6 reasons to try #drysolation
At the end of a stressful day, many of us like to pour a glass of wine or a G&T to help us relax. And with WFH tech woes and stir-crazy children ramping up our blood pressure, not to mention anxiety about the health of our friends and family, we need all the help we can get right now.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional tipple, but if you’re regularly drinking more than the guideline 14 units per week, it can actually make your stress worse. That’s because alcohol is a depressant – it interferes with chemicals in the brain that are vital for good mental health.
So if you want to optimise your wellness during these difficult times, why not consider joining in with what we’re calling #drysolation – whether you try it for a week, a month or keep going until the lockdown is over, here are six reasons to give it a go…
1 You won’t be alone
Jokey social media videos of people seeking comfort in a bucket of wine might make you imagine we’re a nation of binge-drinkers – but the truth is that one in five adults in the UK is now teetotal. Among 16-24-year-olds, the number is even higher at just over one in four. Cutting down is becoming much more fashionable: Alcohol Change UK estimated that around 4 million people took part in Dry January 2020.
2 Going sober is good for your mental health
As already mentioned, drinking and mental health problems go hand in hand: excessive drinking can exacerbate existing mental health issues, while people who are suffering mental health problems might use alcohol as an unhealthy crutch. Alcohol consumption is also linked to increased anxiety and stress, and can be a contributing factor to depression. Cutting it out may actually help you cope better in these difficult times.
3 …and for your physical health, too
Alcohol is linked to many health issues, including several types of cancer, including breast and mouth cancer, so cutting it out will reduce your risk. Going teetotal will also slash your risk of liver disease. Additionally, quitting drinking will help you sleep better and could help you lose weight, as alcohol is full of sugar and empty calories.
4 You’re less likely to embarrass yourself
Many of us have been there: you wake up with ‘beer fear’, trying to remember all of the embarrassing things you might have said, or done, the previous night. OK, so our curtailed social lives mean there’s less danger of doing something embarrassing in public, but even when drinking at home, there’s a risk your antics could end up on Instagram and being broadcast to an even wider audience. Avoiding booze is an easy way to stay in control and minimise your chances of having to delete yourself from social media.
5 There are plenty of tasty alcohol-free alternatives
The no- and low-alcohol market has traditionally been a pretty dreary one. Lately, though, the choice of products has improved dramatically, as drinks companies recognise there’s money to be made from moderation. Companies such as Seedlip are leading the way in distilled alternatives to gin, infused with complex blends of botanicals, while Thomson & Scott Noughty is a sparkling wine made from 100% organic chardonnay grapes, with only the alcohol taken out.
6 It will save you money
As well as the obvious health benefits of ditching booze, going alcohol-free can help your bank balance look a little healthier – and with many of us on restricted income right now, this might even be the best reason of all. Try putting the money you would have spent on alcohol aside for a month and spending it on a self-care treatment, like beauty products to help boost your mood. The incentive at the end of the month will help to keep you on the wagon.