If you joined those who decided to do “dry January”, you are by now in the very early stages of your 31-day journey. Whether the journey is looking tougher or easier than it seemed at the start, here are a few tips to help you along the way, based on my own experience.
First, you need to accept you will encounter various triggers to make you want to drink. Your brain has a remarkable learning system which remembers that, say, it’s five o’clock in the evening and you normally have a drink in the next couple of hours. Or you’re in the kitchen making dinner and it says ‘hey, isn’t this when you get to have a glass (the euphemism for “two glasses”) of wine’ as you work? Your brain has learned when to expect a drink and it triggers the urge.
The main thing to remember is that this is normal and that urges usually pass within 20 minutes – often more quickly – as long as you don’t dwell on them. Allowing that urge to pass through without giving in to it or running away from it is called “urge surfing”.
Source: Padraig O'Morain, The Irish Times, 3rd January 2019