How to survive dry January

Shaker DrinksFor the second consecutive year I’m attempting dry January. Last year I crumbled on day 5 after being seduced by an Italian beer. This year I’m faring better.

I’m no alcoholic but I do enjoy a beer or two with friends when out. But when I’m with friends having a good time why do I feel the need to drink? I wouldn’t drink if I was with mates at home. Much is down to habit, as for my decade of adulthood (and the odd time before) I’ve almost always ordered a beer when in a pub. My brain has been so conditioned, that before I even consider whether I want to drink, I’ve already ordered a beer.

There’s also a feeling of letting your mates down if you’re the only one not drinking, which is an absurd thought- but I’m sure many have felt it. It’s almost like you’re not committed to having a good time or you’re being a killjoy not drinking. But again, as long as you’re being social and fun to be around, this is a ridiculous idea.

When you’re used to drinking in pubs, it can feel uncomfortable not drinking initially. This passes on the second or third time you’re out without drinking. Try to avoid buying rounds, as soft drinks are half the price, and going to the bar alone helps avoid peer pressure.

If you’re doing a dry January, whether alone or to raise funds for Cancer Research or Alcohol Concern, make a mental note of how much money you’re saving. Don’t not go out as you’re not drinking, but tot up how many extortionately priced London pints you have avoided buying. In two sober trips to a pub I estimate I’ve saved around £25. Not a bad way to help the ease the January bank balance, or limit the overdraft, in my case.

It’s also a great way to start the year productively. I’m good for nothing when I’m hung over, riddled with anxiety and indecisively musing on whether food will help or hinder my attempts at recovery. So if like me, you’ve got several projects on the go, and struggle to find time for them; kicking the booze for a bit might be a good idea.

You can do it individually or to raise funds for great causes. I’m doing it for a health booth, to save some cash and get productive. It’s not too late to start and if you’re already mid-Dryathlon please comment below sharing your experience or tips. Please share this blog for anyone it may interest and tweet us @OnIn_London.

Read about 12 great places to see in London this year, which are great drunk or sober.

Written by Martin Stocks | @Stocks1986

Read Martin’s comedic blog ‘How to Man-Manage your Manager in a job you hate.’