January is almost over. You've done the month alcohol free. You get to have a drink now. Woo...?
But wait, you're not actually that excited. You've enjoyed being hangover free, saving money, making the most of your evenings and weekends and maybe losing a bit of weight. So what to do now?
You're not the only one thinking about extending your Dry January to a Dry February and maybe even a Dry March (although it might not feel like it sometimes, taking a break from alcohol for an extended period of time is becoming increasingly popular.)
If you want to continue your Dry January streak but are not sure where to start, read on for my top five tips on making the most out of your time booze free.
1. Get comfortable with your decision not to drink
Why are you extending your Dry January or deciding to live life alcohol free? Do you want to lose weight? Save money? Be more productive? Take time to consider why you want to continue experiencing life alcohol free and write it down to stay on track when your motivation wanes. Recording how much money you are saving and how much you are (not) drinking through the Dry January app is also a great way to stay inspired and see how much you money (and calories) you have saved through not drinking.
2. Don't skip the pub (or social events)
Unless you want to that is! Don't feel like not drinking means you have to stay at home forever more. Make the most of social events, and the pub, by deciding what you are going to have to drink beforehand and going home when it gets boring. Remind yourself why you've decided to extend your Dry January challenge before going out for extra motivation.
3. Make the most of hangover free mornings
What do you love to do but often don't have time for? Take time out in the morning to do something you enjoy doing - like going for a run, spending time with your kids, or having a leisurely breakfast - to make the most of time you may have previously spent hungover or in bed.
4. Embrace Community
You are not the only one not drinking. Let me say that again. You are not the only one not drinking! It might feel like it when you are out with your friends but lots of people are trying life alcohol free and enjoying the benefits that come with it. Social media (love it or hate it) means you can connect with people all over the world and there are some great online communities you can get involved in, I recommend One Year No Beer and Club Soda for lots of likeminded supportive folks.
5. Remember drinking (and not drinking) does not define you
Drinking, or not drinking, is just one tiny part of your life and your decisions. You are still you, with or without the booze. Your decision not to drink may be the only thing people seem to talk to you about for the first few weeks post January but they will get bored of asking you and you will get used to it! Focus on all the stuff you are doing, all of the fun you are having and the things that make you great and keep going for as long as it feels right for you.
Inspired to drink less and do more? Read my blog: Girl & Tonic
I've adapted this from an article I wrote for Dry January, find out more about their Dry January and Beyond campaign here