when many people around the world think about the year ahead. Many people embark on the journey of Dry January. But is it a gimmick that has no effect on self-improvement or is it an actual path to improving your wellbeing? In this blog, we are going to explore the myths associated with this trend and see if all is as it seems.

Debunking Common Myths


A view held by many is that one month of abstaining from alcohol can reverse all the overindulgence of the Christmas season. Dry January will help with sleep, and energy levels and save you money but it is not a silver bullet. If you return to high levels of alcohol intake, then no significant long-term benefit has been gained.  It is more important to drink alcohol within healthy limits throughout the year. Life is a marathon, and it is what you do in the long run that matters not one month a year.


Is it important to note that alcohol is a drug. It has psychotropic properties which means it affects your emotions, brain function and awareness. It is also a Central Nervous System (CNS) depressant. This means it slows down your brain activity. As society has changed, alcohol is a drug that if you don’t take it, you can be made to feel weird and you can even be excluded. However, there are more non-alcoholic versions of drinks and mocktails than ever before. You can also do other social activities that are not centred around alcohol such as a painting class, watching a movie or even taking a dance class with your friends. Stopping or decreasing your alcohol intake should not result in social exile. If you are creative and remember the bigger picture, there are many social opportunities to be had.


It is thought that in February there is a frenzy and that people who have taken part in Dry January then start excessively drinking. However, research has shown that most participants actually drink less as people have had a chance to evaluate and reset their relationship with alcohol. 

Final Thoughts on Dry January

Ultimately, whether Dry January is a gimmick or actually benefits your health in the long term is up to you and how you approach it. If you want it to have long-lasting effects, then it would be worth considering the following points:

  • Why are you doing it?  Is it for bragging rights or because everyone else is? Is it because you think this month can fix the overindulgence of the previous month?  Dry January should be used as a period of reflection on your relationship with alcohol and to help with any lifestyle changes you may want to put in place to improve your health.
  • Ask For Support. Doing Dry January with others can make a difference. Also, try talking to your social circle and family. Communicate with them how important this is to you, why you are doing this and how much their support would mean to you. Prepping beforehand and having a list of social activities that you can do that don’t involve alcohol can also be helpful. 
  • You decide the parameters. Dry January can be whatever you want it to be. It can be abstaining for the whole 31 days or only abstaining for 2 weeks. It can also be no alcohol Monday to Friday every week in January. 

Dry January can be used as a springboard to improve your health. It is not the finish line at the end of a marathon. Whatever you decide, good health is determined by what you do day after day, month after month, year after year. 


  1. NHS – The Risks of Drinking Too Much
  2. Alcohol Change UK – Dry January
  3. Mind UK – Alcohol and Mental Health


We deeply appreciate you taking the time to engage with our exploration of Dry January in this article. Understanding this pivotal health aspect is vital, and we’re here to ensure you have all the necessary information at your fingertips. Our commitment is to enrich your knowledge and perspective.

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Dry January

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