For any of you that have made it this far into January without wetting your lips we commend you for your efforts. We’re halfway through the month and your will power may be fading as quickly as your hopes for the next 12 months being any better than the ones in the rear view mirror.
Never fear, Four Four is here to help with some quick tips on how to get through what could well be the grimmest period of the year. Less drinking means a good opportunity to get to know the music, acts and friends around you a bit better, as well as of course getting to know yourself that bit more too.
1. Realise how much you’re spending:
Alcohol is expensive, especially if you’re buying it in clubs. If you’re anything like me you’ll get to that point in the night where you think it’s cool to buy all of your friends a drink too. You wake up the next morning and dread checking your bank account because as you thought, you spent a ridiculous amount of money that you didn’t need to. Some budgeting here and there and lack of expenditure on alcohol and substances means more money to spend on yourself.
Eventually, you may not use alcohol as a crutch and find yourself with more money to attend more shows and genuinely enjoy them – and remember them too. Boost your self confidence as well as your bank account and authentically enjoy the music your life revolves around. Get yourself some new shoes or treat yourself to a festival ticket somewhere. Pop into All City or Blackwax and buy those Mall Grab EPs you’ve always wanted.
2. Understand your relationship with alcohol and drugs:
Dry January is an opportunity to spend a month getting to know your mind and your body. By taking a month off, you can work on your mind and body to be your best self and build yourself back up again. Alcohol and drugs can certainly take their toll both physically and mentally and no matter who you are, it’s important to take a step back sometimes and take care of yourself.
That way when or if you make the decision to go back to it, you’re better equipped mentally and physically to do it safely and deal with it in a healthier way. Drugs and alcohol can make the strongest of people vulnerable and it’s very important to realise this. By putting yourself in uncomfortable sober situations, you’ll maybe even come to realise being sober isn’t actually that awful and eventually you may even enjoy it. Come to realise that you probably love being with your friends and the music a lot more than you love the alcohol or drugs.
In a club culture so intertwined with drink and drugs, take a month to go out and genuinely appreciate the shows, acts and your own friends. On the first of February, a mental health and suicide discussion is taking place in Hangar to bring a much needed conversation about mental health in Ireland.
3. Find a friend:
Surely you will have one or two friends willing to embark on the journey of dry January with you. Instead of drinking with these friends, make them dinner or get them a kebab with all the money you’ve saved from not constantly buying pints. Appreciate each other properly (something we have a habit of solely doing when were under the influence of something).
When I go through phases of not drinking, me and my friends generally do it together and stay in and dance in our apartment all night to a nice helping of house bangers. Stay in, cook together and dance – you’ll feel a new lease of life enjoying yourself without being under the influence and reboot your confidence probably lost due to using substances as a crutch.
That way, you can still enjoy them if you chose to but at least you’ll have the option of being able to enjoy yourself sober available to you too. Get some decks and have a rave at home with a good speaker and friends, if of course your neighbours are nice souls themselves.
4. Deliver yourself from temptation:
We all have those friends who we love but they will probably convince you into overdoing it on a night out, usually when there’s an act you’ve been looking forward to forever. Suddenly, you find yourself having to go home or bring a friend home just before the show starts. January can be that time where you manage to say no.
Don’t give into that “ayyyyy come on” if you don’t want to, nobody is going to judge you. Tell your friends that its what you’re doing and to respect that. Use the month off to educate yourself about the risks and so if you decide to go back to it all you can treat yourself that bit better than before and enjoy everything in life, especially nights out, that bit more than before.
5. Don’t miss out:
Some of you may find the idea of going out without the social security of intoxication awful. Maybe that might be so for some club goers, but we’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t let yourself miss out or suffer. There are some amazing acts lined up for venues around Dublin for the rest of the dry month of January and it would be a shame to miss them.
Over the next two weeks we have Helena Hauff, Huxley and Claptone all gracing District 8, Baba Stiltz and Moomin dropping into Wigwam; Button Factory hosting Shadow Child and Chaos in the CBD and KETTAMA donning Hangar’s warehouse. They’re all top quality acts and for them all to be coming to Dublin in January is rather insane.