Dry July is on the way, when many people take the opportunity to get off alcohol, temporarily or permanently. You’ll quickly notice the health benefits, ranging from sleeping better to having more energy, and all with no hangovers! The idea started back in 2008 as a sponsorship idea, with three mates raising funds for a hospital waiting room TV, but it’s become a much bigger thing now.
Here are ten suggestions for making the most of Dry July.
Set clear goals
Start by setting specific goals for your Dry July challenge.
Determine how many days you want to go without alcohol and what you hope to achieve during this period. It could be improved health, better sleep, saving money, or simply gaining a fresh perspective on your relationship with alcohol.
What are your goals?
Find a support network
Enlist the support of friends, family, or colleagues who are also interested in participating in Dry July. Sharing your goals and experiences with others can provide motivation and accountability throughout the month, whether or not you decide to seek sponsorship.
Create a routine
Establish a new routine to replace your drinking habits. Fill your evenings and weekends with alternative activities such as exercise, hobbies, reading, or socialising in alcohol-free environments. This will help distract you from cravings and create new healthy habits.
Is there something fun you’ve always wanted to try but never had time for? Now’s your chance!
Explore alcohol-free alternatives
There’s an increasing range of alcohol-free beverages available, including mocktails, non-alcoholic beers, and zero-proof spirits.
Experiment with different options to find enjoyable substitutes that can still give you a sense of occasion without the alcohol.
In Australia, 30 per cent of beer sales are now from the non-alcoholic category, including local brands like NORT, which are also low in calories.
Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the effects of alcohol on your body and mind. Read books, listen to podcasts, or watch documentaries on the subject.
Understanding the benefits of abstaining from alcohol can further motivate you during your Dry July journey.
There are some great resources at How I Quit Alcohol.
Use this month as a chance to prioritize self-care. Engage in activities that reduce stress and promote well-being, such as meditation, yoga, taking relaxing baths, or indulging in a favorite hobby. This will help you navigate any challenging moments and reinforce positive emotions. You’ll also have more money to spend on yourself without the grog.
Take care of yourself instead of getting plastered, and see how different you feel at the end of the month.
Explore new social outings
When going out with friends or attending events, suggest alcohol-free activities. Visit coffee shops, try new restaurants, go bush walking, have a picnic, or explore cultural events in your area. Embrace the opportunity to connect with others and enjoy their company without relying on alcohol.
Do you know anyone else who is sober-curious or going dry for July? Team up!
Donate your savings
Consider donating the money you would have spent on alcohol during July to a charity or cause that resonates with you. Not only will you be making a positive impact, but it will also give you a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Do something positive with your money instead of damaging your health!
Reflect and journal
Take time to reflect on your journey throughout the month. Keep a journal to document your experiences, feelings, and any insights gained during this alcohol-free period. This practice can help you gain self-awareness and provide a record of your accomplishments and progress.
If it’s useful, keep it going after July.
As you reach different milestones throughout Dry July, reward yourself with non-alcoholic treats or experiences.
It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. This positive reinforcement will keep you motivated and committed.
Remember, Dry July is an opportunity to challenge yourself, improve your well-being, and potentially form new, healthier habits. Embrace the experience and be proud of your commitment to a month of sobriety.
If you want to double your impact, you can also get sponsored during Dry July to support people affected by cancer (alcohol is carcinogenic). Find out more here.