“Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in individuals adopting a healthier relationship with alcohol. More people are conscious about their drinking behaviour, so it’s unsurprising to have seen interest in ‘Damp January’ increase this year.
“For some people, the idea of giving up alcohol altogether in January can feel a little too extreme and challenging following Christmas. Taking part in the ‘Damp January’ trend is not about quitting alcohol, but instead about being more conscious about how much you are consuming.
“When those who take part in Dry January have one or two drinks while at a social event, they can often feel like a failure and can end up giving up or going back to their usual drinking habits. However, ‘Damp January’ is about learning self-control and having a moderation mindset, by not allowing themselves to be influenced by their surroundings.
“We live in a society where binge drinking is part of everyday life and has a lot of influence over our culture and how individuals socialise. This way of living has inspired the ‘sober curious movement’ which is about thinking more consciously about consuming alcohol and being more mindful of our drinking habits.
“In fact, Tiktok has been one of the biggest drivers in the ‘damp lifestyle’ trend, with the hashtag #damplifestyle accumulating a huge 10.3 million views on the app which is creeping up rapidly by the day.”
What are the benefits of the ‘damp lifestyle’ trend?
Sleep patterns improve
Alcohol is often used as a sleeping aid to help you drift off, but despite helping to relax you, drinking in excess can affect the quality and pattern of your sleep due to headaches, dehydration and the increased need to urinate.
When you give up or reduce your alcohol intake, you will often find that your quality of sleep will be better, without frequent interruptions. This in turn will mean you have more energy to spend on other activities instead of waking up feeling groggy after heavy drinking the night before.
Blood Pressure reduces to healthier levels
Drinking in excess for a prolonged period of time can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels which could lead to more complicated health problems down the line.
Cutting down will help lower your blood pressure to a much healthier level, and could even help reduce the risk of other health issues that are associated with high blood pressure and alcohol consumption, such as strokes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease.
Reduced levels of anxiety and depression
Alcohol is a rather deceiving depressant; while you may feel relaxed or excited during the time of consumption, alcohol actually has a significant impact on mental health.
Drinking alcohol, particularly heavy consumption, interferes with chemicals in the brain that maintains good mental health, meaning that after drinking, you may experience feelings of depression and anxiety, sometimes referred to as “beer fear” or “hang-xiety”.
By taking part in the ‘damp lifestyle’ trend, on the occasions you chose not to drink, levels of alcohol will no longer affect the balance of chemicals in your brain, meaning mental health can improve.
You may lose weight
One major issue that comes with drinking alcohol, is the number of calories it contains. Drinks such as beer and wine are particularly calorific, meaning that you are more likely to gain weight by drinking them too regularly.
By reducing the amount of alcohol you drink you may find you begin to lose weight, inevitably leading to added health benefits such as the reduction of high blood pressure.
A minor benefit to cutting your alcohol intake is the look of your skin. Alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated more quickly, which can lead to dry and scaly skin when drunk in excess. Not only that, but the consumption of sugary drinks like cocktails can also lead to outbreaks due to increased hormone levels.
Those who embark on their sober curious journey might notice spots or dry skin patches start to clear upl.
You’ll feel generally better
Drinking in excess can often lead to feeling groggy, lethargic and generally unwell the next day because it interferes with the day-to-day functioning of the body.
During the periods that you choose not to drink, whether it’s occasionally or for good, you may find that you have more energy to do things that you normally wouldn’t, like being more active or spending more time out of the house with friends.
If you find yourself craving an alcoholic beverage during your sobriety, perhaps opt for a soft drink or non-alcoholic version – you are guaranteed to feel better having slept well and waking up with no hangover.
This post was previously published on delamere.com.
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