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Why I go dry in January

#HRLADYSHIP Travel Heather Gupta • January 3, 2017
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Dry January has become a bit of a fad, globally. Though it’s not such a thing in India, January sees scores of people in the West renouncing alcohol, in a bid to sanitize their lives and their livers post the festive indulgence.

There are many who argue that we should ideally practice restraint all year round. Count our units, drink in moderation, control our alcohol intake. Dry January, however, appeals to the extremist in me. I’m an “all or nothing kind of person” and while I enjoy the excess of Christmas and New Year, I also relish the feeling of avoiding alcohol for the month afterwards, for a few reasons:

I sleep better. While you drop off to sleep easily after a few drinks, you also tend to sleep poorly and wake early. Sleep is deeper without the booze, and I wake feeling more rested. Dreams are also way more vivid!

I exercise more. Though I’m pretty good with my gym and yoga routine, it all goes downhill during December. Those exercise endorphins mean that I spend January on a real high.

I eat more healthily. I eat way too much the morning after a night on the town, and salad is just way more appealing without a hangover.

And thus …. I lose the weight I’ve gained over Christmas and New Year. Alcohol is, of course, all empty calories, which quickly turn into love handles without the rigour of the gym and a healthy diet.

I feel generally more alert, especially in the mornings. Although I’m not a morning person, and I generally struggle to get up when the alarm goes off at 6.30am, I’ll feel great after a shower and a cup of coffee the morning after a booze free night.

I’m generally less cranky. It’s probably the fact that I’m getting more, better quality sleep, but I definitely feel less grumpy when I’ve not been drinking for a while.

I feel smugly hangover free. Especially when those around me are suffering after a heavy night.

For me, Dry January is all about recalibration. Resetting health, vitality and energy. Though it’s certainly not easy (there’s nothing like a glass of something when you finally arrive home from work), it really makes me appreciate a huge glass of wine, when February 1 finally rolls around.

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