Dry January blog - Week 2

Dean Royles

16 / 1 / 2014 2.31pm

We've made it to the halfway mark and if Twitter is anything to go by then loads of people are still in, and, it seems largely enjoying it! And I don't think it's a case of abstinence making the heart grow fonder (see what I did there) but a sense of achievement and the satisfaction that comes from overcoming temptation. As well as perhaps a bit more energy from deeper sleep.

I've been on a long walk, had a meal out with friends, summited a new peak in the Peak District attended a reception in the Welsh Senedd, had a curry and celebrated a birthday. All that would usually involve an alcoholic beverage and each time, despite temptation I've stayed dry. And in so doing recognised what a habit having a social drink is. Not because I 'need' it, or because I'm thirsty or because I've earned it, but because it's there and everyone else seems to be doing it. And that's the thing about dry January. It's not intended as a detox to 'clean out' the system at the start of a new year or just to show that you have will power, but because a period of abstinence does seem to be followed by a change of behaviours. Some people will give up completely, other will continue where they left of in December but many of us will follow through by moderating our intake over the rest of the year and paying more attention to the units.

So as we embark on the last leg, the final furlong, the last push - talk has been turning to what next. For me I think I'll try and ensure I comply with this weekly alcohol limits. Working in the NHS we know what they are and why they are important, so perhaps it's time for more of us to join other colleagues and to show some leadership, and practice what we preach.

I'm also going to push the ' nudge' agenda. I have noticed that when alcohol is available at functions and events the choice of soft drinks is often very limited. At one event it was wine or water. It would be great to see perhaps a range of fruit juices and without sounding too posey, perhaps some non alcoholic cocktails (there, I've said it!). But I'm sure a little bit more consideration for those that don't partake will help us all exercise a little more choice.

My hair has still not started to show that promised glossy look and glow but am still hopeful!

Check back next week for week 3 of Dean's Dry January!

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