The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Changing your relationship with alcohol is a marathon

A dry January is a head start in the #changeyourdrinking marathon

Dry January success

What a January! Alcohol Concern report that this year’s Dry January is the most successful yet, with more people than ever before signing up to a month off the booze.

At Club Soda, we know a collective dry January is bigger than the health benefits alone. It is a mass-participation sober month, that begins to nudge society away from the idea that drinking is a compulsory activity day-in, day-out. It begins to give you more options about when you want to drink and when you don’t, if at all.

A difficult habit to kick

Because we use alcohol to celebrate, commiserate, reward ourselves and oil the wheels of a night out, it makes it a difficult habit to kick. When we announce to others our good intentions, they may ask why, feel guilty, or try and make us have a drink when we have already said no. This would not happen if you quit fags. Alcohol is far more ingrained in our social world.

Which is why, if even for a month, the balance tips and our social world has lots of people in it saying out loud: NO. It gives us cover and space to practice being in our normal social situations, and not feel shame. Test out holding a glass of orange, or an alcohol-free beer whilst everyone else is knocking back the vino.

Changed behaviours

Behaviour change when it comes to drinking is not easy. But starting by joining in the community effort of a dry January gives you a head start. The odds are stacked slightly more towards you than against.

So whether you managed the whole month or not, take heart. You changed something. You tested it out. You felt a little of what it can be like to not drink on a night out, or wake up without a hangover. You can do it again. As Rachel Black says in this article, sobriety is more of a journey than a destination.

Dry January may be over, but Club Soda is still here. You can still get that sense of being part of something greater than your own efforts, and we will provide you the space to test not drinking at our social events.

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