It’s February. 

I’ve done DRY January, in fact I’ve done it several times! The third time I did it I went on to Fizzy February – most unsatisfactory. Last year I did Dry February as well as January, by December I was keeping to 4 alcohol free nights per week. I remain undecided about this year.

I didn’t stop drinking to fundraise, or to glow with virtue. I did it because I needed to prove to myself that not drinking is easy and I suppose I still think of myself as a bit of a role model for my (now adult) children.

It is easy not to drink if you are in the company of non-drinkers, or even some drinkers (thank you Bob for joining me). Even so it isn’t easy not to drink in our normal social and cultural surroundings. But it’s getting better … there are more alcohol free beers, more choice than ghastly sweet drinks and I even encountered WATER (!) on offer at a reception recently. Alcohol-free options are definitely having their moment, we have pondered this somewhat in the office, considering the gift giving that so often seems to be in bottle form. (see our earlier blog post).

BUT alcohol still pervades our everyday culture and not drinking is not nearly as easy as it could be, especially when you don’t have the ‘designated driver’ excuse. For me, Dry January is about breaking habits, being thoughtful about why I drink and feeling the benefits of being alcohol free.

As for being a role model? I have challenged my daughters to a Dry January. My youngest daughter described her experiences in a previous SCPN newsletter.

My eldest told me some of her experiences from the last 30 days…

The first week of the month flew by, we went to the cinema twice (!) instead of the the pub, and one of the Fridays I had the studio to myself (luxury) so stayed late preparing for the presentation, a great use of a Friday night-who knew!

I did feel smug as my friend who had ‘given up hangovers’ January (promising to drink more water after a night out) messaged to say she did not get out of bed till the afternoon – of course by this time I been for a run and had brunch with a friend. Bright-eyed on a Saturday morning with a full day ahead- great..!

Exhibition prep underway I build an interactive installation, a couple of late nights but you can handle the next mornings better if you’v not been out all weekend.  The show was a success, lots of people came and I was glad not to drink because the feedback was useful and I was able to really discuss things with each person who visited. 

Moving into February, I am going to aim for no drinking during the week, though in my industry that’s tricky because exhibition openings are almost always on Thursday nights! Perhaps I’ll substitute a Saturday here and there….

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Even moderate drinking of more than 10g alcohol per day can increase breast cancer risk.

Knowing this is a motivator for me but also a reminder to support my daughters to reduce their risk too….#girlpower!

Thinking of staying dry for longer? you might like this article.