I’ve noticed a bunch of my mates getting involved in a campaign to stay sober for the whole of January, which can only be a good thing really.
Cancer Research UK have launched a publicity drive for themselves and for better social health by asking you to “Become a Dryathlete – One Month, No Alcohol. You and your mates. Feel fitter, clear your head, save money and raise funds to help beat cancer sooner.
As someone who’s life has been significantly affected by Cancer within my close and extended family, and as an industry recognized expert – this is my 14th January in a row sober (and drug free), so I thought I would share some of my tips as to how you can achieve sobriety for just a month.
1) Make changes
Change the people and places that you socialise with or at. This is easiest when you mingle with people who aren’t drinking either.
2) Safe House
Make sure there are no sneaky bottles or mementos in your house to remind you. These will encourage you to have a quick drink and lose your challenge.
3) Be accountable to someone
Pick a friend or partner to do the challenge together with. Allow yourselves to hold one another accountable. Check in with them on a daily (minimum) basis. This will encourage you to stick to the plan and to stay on track in order to not lose face.
4) Replacement Therapy
Replace your drinking activities with something else – ideally something that isn’t harmful to you – e.g. exercise or joining a club that appeals to you. You can also add an enjoyable food into your diet to feed your pleasure sensors, such as a nice fruit drink, or some chocolate (remember to only eat sensible amounts). Alternatively (or in addition), you could play music or go to comedy shows, which release the endorphins whilst helping you smile and laugh.
5) Keep yourself busy
Create an alternative structure to your day and plan your free evenings / weekends differently. Make sure you’re never bored or lonely by filling up your time and if in doubt, commit yourself to dedicating more time with your children and / or your partner. Maybe focus on their success’s as well as your own.
Educate yourself on the physical harms your alcohol consumption has been causing your body. Consider just how great you’re feeling in the mornings and appreciate the break you’re giving your body.
7) Keep things simple
Break the month down into manageable sizes so you make a commitment not to drink for one week, day, or even just one hour at a time and then repeat this whenever you’re tempted.
During your month of abstinence, stay safe and surround yourself with happy, cheerful friends who are able to enjoy themselves with positive pastimes. Often family gatherings that are focussed on children rather than adults are far more likely to be healthy events. Make your weekends and spare time about the children in your life – sons / daughters / nieces & nephews / cousins etc. But most importantly of all, make sure you’re enjoying yourself and whatever you’re doing.
Happiness is an inside job, which is immediately created quite simply by helping other people, most easily in our children or our elders. So see how you can make someone else’s day an enjoyable experience, rather than worrying about your own.
BONUS TIP – If you’re looking for a more permanent respite from your drinking, then please download for free my book, which contains a full guide on how to stop and stay stopped with a full guide to a successful recovery from any addiction.
“It’s Not About Me” is written in a simple to understand and dynamic manner to keep the reader engaged, rather than spilling out data and complicated instructions. Though you may not relate with everything contained within the book, there will certainly be plenty of parts that do help you.
This is a story that needs to be told. Well, at least I need to tell it. I’m bound by my commitment to return the favour that the Spirit of the Universe deemed appropriate for me to recover, to then pass it on.