The New Year can often be a time when many of us decide to take on a challenge or goal to perhaps better our well-being and look after our health. These goals could include something like going to the gym regularly, or even trying to have a better diet. Many people embark on the journey that is “Dry January”, which is the aim of abstaining from Alcohol for the entire month. Not only can this be a fantastic boost for your physical health, but it can also work wonders for your mental well-being.
Even though we are already a decent chunk of the way through the month it is never too late to join in, especially when it comes to doing things that may lead to bettering your health! So we’d love to invite you along to join us in “Dry January”.
Throughout this blog post, we will explore the connection between Dry January and mental health, whilst also sharing some of the potential benefits that someone taking a break from consuming alcohol may experience.
For someone who drinks alcohol regularly, it can begin to become somewhat of a crutch and be depended on to help get through stress or difficult emotions. This can be an unhealthy habit and lead to negative experiences in both your health and even social circumstances. Dry January allows people to explore other avenues of support and develop far healthier coping mechanisms for any challenges they may experience throughout life.
The consumption of alcohol can often lead to disrupted sleeping patterns with sleepless nights and increased fatigue. A break from alcohol can give the body and mind the opportunity to reset, which in turn will promote better sleep and hopefully provide a boost towards supporting your mental health.
Whilst at first you may feel like the alcohol is helping you through difficult times, and this feeling can be somewhat of an escape from the difficulties you are facing, it can also enhance mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. So it can make you feel much worse in the long term. So through taking a break from Alcohol, as previously mentioned whilst it is a good opportunity to learn healthier coping methods, it can also contribute to improved emotional resilience.
Sometimes being a part of something can be something that we all need in our lives. It can give us that sense of community taking part in something that others are doing with a shared purpose. It allows people to share experiences, challenges and also things to celebrate. Through this sense of togetherness, you may feel a sense of belonging and understanding which can be wonderful for your mental health!
Regular drinking can often impact other parts of our lives too, and due to its effects on our bodies, it could cause a decrease in our ability to focus which could make usual activities harder. For example, maybe it’s causing difficulties with your work activities. Through taking this break from alcohol you may also experience an increased focus and productivity which may help your work, relationships and even personal goals.
Dry January is an opportunity for us all to reflect on our consumption of alcohol, and maybe even debate internally about our dependence on it. Whilst the goal of Dry January isn’t to entirely abstain from Alcohol, it can be a great chance to continue perhaps taking more steps in our life to further look after our mental health by changing our relationship with alcohol.
If drinking alcohol is something that you are clinically dependent on, however, taking such a break from drinking can be incredibly dangerous for you. However, there is still support available for you.
For more information on alcohol consumption, and the support available please check out this link here -> https://alcoholchange.org.uk/help-and-support/managing-your-drinking/dry-january
If you are interested in seeking support for your mental health, we are here for you. Please get in touch today -> https://www.burtonmind.co.uk/contact-us