Helen Duffy, Support Services Manager for Adult Social Care at South Tyneside Council, is determined to have more days off from drinking after successfully completing Dry January.
The 48-year-old from Boldon said: “I’m a trustee for The Charlie Cookson Foundation and I’ve been regularly going booze free for the last two to three years to fundraise for the charity. I tend to do three month-long periods throughout the year as it is a great way to take a break from drinking and to raise much needed funds.
“I’m not really a big drinker, but still notice a difference when I do stop drinking for a month. I feel so much healthier, my skin looks better and I have more energy. It was the same this Dry January. It went really well and I actually found it quite easy to not have a drink for 31 days.
“I decided not to make too many plans, as it is easier not to drink when you don’t go out. My friends and family were really good, as they supported me and my daughter even tried to join me. Unfortunately, she didn’t last the whole month but she did manage to be alcohol-free for a period of time.
“The benefits of not drinking for a month far outweigh the challenge of giving up alcohol. This time I also decided to combine Dry January with healthy eating and it made a big difference. I’m really pleased that I’ve lost weight and I hope it continues. I also loved waking up on a weekend feeling hangover free, as I had so much more time to do the things I enjoy.
“I’m definitely keeping the momentum going after Dry January and I think taking days off is a great idea. I’m now only drinking when I go out with friends and will have a few when I go on holiday next month – but even then, I’ll be cutting back and won’t be drinking at home.
“I highly recommend people stop and think about how much they drink, as it is very easy to lose track and often you’re drinking more than you realise. People should take days off alcohol as it is easy to enjoy yourself without having a drink.”