Dry January - any tips, thoughts, suggestions?

I’ve never understood dry January. What’s the health benefit if it only lasts 4 weeks? If the idea is alcohol moderation, then setting a moderation regime for the long term is way more sensible. Ours is no wine Monday-Thursday (unless dining out, which isn’t an issue right now); drink more expensive wine Friday-Sunday as the reward.


But it detoxes you, so it must be good :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

This is a lovely thread. I must admit Lockdown, home-schooling, the whole horror in the US and general apocalyptic year may have encouraged me to relax my usual limits.

I am aiming to be healthier this year as I’m starting to get back into running more seriously, with actual training ideas and everything rather than just a kind of casual, madcap, ‘sort of’ training plans/sketches on back of an envelope that I’ve usually had.

I find that if I replace one habit with another ‘addiction’ that works well. As I up the running, the consumption of wine will kind of have to go down, as I know I’ve got to run the next day. So something like that might work - finding something that will get endorphins flowing, refresh the mind, and soul. Walking, birdwatching, all sorts of active things maybe?

I’m not going to be a monk about this - it’ll just mean that when I have wine, I’ll ‘deserve’ it and it’ll be a true treat. And I’ll appreciate it for a special thing, rather than a thing I do unthinkingly.


I think this is probably the best approach: create positive reasons so that you actually want to moderate it. A good exercise habit makes you feel happier all the time, too.


You pretty much summed up addiction therapy…


Just think its important to take breaks, longer or shorter from drinking. I drank a little too much in the build up to Christmas, so had the 27th-30th dry. I’ll take next week off and be fairly abstemious in January.

Usually ok sticking with this.


New Years Eve - around midday on top of the Pennines, Black Hill. Freezing fog, suitably bleak which is how I like it. :slight_smile:

So Happy New Year to one and all “it’ll be right” (as they say in these parts)


The liver is a wonderfully resilient organ, which can repair itself (completely in about three month), so there is some value in a month of not drinking for liver repair. However, as you say If you’ve been drinking in moderation anyway it shouldn’t need that time to repair.

Given the past few months I am considering giving mine some time to repair.

As with @Grimpeur, I am also going to be getting my training back to more serious. There’s talk of a virtual British Masters Weightlifting, so while I am currently barless, I do have something to work towards and ways of doing it.


I’ve gone dry for the past few Januaries - my poor old liver deserves it - and I think the key requirement is to avoid, as much as possible, events that trigger the desire for a glass of wine. These could be anything from the sound of a cork popping, the sight of one’s family members glugging away appreciatively or the arrival of a previously-ordered case of wine begging to be opened and quality-tested.

This also means not reading, wine-related correspondence such as, alas these threads from TWS. I raise a virtual glass and will rejoin you on the other side of January.


Tilleul (lime blossom tea), equally good hot or cold & this afternoon’s tipple.

Yesterday evening (Jan 1st) daughter No.1 used the leftover of a fine bottle of New Years Eve claret for her spag bol (sigh), seeing as I wasn’t going to drink it.


Pubs being shut.

I leave it till Lent. Not too successful then either, though.


One of the lesser known Tier 4 rules is that going on about Dry January, Veganuary or anything similar is an indictable offence. In the current circumstances, perhaps save it for Lent? If your alcohol intake concerns you, drink a little less and exercise a little more.


This is not the year to try!

Totally agree with you, especially Veganuary (that is a new one to me, and will never happen) - except I’m weak willed & ‘drink a little less’ is constant temptation. It’s easier (for me) to go cold turkey. Coincidentally the pubs are shut which helps.

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I try and do dry Jan every year, and use the month to take stock of what wines I have in and do some thoughtful purchasing.
Something that I always find helps is to have some 0% beers in, as well as the no alcohol gins etc. Sometimes the ritual of making a drink in the evening with ice, garnish etc is satisfying.
Come February you relationship with wine/alcohol is reset somewhat.

Good Luck to everyone doing Dry Jan I’ll be right there too. :slight_smile:


I am going to do Dry Jan this year for the first time. I probably naturally do it to some extent most years anyway following a heavy binge over Dec/Christmas but am consciously doing the full month this time around.

My big concern is that I just enjoy having a glass of wine or just some form of alcohol on a Friday and /or Saturday because it gives a sense of separation to the mundanity of the weekdays. If I don’t have that then I just fear the week will just be rolled into one and it will be Monday again before you know it!

So my plan is to find some Non-Alcoholic drinks so I don’t lose that sense of the weekend occasion. Fortunately, like with Vegan food etc, everything is much better quality now and there is so much stuff going on. I was watching Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Brunch over the weekend which had some alternatives on which I’m looking to give a go. Unfortunately, like with these things they are quite expensive.

The one I was looking to give a go was the Sparkling Tea from Fortnum and Mason and Everleaf for a spirit alternative.


Against the backdrop of all that is currently wrong with the world a dry January would simply be too much to bear. However a quick tot up of my cellar raids over December 2020 indicate that something has to change. Without any entertaining the two adults here got through 23.5 bottles of wine, 1 bottle of Champagne and 2 bottles of Port. Ok, so it was Christmas for about a third of the month, but I was quite surprised by that total. Unhealthy.

I cannot cut it out, it would be too depressing right now to do so, but we will cut it down substantially - back to weekends only. At least until we hit Tier 7 at which point all bets are off.


I took a more old school approach and went so hard over the holidays that I actually can’t really face a glass of anything for a while. Happy to let it roll a little longer and see where we end up.

I fear flicking through and deciding on the Rhone EP offering is going to break me tbh. Maybe I delay taking a peak until the last moment.


Won’t be doing the whole month but will by dry from 1st Jan to the 9th Jan and then just getting back into weekend drinking from there out. Never use to drink during the week but lockdown gradually put paid to that so looking forward to getting back to weekend only drinking.

It also means I look forward to alcohol a lot more than I do if I am just drinking all the time. For me, that first glass of wine on a Friday evening is a just reward for getting through the week without succumbing to the temptation to throw myself in front of a HGV.