Between bushfires and COVID-19, this year has been a rollercoaster of anxiety, change and despair for Australians. Coupled with months of isolation, many people are drinking more and are doing it alone.
But with iso easing, it’s a good time to take a break from drinking. And there’s no better way to do this than with Dry July. This year, the folks behind the Dry July Foundation, which challenges people to go dry for 31 days while also raising funds for people affected by cancer, have changed the rules slightly.
For this year only, the Dry July Foundation is giving Aussies the opportunity to commit to the original challenge of 31 days or try the new Dry(ish) July options of 21 or 14 days dry. You’re also able to nominate your own time period to take a break from booze.
According to sports dietitian, nutrition consultant and Dry July ambassador, Chloe McLeod, taking periods of time away from alcohol is beneficial for your health.
“It is important to have a break from drinking every now and then as it allows your body’s natural defences to operate at full strength and function effectively throughout the day,” McLeod told TheLatch—. “By taking a break from booze it also allows you to reassess your alcohol consumption and your relationship with alcohol.”
These health benefits from reducing your alcohol consumption include:
★ A stronger immune system: “In the current climate, a strong immune system is more important than ever and the key to keeping healthy,” McLeod said.
“Consuming large amounts of alcohol weakens your immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off illness due to your weakened white blood cells. A decrease in alcohol coupled with a healthy and nutritious diet will help strengthen your immune system.”
★ You’ll be more hydrated: “Even a couple of glasses of wine can effectively cause your hydration levels to drop. Low hydration levels have a negative impact on your everyday routine as well as how efficient you are throughout your working day.”
★ Clearer skin: “Alcohol dehydrates the skin which causes cells to lose their plumpness and elasticity. Take a break from booze and upping your intake of water to two litres a day and you’ll ensure your skin stays hydrated and can allow you to have a clear, soft and smooth complexion.”
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We've got exciting news… Sign up for #DryJuly 2020 is now open! There’s no denying that 2020 has been a year of challenges. So for this July only, we’ve introduced Dry(ish) July, which allows you to choose how long you go dry for. Choose the original 31 day challenge or our new Dry(ish) July options of 21, 14 days or nominate your own dry period. ? ? No matter how long you choose to go dry for, you will be raising vital funds for people affected by cancer – whether it’s a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment. This year we're proud to be supporting 33 cancer organisations including Cancer Council, Leukaemia Foundation, Look Good Feel Better, McGrath Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Redkite. Sign up now ? https://bit.ly/2zJ5Tgo
While some restrictions are slowly easing, we’re all still spending a lot of time at home so avoiding alcohol could feel a little difficult, especially because many are using alcohol to beat boredom at home. McLeod recommends switching up your routine in order to make the temporary change a bit easier.
“Find an activity that can assist in keeping you busy while at home as well as steering you away from picking up a glass of wine can assist in decrease your alcohol consumptions for a period of time,” she said.
Taking a break from drinking while also raising funds for those affected by cancer could also make booze less tempting.
“Set yourself a goal or try giving up alcohol for a worthy cause such as Dry July that can not only benefit you but benefit others who are affected by cancer,” McLeod said.
According to Dry July, the organisations being supported with the 2020 campaign are Cancer Council, Leukaemia Foundation, Look Good Feel Better, McGrath Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Redkite.
Otherwise, if you’re really missing the feeling of having a drink, try an alcohol-free alternative.
“Sometimes plain water can get boring and you are wanting something a little more exciting during your booze-free period,” McLeod said. “Some interesting alternatives you can try include non-alcoholic gin, non-alcoholic beer, fruit smoothies, cocktails and kombucha.”
You’ve only got a few days left to sign up before Dry July officially kicks off — join over 17,000 others who have already signed up by heading to the Dry July website.