Julie Thompson, Customer Services Officer for Durham County Council, signed up to do Dry January to improve her health and fitness.
Julie said: “I am really into keeping fit and go to the gym several times a week. However, I was conscious that I’d often come home from the gym start to cook tea and have a glass of wine while cooking, then have another glass with my food. I realised this meant I was having two glasses of wine at least three to four nights a week, and sometimes I would feel tired and sluggish the next day.
“When work suggested people sign up to take part in Dry January, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reflect on my relationship with alcohol and to see if I would notice a difference from going booze free. If I’m honest I did think I would struggle after a week or two of not drinking, however I found it surprisingly easy. I think I had my head around the fact I wanted to do it and once I have my mind set, that’s me focused.
“After a couple of weeks I did feel brighter in myself, and I was less tired. Also the more I got into it the more positive and motivated I felt about not drinking for a month. As the weeks went by, I became more adamant I would do it. I will probably do it next year, although I actually went beyond January into the second week of February, when I had my first glass of wine the end of that week and that was only because I felt I could. I have proved to myself I can cut back and now it’s just a matter of treating myself to a drink.
“Doing Dry January is not just about giving up alcohol for the month and then going back to drinking the rest of the year. It’s about changing the way you think and not drinking as much. I definitely haven’t really drank much since doing Dry January and plan to cut back throughout the year.”