Between Dry January and Sober October, challenging yourself to an alcohol free month gets a lot of press these days.
For the full sobriety experience, I reckon you need to do three months alcohol free – but an alcohol free month when everyone else is doing it can be a motivating kick start to a sober lifestyle or a good challenge to reset your drinking habits.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without a drink? Can you remember a month or more since you were 18? When I stopped drinking, I had experimented with a few Dry January’s but before that I’d congratulate myself if I didn’t drink during a working week. Or if I only drank on a Friday over a weekend. And a holiday didn’t feel like a holiday without a 5pm G&T or a glass of wine with dinner or a cerveza con limon by the pool.
Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK.
Alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages. Can you believe that? Nearly two years sober and this statistic still shocks me.
Wait a minute … booze is glamorous, and fun juice and looks great on instagram (or that’s what alcohol marketing and the media has told me) … and yet it’s the biggest risk factor for death amongst 15-49 year olds?!
So whatever your relationship to alcohol, it’s a good idea to take a break from something that has been proven to be harmful to your health. No matter how well marketed it is, alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression. Serious stuff.
Regardless of your plans after your alcohol free month, whether you use it as a springboard towards sobriety or to nurture a more informed relationship with your Friday night drink, one thing is for sure: you’ll feel a heck of a lot better in 30 days time.
The Benefits of an Alcohol Free Month:
I’ve written about how much money I’ve saved from stopping drinking before (£10,000 in 18 months and counting), but even a month can make a serious difference to your wallet.
Talley up how much you spend on drinks every month, then add in the ubers & the next-day hangover food. Don’t spend that for a month = quids in.
After 3 weeks of not drinking, your blood pressure will also have reduced which equals reduced risk of heart problems and stroke, improved vision and better kidney health. After a month, your liver function may have recovered with liver fat falling on average by 15%.
Improved Mental Wellbeing
Alcohol is a causal factor to depression, and many have experienced the gloom post hangover. A month hangover free can leave you feeling spritely – with more energy to do the things you love to do, and extra time to go to the gym or spend with loved ones!
Drinking alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep making you feel tired and sluggish, this is because booze disrupts your sleep cycle.
When you drink alcohol before bed you may fall into deep sleep quicker (which is why people often think alcohol helps them sleep). But you spend less time in this deep sleep and more time than usual in the less restful, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This is why you can wake up feeling tired and crap, no matter how long you stay in bed.
After just a week of not drinking, your sleeping pattern will be improved leading to improved learning and sleeping patterns, better decision making and better eating patterns. You might even notice your memory improves!
So why not try an alcohol free month?
After 30 days you’ll have more money, more energy and will look and feel better. Nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Let me know how you get on! Lots of love, Laurie xx
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Alcohol statistics: https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/alcohol-statistics
This blog post has been linked to: Triumphant Tales