Why do 5 million people sign up for Dry January?

Why do five million people every year decide to take part in Dry January? There are a number of reasons and everyone is different. It might be a New Year resolution to get fit, or lose weight, or simply that you are sick of 3-day hangovers. However, right at the heart of this hugely successful campaign, is the desire to change behaviour and reset our relationship with alcohol. There are people who have drunk a glass or two of wine every day for 20 years who complete Dry January and realise they can have off days and still have happy, full lives with family and friends.

There are people who have drunk a glass or two of wine every day for 20 years who complete Dry January and realise they can have off days and still have happy, full lives with family and friends.

What we don’t want is for people to think they have to slog through January and go crazy on February 1st. The message is that Dry January should still be fun and rewarding, even without the alcohol. People should live their lives like they always do, and even have more fun, but without a tipple. Around the country, there will be tea parties and coffee crawls to take part in while staying sober.

It does make me sad when people say they can’t do Dry January because they have a holiday planned, or a birthday coming up. It’s not supposed to be a hardship you endure. There are lots of ways to enjoy those things without drinking. And if you do fall off the wagon on one day, you can get back on and still have a successful month when alcohol takes second place.

It does help to do Dry January with peers and this year, for the first time, we are launching a special premium app for people in the workplace. Park Health and Safety, who take care construction staff and contractors throughout the UK, has just become the first corporation to buy the apps for their contractors working on a major new housing development in South West London. They have bought a bundle of apps that employees can download using a special code. We have thrown in three extra downloads for family and friends of employees who take part. The app is anonymised, but companies will be able to see what percentage of their staff are feeling amazing on any given day in January, and how many are staying ‘Dry’ and loving it. In the long term, we want to build relationships with companies and organisations so that they can see the benefits of employees taking part in Dry January and we can support their wellness initiatives.

There is also a free app that anyone can download which can show you health benefits including calories saved and money that you didn’t spend by not drinking. It will send you motivational messages, point you in the direction of helpful blogs and events, and chivvy you along if you have an off day.

If you think Dry January is going to be easy, why not sign up and try it? If you think it is going to be hard, you probably should sign up and give it a go.

Lauren Booker

Lauren Booker

Lauren Booker has worked in the alcohol field for over 10 years, both as a practitioner and consultant. She is a member of the Skills Consortium and practices as a recovery coach alongside her role as a consultant for Alcohol Concern.
Lauren Booker

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