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Dry January: Doctor's Seven Steps to Refusing Alcohol in 2019

Dry January was an annual movement in which millions of people decide to quit alcohol for a month. But this is not just another task – the constant use of alcohol can have a huge impact on the body and health. Drinking in the long run may increase the risk of cancer. Even if a monthly break for drinking can work wonders with your health, it is very difficult to avoid the temptation to drink quickly.

Dr. Claire Morrison from MedExpress offered her seven tips on how to stop drinking in the New Year.

Report your intentions

To make it easier for you to quit, you should tell your friends and family about your plans to stop drinking for a month and explain why, says Dr. Morrison.

She explained: “In this way, you can share your successes with them, and they will understand why you started to refuse drinks or going to a local pub. Regularly reminding yourself and your loved ones that you want to stop drinking will also help you stay on track and even encourage others to do the same. Similarly, if your friend or a few friends join you on a dry January, this will also facilitate this process and you can enjoy joint walks without drinks. ”

Avoid the temptation

Try to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink, whether it be drinks in the pub or drinks, as well as restaurants that serve your favorite cocktail.

She said: “Also try to avoid those times when you usually drink, and fill them with something else, be it a movie, a bowling alley or anything that does not have to include alcohol.

“Identifying triggers is also important, especially if you tried to surrender in the past – try to understand why you failed. Perhaps you surrendered at the pub in the evening or told yourself that no one would suffer. Ensuring that there is no alcohol at home will also increase the likelihood of success. ”

Start gradually

Dr. Morrison says that instead of serving a cold turkey on New Year's Day after a night of drinking, it may be worthwhile to gradually try to drink less as it approaches December.

She added: “It may be difficult for some, especially in the new year, but to wean yourself from this will simplify the process early. The reduction should not be difficult, if you drink most nights, you can start by defining several days a week as alcohol-free days in December, it will soon become a habit, and then your whole week will become non-alcoholic. "

Reward progress

It is important to recognize the fact that such sudden changes in lifestyle are complex and, for some, impossible.

She said: “Dry January is not a small feat, therefore it is very important to secure a reward. If you tend to sit in front of the TV after working with a glass of wine, replace it with something else, perhaps a sweet treat or a tasty non-alcoholic drink.

"You will also find that you have much more money saved from not going to the pub – use this to shop at the store and pamper yourself with new clothes, it will make you feel good and get distracted from drinking."

Be busy

The best way to forget that you are alcohol free is to stay busy.

Dr. Morrison said: “As mentioned earlier, try to find friends who are also spending dry January, and make plans with them so that you will not be tempted to go to the pub or have a drink at home. You can do a lot of things that do not require alcohol. Perhaps you could also start fitness or jogging to keep your body and mind occupied. ”

Manage your withdrawal symptoms

The sudden cessation of alcohol use can affect your mind and body in different ways, and it may seem difficult for you, especially if you drank a lot during the Christmas period.

She explained: “Psychological symptoms may include irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, shakiness, and sleep problems. Physical symptoms include hand shake, sweating, nausea, headaches, and lack of appetite. Some serious side effects may include confusion, fever and even hallucinations.

“If you experience any of the above in the first week, ideally you should talk to your doctor to see if they can give you a medicine to help with withdrawal symptoms.” However, ways to overcome them in a natural way are to stay fit and be healthy in other aspects of your life, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet and continue to meet with friends and family, which will benefit your mental health. ” Take advantage of the benefits

Despite the fact that at the beginning it may seem like something old, you have many advantages for your one-month ban on alcohol, the first of which is money.

Dr. Morrison added: “You’ll find that you’ll save a lot more money that you can spend on yourself in other ways. But most importantly, your health will improve significantly after a break in drinking alcohol, you may notice a number of improvements in how you look and feel, you may find that you have more energy, sleep better, and maybe you have even lost a little weight. ,

"In the long run, you will also help reduce the risk of developing alcohol-related cancer, liver disease, heart disease, and lowering blood pressure."

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