Doing Dry January

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I usually cry off doing dry January. A myriad of excuses, none of them good ones, normally stand in the way of me giving up the booze for even one month. But this new year I am doing it once more. I managed the whole month 2 years ago. And I saw lots of benefits of Dry January last time. And so I know that I can do it again. Are you thinking of giving up alcohol through the entire month of January too? Well, here is why I am not drinking this January, plus some Dry January tips to help you get through it too!

*This article has been updated – it was first published in January 2020

Doing Dry January – Some Dry January Tips To Help You Through It

It actually should seem easy. I have had a ridiculously boozy December. I’ve probably drunk alcohol most days, and it has actually made me realise I might have an issue. My alcohol consumption has really become a bad habit.

In 2020 I had a bit of a health scare, which should maybe have given me a chance to go on a health drive, but actually the stress and worry just sent me into a downward spiral of drinking again. And then once I had test results that reassured me I actually went into alcohol overdrive. I need a break and to stop drinking alcohol.

But there always seem to be obstacles to me starting on January 1st…

Usually, Lots Of Excuses Get In The Way

Is this the same for you? It is pretty easy to make excuses and conjure reasons not to start. Mine are many.

  • for a start, my birthday is in January – so not drinking on my birthday? No thank you.
  • in addition to this, people may buy me alcoholic gifts.
  • there’s usually some booze left in the house after the holidays tempting me to drink it up.

I’m lucky enough to be intending to go back to doing the Cambridge Diet this year, so booze should be firmly off the agenda anyway. But I will admit, even though I have done the diet before, alcohol managed to sneak itself into weekends occasionally before. Yes, I’ve often tried to ‘cheat’ the diet with low-carb drinks. But not this January – I just can’t let it!

And – there are lots of reasons for giving up – even for just a month…and do any of these resonate with you?

Doing Dry January - Thinking that you should stop drinking alcohol for the entire month of January this New Year? Me too. See my reasons, and find out some of my top Dry January tips for surviving the month and staying sober. Discover some reasons why your alcohol consumption may be a problem, and the benefits of Dry January. Free yourself from the booze this New Year and try giving up alcohol!

My Reasons For Doing Dry January

I’ve Realised I Can’t Tolerate It

It is a strange thing, but I’ve realised that the older I get, the less I can tolerate drinking. Even just a couple of glasses of wine and I suffer side effects such as

  • sleeplessness – I wake up halfway in the night – and not just to go to the loo.
  • palpitations – my heart races. This is actually a common thing too, lots of women suffer alcohol induced palpitations after alcohol, even if blood pressure is not affected. I already suffer palpitations with perimenopause, so doubly bad.
  • mood swings – it makes me angry, more anxious, or far more upset. Not good for my mental health.

To drink alcohol really is just not worth the hassle.

It Makes Me Want To Eat

Over the Christmas period, my drinking has probably contributed to more late night calories and snacking than anything else. I definitely suffer with alcohol munchies. So cutting it out will also mean that I am far more likely to stick to my diet plans.

Lack of sleep also makes you eat more – see this post for the reasons behind this.

I Want To Live

*Mega Dramatic Music*

And yes, I probably have been watching too many TV dramas. But as I celebrated my 50th birthday recently, I’ve realised I’d like to live a bit longer really. Becoming a mother has made me quite fully aware of my own mortality (thank you very much anxious brain!), and I do want time to see my daughter reach a good age. An NHS over 40s health check also made me see how my health really could be affected by too many units every week.

Drinking more than I should is really not the way to increase my life expectancy.


So What Are My Best Dry January Tips For Getting Through The Entire Month?


It can be difficult, but if I can do it I certainly don’t see why you can’t. Here are my sober month tips for surviving Dry January.

Think About Your Why 

Like my reasons above, I am sure that you too will have some great reasons why alcohol is not your friend and why it is beneficial to remove it from your life for a month. There are lots of Dry January benefits. You may want to save money, to improve your body,  

Maybe consider writing your why down, and placing this reason in a prominent place to keep reminding yourself why you are staying sober.

Surround Yourself With People Who Will Help

It is useful to find relatives and friends who will support you through the month, as it may not always be plain sailing. This in itself though may not be easy if you have an active social life and are surrounded by people who love to drink.

Don’t have many people around you who are sympathetic to your struggling with dry January? Maybe consider joining a going sober Facebook group.

Understand Some Of The Dry January Withdrawal Symptoms 

Stopping drinking alcohol understandably will come with some withdrawal effects. These incluse

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Blood pressure changes

If you do feel that you had an issue with alcohol, it may be worth discussing this with your GP or health care professional before going totally cold turkey. But in the main, you may find that most of these symptoms can be tackled by simply drinking more water and taking a standard over the counter painkiller. If a dry mouth causes you discomfort and trouble sleeping, keep a glass of water by your bedside.

Stay Busy

One of my biggest tips for getting through giving up alcohol for January is to try and be more productive. To me, drinking on an evening whilst watching TV could be a huge waste of time. Yet if I try to be more productive with this time, by

This will mean that even though I have given up the booze for a month, I will have achieved much more at the end of the month. And it’s a bonus if I get some Dry January weight loss to boot!

Remember – It Will Only Be For A Month

It doesn’t have to be forever – even if you finish the month, it may help you to get more in control.


I’ve already booked my belated birthday night out with the girls for February the 1st. Which gives me the whole of January with no more excuses.

(And in February I will be trying to be frugal…more on that in this post)


I will let you know at the end of the month how doing dry January works for me this year. Do go onto my twitter and Instagram pages for my updates. Have you enjoyed my dry tips? Do let me know if you too are going alcohol free for a month. Do you think you need to try too?

Please do pin this post for later.

Doing Dry January - Thinking that you should stop drinking alcohol for the entire month of January this New Year? Me too. See my reasons, and find out some of my top Dry January tips for surviving the month and staying sober. Discover some reasons why your alcohol consumption may be a problem, and the benefits of Dry January. Free yourself from the booze this New Year and try giving up alcohol!


6 Replies to “Doing Dry January”

  1. Kim Carberry says:

    I am still thinking about doing dry January. Usually I love a glass of wine on a Friday and a Saturday night but last night I didn’t bother and tonight I’m not either. I’ll see how I get on for the rest of the month. After Christmas I really don’t feel like drinking. Good luck x

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Kim. I cannot lie and say that I don’t miss it yet, but I do really need to get back into good and healthy habits ASAP!

  2. Jo Jackson says:

    Good.luck. My son is doing it too. I haven’t drunk for years but see that it can be quite a challenge for lots of people.

  3. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs says:

    Arghh I get the munchies after beer too! I don’t think I will be doing dry January but I will certainly be cutting right back as I use replacement shakes when dieting, so booze will be out of the question on that.
    Best of luck to you Jo and happy new year. xx


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