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Dry January Too Tough? Try 'Damp January' Instead

Taking the cold turkey approach isn’t always the easiest or healthiest way to transform your relationship with booze. A less extreme route could still be beneficial both mentally and physically, so here’s why more people are choosing to follow the Damp January mindset instead.

Sign saying 'Damp January'
Credit: YouTube

In essence, Damp January is designed to support flexibility in a person’s journey towards a healthier relationship with alcohol. For some, this could be as simple as designating their alcohol consumption to a certain day or two, such as weekends only.

For others, it could be a matter of cutting back on how many beverages they consume in a single setting, perhaps stopping their tab after two beers when they head out for after-work drinks.

With social drinking being one of the hardest aspects of navigating sobriety and giving your liver a break, a great way to allow flexibility during Damp January is to allow special occasion drinking. This encompasses those particularly important life events such as a wedding, birthday party or anniversary celebration. Whatever you choose, the key to successfully sticking to your Damp January routine is picking a strategy that works for your lifestyle.

It's also the perfect time, if you haven't already tried them, to give zero-alcohol beverages a go. There's an enormous amount of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits on the market today. There will surely be at least one that you will like.

According to psychologist Richard de Visser, the benefits of abstaining from alcohol - even temporarily - go beyond improving our physical health. “Dry January is not about getting people to stop drinking altogether - it’s about giving people control over their drinking,” he explains. “It’s temporary abstinence, which has some short-term benefits for your health, but it also gives you more control over your drinking.”

Of course, even the slightest decrease in alcohol consumption can be extremely beneficial to a person’s liver and heart health, as well as have positive ramifications on their sleep quality and energy levels.

So, if improving your health is your 2024 goal, but totally cutting out your favourite tipple feels a little too daunting, Damp January may be the perfect approach for you.


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