Trying Dry January? Check Out Our Top 10 Tips

Dry January is a time where people give up alcohol for the entire month. It’s seen as a way to reset after the holiday season and to improve our alcohol intake.

Not only is giving up alcohol for the month good for your bank account but it can also improve your health and well-being, as well as helping you gain a positive relationship with it.

As a student, taking part in this challenge is a great way to improve your focus and productivity during the beginning of the academic year too. The benefits really are unmatched!

Are you participating in Dry January? If so, you need to check out our post with 10 top tips to help you make positive changes to your health and wellbeing.

dry January tips

Top Tips For Dry January

If you’re taking part in the Dry January challenge for the New Year then take a read of our top 10 tips below.

Trust us, you won’t want to miss these!

Top Tips For Dry January 

1. Set Goals

Our first tip for doing Dry January is to think about why you’re doing it and set a clear goal.

Your inspiration to go sober for the month could be due to your physical or mental health, for financial or personal reasons.

It could even be that all your friends are doing it and you fancied a challenge, or you may want to take a break from alcohol to help you be more productive at uni.

No matter what your inspiration for doing Dry Jan, remind yourself of the reason frequently.

Decide how long you want to go without drinking so this way you can stick to it, if you’re looking to do the whole month and see how you get on after it’s over, then that’s great.

If you’re not sure if you’ll make it the full 31-days or you just want to cut down, that’s still fine!

setting goals dry January

2. Tell Your Friends & Family

You may not be keen on the idea of telling your friends or family that you’re taking part in Dry January, perhaps because you’re scared you’re going to fail – it’s like a driving test!

However, you should try to tell those around you that you’re going sober for the month as it can be helpful to have a support system in place to keep you on track and offer you help.

This way, you won’t feel pressured into drinking if those within your life know that you’re taking part in Dry January.

It can be helpful to have people around you who are also doing a dry January so if any of your pals are doing it, it’s a win win!

speaking to friends and family

3. Find A Substitute To Alcohol

Whilst at university, it’s common to be in social situations where alcohol is involved, so it’s important to try and find an alternative to bring along with you to these settings.

It’s certainly harder to refrain from drinking when you’re in an environment where everyone else is, but you don’t have to be, there’s plenty of activities to do that don’t involve heading to the pub or drinking in your student flat!

However, if you don’t want to miss out on gatherings where other people are having a few tipples, we’d recommend finding a substitute to alcohol like mocktails, or even non alcoholic beer.

There’s loads of non-alcoholic alternatives out there these days in supermarkets and pubs so you can have a successful Dry January.

mocktails alcohol free

4. Make Self Care A Priority

It can be challenging to take part in Dry January whilst at uni, especially if you have a negative relationship with alcohol already.

We’d recommend making self-care a priority over the course of this entire month as it’s not without its difficulties.

Take care of your mental and physical health by making sure you get enough sleep, you’re eating well and taking part in things that make you feel good.

As we said, there’s plenty of alternative ways to have a good time, have a look at what activities or events are taking place on campus or in your uni city or town if you’d normally spend your free time out drinking.

Make yourself a priority and value some well-needed downtime over the month, whether it’s catching up with your favourite shows, playing your favourite games or learning a new hobby or skill – you’ve got this!

Make Self Care A Priority dry January

5. Don’t Give In To Peer Pressure

When doing Dry January, be sure to surround yourself with people who respect and support your decision to go alcohol free for the month.

It may even be that you decide to go without drinking for longer than 31-days, so you need people around you who won’t pressure you into having a drink if you don’t want to!

It’s so important to remember to say no and put boundaries in place, even with your friends or family.

There will likely be times when you are tempted to drink or feel like you have to because everyone else is, but you’re not boring or a party killer for not doing so, you can still have fun.

You have the right to make decisions that are right for you and your well-being.

peer pressure drinking

6. Remember Slipping Up Is Okay

Likewise, if you do end up slipping up and having a drink, don’t beat yourself up about it.

It’s difficult to go completely alcohol free especially as a uni student, just try to get back on track as soon as you can and continue with your progress!

You should use your end goal for not drinking alcohol for the month as your motivation to carry on.

After all, one drink isn’t the end of the world, it’s how you respond to the situation and your mindset, so don’t give up.

dry January slipping up

7. Make The Most Of Online Resources

It can be helpful to use online resources when participating in Dry January, whether it’s turning to social media sites like TikTok for inspiration or tips, or using Facebook to join groups and speak to others who are doing the challenge.

There’s plenty of apps out there which can be useful for tracking your progress, setting goals and reading motivational information.

We’d recommend downloading Dry January & Beyond, this free app gives you the ability to keep track of your drink-free days and look at the impact stopping drinking has on your health and your wallet.

If you’re living in our student accommodation, be sure to download our residents app KLIQ so that you can host your own alcohol-free get togethers!

online apps for Dry January

8. Reward Yourself

When doing Dry January, take time to reward your accomplishments and the positive changes you’ve made through the month.

Participating in it can help you to feel healthier, more productive, and can help you take back control over your drinking habits.

Once you get through the month, make sure to reward yourself for completing the challenge, it took hard work and dedication to stick at it!

Moreover, whilst participating in the alcohol-free period you can still reward yourself.

If you get through a week or two without drinking, why not order yourself a takeaway or go for a nice meal? You deserve it.

Do take note though, a reward should be something positive to you, not something that goes against the progress you’ve made during Dry January.

Such as, just because you’ve gone a whole month without drinking doesn’t mean you should go out and party as soon as the month is over, but each to their own.

rewarding yourself for not drinking alcohol

9. Think About Sticking At It

Keep in mind that there are many long term benefits from drinking less so, after the month is over why not carry these habits on and cut down your alcohol intake for a longer period of time?

Take note of the positive changes you’ve noticed since cutting down how much alcohol you drink and remind yourself of these.

Some people even decide to quit drinking altogether after completing Dry January due to the benefits.

Whilst we’re not saying you should stop drinking forever, however, you should think about whether there’s more positives in your life from not drinking.

What you do after Dry January is over is completely up to you, think about your own goals and feelings, not anyone else’s!

quitting alcohol

10. Reach Out For Help

Our final point to takeaway when it comes to Dry January tips is to think about your drinking habits and whether or not you’d benefit from seeking professional support.

If you’re really struggling during Dry January and your mental health is taking a toll, it could be a sign of a bigger issue or that you use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

If you tend to drink when you are feeling stressed or anxious, try to find alternative ways to cope with these emotions and talk to those in your life about it, you don’t need to struggle on your own.

Spend this time reaching out for help from your GP or speaking to someone at your university about the way you’re feeling and your alcohol use.

speaking to a doctor

No matter whether you’re looking to boost your mental or physical health, break a habit, or you’re wanting to take part in the challenge, we hope these tips have been helpful for participating in Dry January!

Let us know if you have any other Dry January tips @essentialstudentliving.

Check out next 2023 Will Be My Year: 10 Habits To Get Into Right Now.

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