Written by Karen Campbell


Dry January? No thanks!

Giving up the demon drink for January is a bona fide thing these days. Three of our writers reflect on their different decisions. Karen Campbell does so while enjoying a G&T.

raised glassesJanuary tends to represent a fresh start. It’s the time to enlist some healthy habits, to reflect and learn from the previous year, set your goals for this one and start making inroads to ensure it all happens.

I’m no different: I’m consciously eating healthier (once I’ve snarfed the leftover Christmas chocolate, of course) and upping my game in the exercise stakes. One thing I won’t ever do in January, however, is give up booze. January is the month when I need and enjoy a lovely G&T the most.

There are several reasons for this, the obvious ones being that it’s a clear pick-you-up from the miserable weather, the sorry state of the post-Christmas bank balance/waistline, as well as the fact that January seems to go on forever.

But a big reason for me is that during the last two months, my beloved pubs and secret watering holes, where many an evening has been spent in relaxed frivolity, were taken over by visitors from another world, or so it seemed. The alien beings that save it ALL for their office party, the ETs in eight-inch heels on the cobbles of Borough Market, the exotic specimens that actually get ready before going out rather than Febreze-ing themselves and whacking on a bit of lippy, and the ones that proceed to knock you out with their selfie stick as you have a sip of your pint.

“In January, the pubs we know and love go back to normality. This is why, for me, there’s nothing better than going for a few drinks to kick off the new year.”

This transformation from self-respecting professionals in suits with neat hair into the sort of drunken animals we see on a Channel 5 documentary on Magaluf happens because it’s Christmas. They litter the streets drinking like the end of the world is nigh and somehow find your go-to pub – the one down several side streets, where 10 months out of the year you can always sit down and get to the bar – vomit in the street on a Tuesday and are always the person who gets served before you and orders 20 Jagerbombs.

But in January, the UK dusts itself off and asks what the hell happened and the pubs we know and love go back to normality. This is why, for me, there’s nothing better than going for a few drinks to kick off the new year.

Although I am a fan of drinking in January, it’s all about quality not quantity. December has been a tough month for the body; it’s been infiltrated with rich and wonderful M&S goodness, accepting of the unwritten rule that shortbread/After Eights/mince pies are perfectly normal breakfast foods and has coped with the expected daily booze consumption.

In January let’s treat alcohol with the respect it deserves: enjoy that glass of lovely red or a top-notch G&T. Experts seem to agree that going cold turkey in January can heighten the January blues and cause such a shock to the body’s December booze-system that it doesn’t quite know what to do with itself. In which case, cheers to you all – here’s to a little bit tipsy but still productive January.


Rather coddle your brain with cake than a G&T? Sophie Scott agrees.
Meanwhile, Alice Sanders is reluctantly giving up a hat-trick of vices.

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Written by Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a life coach at www.your-dreamcatcher.com. She likes gin, James McAvoy and pretending she's not from Scunthorpe.