Have you ever considered taking a tactical break from alcohol? Dry January and also Sober October have become much more ‘mainstream’ in the last few years. It’s easier to join in with others and have a break at that time because we might have overdone it at Christmas anyway. We might be wanting to save some money, we might be choosing to stay home a bit more rather than socialise and we might have it as a regular point in our calendar where we proactively choose a break.
A tactical break from alcohol is actually an amazing idea to consider at any time of the year and it doesn’t need a defining date like 1st January nor do you need permission from anyone else to get started. A month is a reasonable time to give your body a chance to recover but a bit longer is better still so you can really feel the emotional benefits as well as the physical ones.
Hangovers don’t get easier as we get a bit older – a break from alcohol helps us to make the most of hangover free weekends, enjoy our time spent with loved ones and ensures we maximise our nutrition or exercise choices. When I first decided I was going to have a break from alcohol I wanted to know if life would be stressful, lonely or boring like I’d led myself to believe or if it was possible to relax, connect with others and have fun without a drink like I suspected it could be.
I wanted hangover free weekends to enjoy my time away from work.
I wanted to be a more patient parent-no more selfishly rushing the kids through bedtime because I wanted to get back downstairs to my drink.
I wanted to sleep deeply and wake up feeling fabulous.
I wanted to know I’m giving myself the best chance at not getting high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, breast, mouth, throat, liver, or colon cancer, dementia or in any way compromising my immune system. A break can help us to gather the evidence we need to see that alcohol might not be supporting us to be the best version of ourselves in all areas of our lives. We can review how we feel during our break and after. If we want to return to using alcohol in the same way we were before we can do so, or if we want to re-evaluate our consumption we have a better idea about what might feel better for our emotional and physical health.