Are you thinking of going alcohol-free in October? For those who only drink very occasionally, it may not feel like much of a stretch, but for those who like a tipple on a more regular basis, 31 days can feel like an awfully long time. Taking a month off can be great for your health and maybe help you cut down long term on the amount of alcohol you consume.
In the U.S. the top 10% percent of drinkers over the age of 18- 24 million adults consume, on average, 74 alcoholic drinks per week
A recent study found that the average adult in Britain consumes 9.7 litres of booze every year – the equivalent of 108 bottles of wine or 427 pints. However, it is also estimated that around one-in-five people do not drink at all.
Everybody’s habits are different, and some may find it harder to give up than others – even for a month – but if you are planning on going sober for October, here are a few tips that might help you through.
Think of the money you’re saving
In the U.S. the average cost of alcohol is going up, in fact the price of alcohol is going up around the world. Stopping alcohol for a few weeks of a few months could be an easy way to add some money back in your wallet.
Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that the average pint of draught lager in the UK costs £3.80. Even at just three pints a week, that’s almost £600 a year! Of course, over a month, the numbers are lower but it all adds up and saving money can help to improve the way you manage your finances at a wider level.
Treat yourself elsewhere
Of course, you may decide that your willpower deserves rewarding in other areas of your life. Perhaps you can now afford that new pair of trainers you’ve been eyeing up, or that fancy new coffee machine for the kitchen?
Don’t become a recluse
Just because you’re no longer drinking, it doesn’t mean you should stop socialising with your nearest and dearest. It’s still just as important to make plans as you normally would, as being around close friends and family is extremely beneficial for our mental wellbeing. If you think you might be tempted to give in and have a drink, make arrangements to meet somewhere that doesn’t offer alcohol.
Think of the health benefits
The physical and mental effects of alcohol are vast and wide-ranging. By giving it up, even for a month, you’re likely to find that you sleep better, have more energy and generally feel fresher and revitalised. You’ll avoid the dreaded hangover symptoms of headaches and dehydration, while giving up the booze can also help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.
Take up new hobbies
With a little extra time on weeknights and weekends, you might decide now is the perfect opportunity to take up (or rediscover) a pastime. That could come in the form of physical exercise such as walking, running or cycling, or it may be something more creative like painting or photography. Whatever you choose, a new hobby might help October to fly by and maybe you’ll decide some of the changes you’ve made are here to stay.