The benefits of drinking less are numerous: You’ll sleep better, lose weight, save money; feel, look and be healthier! Have you over indulged through the festive season? Reset your relationship with alcohol in the new year with the support of friends, family and LiveWell Dorset!
Alcohol is linked to many health conditions. You might think you're not at risk but drinking even just a little bit more than the recommended guidelines increase your risk.
On Boxing day last year, Poole resident and her partner Shaun stopped drinking as they felt they'd just had enough. They abstained not just through January, but all the way to Emma's birthday at the end of February!
“It's not that we have ever been super heavy drinkers – we simply decided we'd had enough! Previously, my drink of choice would be gin and tonic or rum and diet coke. These carbonated drinks didn't do me any good.
We sleep all the way through now. I get up with a clear head and have much more get-up and go. And for the rest of the year, it's a new normal, it's easier to drink less. And it feels good to have control of it, to not feel like we need to have a drink. More control empowers me to live well in other ways, such as joining my weekly pop choir. This helps combat my anxiety and depression.
Shaun and I opt for herbal teas now - we've tried them all! In fact, we've got a big box of them in the kitchen and we play herbal tea pot-luck! Rather than intoxicating my body, I cleanse it.”
Weymouth-based Ed joined LiveWell Dorset back in 2016 after his staff health check. He had been encouraged to lose weight and reduce his drinking. This is his story:
“I had a bit of a health scare at my staff health check. I knew I wanted to get control of my unhealthy habits. That was the year I first completed Dry January, and I've done it every year since. I feel so much better after a month of not drinking.
I used to drink 5-6 pints a week, at home or in the pub. Now, I'm more alert, more awake, and I don't get headaches. Oh, and I raised a bit of money for charity while I did it, which was encouraging. I've taken up a new sport, walking football.”
Alcohol is linked with more than 60 health conditions, including liver disease, high blood pressure, depression and seven types of cancer. It is the biggest cause of death for people aged 15-49 in the UK. Cutting back on alcohol reduces your risk of developing these conditions. 62% of Dry January participants have better sleep and 49% lose weight.
"Loads of us drink too much. I used to drink every day and was horrified to find that my consumption was sometimes in excess of 100 units per week... I had to moderate my drinking".