January is usually the time when people stop drinking. It gives people a chance to see what life without alcohol is like, and I often advise my patients to give up Dry January, because I think it helps people understand themselves and the role alcohol plays in their health. their life.
Even so, a recent survey found that about half of people try to give it up by the second week and go back to their old drinking habits before the month is out.
Why is it so difficult to quit drinking in just 31 days?
I think there are several reasons. Firstly, we all have a tendency to throw towels when we slide up. Psychologists call this ‘all or nothing’. It is not only very common but also very useless.
We tend to think that if we mess up once, everything will be ruined and therefore, it is useless to move on. People do the same thing with diets. In fact, they do it all the time in different areas of their lives.
A recent survey found that about half of people who try dry January give up by the second week (file image)
However, the truth is quite the opposite. We can learn from why we slip, and this can help us prepare and plan for potential future downhills.
Having one drink doesn’t mean you’re allowed to give up. Resist your temptation and instead analyze what happened and what you can do to avoid it next time.
I’m not a purist when it comes to alcohol. I understand it has an important social function, and sure, the first time you commit to stopping drinking for a while, it can be incredibly difficult. People can be self-conscious about not drinking on social occasions and often have the feeling that they are denying themselves something.
While these thoughts can be helpful for a challenge (e.g. why are people mostly expected to get drunk at a wedding?), I’d rather someone allow themselves to break dry January for a or two events, and stick with it the rest of the time, rather than not trying it at all. Giving up can still help us learn about our relationship with drinks.
So, if you know there’s a day in the month that you really want to go out for a drink (like a special occasion, for example), instead of bashing yourself about this or worse, use it as an excuse. excuse to leave dry January, offer yourself two free passes instead.
Give yourself permission twice a month when you consciously allow yourself to drink. This is not cheating, it is planning ahead. Of course, you don’t have to use either, but you can if you want.
Whatever you do, don’t avoid going out and socializing. This is a mistake. It is based on a false idea that you need to drink in order to be in the company of others.
Instead, you should go out to eat or join social gatherings and then see how they can actually be more enjoyable when you’re not drunk. You may find yourself able to have more interesting and insightful conversations with people – and more than that, you actually remember them later and in detail.
Dr Max Pemberton (pictured) says if you realize you’re struggling with going alcohol-free, take this as a sign that you have a problem and need help.
But there’s another, more serious reason why I think people have a hard time sticking with Dry January, and that’s dependencies.
If you find yourself having a hard time going without alcohol, take this as a sign that you have a problem and need help.
This can even be physical dependence, which is serious because it can lead to seizures. Stopping drinking suddenly if you are physically dependent can be dangerous, so if you have given up alcohol and find that you are sweating, feeling unwell or shaking, then you should stop drinking. January and see a doctor as soon as possible. .
God, if the past two years weren’t enough, we now have a new pest sent to test us – flurona. This is when people are simultaneously infected with the flu and the coronavirus. Thankfully, Moderna just announced that they’re working on a single stab that can protect against both.
Much more common are mental cravings that drown people, which is a sign of psychological dependence.
While this is not as dangerous as physical dependence, it is still a clear sign of addiction.
Feeling that you can’t help having a drink, worrying about how you will cope, hiding your drinking or having to lie about it are all signs that you have become psychologically dependent.
Psychotherapy is extremely effective in helping people get through this, but first they have to realize they have a problem – and I think this is where Dry January comes in.
Research into drinking habits during the coronavirus pandemic has shown a worrying increase in alcohol consumption among people over the age of 50, with results showing that nearly one in four drinkers are at high risk or may be dependent on alcohol. .
These people will struggle with a dry January, but many won’t realize they have a problem unless they really try to get through it for a month.
Alcohol has killed more people in England and Wales in 2020 than in any of the previous 20 years. Understanding that you have a drink problem is the first step to solving it – and it’s no exaggeration to say that, for some people, Dry January is a lifesaver.
We should all clean up like Cheryl
Pop star Cheryl (pictured) has revealed that she still does her own cleaning, despite her wealth and success
In an interview last week, pop star Cheryl admitted that, despite her wealth and success, she still cleans the house herself.
Good for her! Me too, I’ll admit I get a little help with the laundry and ironing, but I’d rather do nothing than do the housework myself. There is something extremely therapeutic about it.
It also works on a psychological level, creating a sense of order and control. If I feel stressed, I actively look for some work to clear my mind for a few hours. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and is very relaxing. Until someone walks in with muddy shoes, of course.
- Forget vegetarianism (decades ago too). Now it’s all about the vegan diet – and January is often the time when many people first try it.
At the heart of this is the idea that by cutting out large amounts of foods that are bad for you (and some that are good for you), your body will have time to recover. It ignores the fact that a few weeks of avoiding foods like saturated fat will not have a lasting effect on your health if you continue to eat them for the rest of the year, because they will still increase your health. your arteries.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, says he worries that ‘vegans’ research too little on plant-based diets, so many people end up eating those meals. Filled with salt, fat, additives and sugar. For some people, yes, it can introduce them to healthier foods, but please don’t fool yourself that giving up animal products for a month will make a lot of difference. your long term health.
Doctor Max prescribes…
New sports handball
The combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis is the fastest growing sport in the US (file photo)
The fastest growing sport in America is currently capturing the imagination here. It is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis, ideal for those who are less suited to us as it does not involve running as much as other racquet sports. To find a court near you, visit pickleballengland.org.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk