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The lessons I learnt from doing Dry January

And it’s the same when you meet people and you have really funny, engaging conversations and really get into something – so much of it revolves around alcohol. It’s a huge part of life, I love it. I don’t want to drink. I just think I got to the point where it wasn’t great.

However, the really nice thing is that I have my weekend back. And this does not mean that we are leaving and doing amazing things. That means I’m not going to get up and take the kids to football or dance. I can start early and go for a run. I ran 5K three or four times a week.

As for my intentions? Well, I like to drink; I like its social aspect. We are going to have dinner with friends on Friday and I would not like to do it without alcohol.

But at the same time, I want to be able to say to myself, “You’ve been doing this for a month, you know how much better this makes you feel,” rather than drinking for a week. This is my hope. Whether I will or not, I don’t know.

“Alcohol makes me miserable”

Joanna Morris, 57, production journalist.

My attempts to complete Dry January failed last year when I was fired on January 17, so I was determined to do it this year. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with drinking for a long time – love drinking it, hate the consequences. It has worsened over the past couple of years, which may be related to menopause.

Being dry for the past 31 days has given me the opportunity to really analyze why I drink, and most of the time it has to do with my emotions. I drink when I’m happy and I drink when I’m sad, but the results are the same – it makes me miserable.

I found it very easy to go without drinking. It didn’t stop me from socializing, and my partner still drinks, so there’s alcohol in the house, but I didn’t give in to the temptation.

The thought of bad sleep and subsequent bad mood was enough to push me away. Emotionally, I was on an absolutely even keel. So much so that I’m going to continue in February and beyond. Check out this space!

My top tip: I downloaded the NHS Drink Free Days app, which shows you your progress, as well as the calories and money you’ve saved in a month.

Did you take part in Dry January this year? Share your experience in the comments

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