A new year has begun! With it, comes New Year’s resolutions. From ‘stop biting nails’ to ‘be healthier’, our resolutions come in lots of shapes and sizes. One popular one after the Christmas period is to try to cut down on alcohol. This blog, written by our intern Molly, covers reasons to cut down your drinking, and some motivation for sticking with it.

Come January 1st I’m always ready for a change. Wrapped up in my dressing gown non-stop from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve, and after spending the past month of December surrounded by irresistible food, I find myself morphing into a polar bear preparing for the winter ahead. But by New Year’s Day, after my fifth Christmas dinner in the space of a week, I am always desperate to get healthy again. Reducing your alcohol intake is a fantastic way of changing a single aspect of your lifestyle while still making a big impact. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it can be very worthwhile, and here’s why:

1. Cutting back on alcohol reduces your risk of certain health conditions

Alcohol is linked to various health conditions, such as:

Cutting back on drinking reduces your risk of developing these conditions.

2. Cutting back on alcohol can improve your well-being

Drinking less alcohol can improve the quality of your sleep and make losing weight easier. It is also likely to boost your mood. And it can give you a feeling of achievement.

Alcohol is linked to a number of mental health conditions. So drinking less can help your mental health.

3. Spending a month or more without alcohol can have a long-term impact

If you tried Sober October last year, or are going booze-free for January, you know you can do a whole month not drinking alcohol. So what’s to say you can’t keep going? That’s not to say you have to commit to being completely sober for life, but it might be easier to make a long-term change if you’ve proved you can already do it. You might just show yourself what you’re capable of, and even try to make more changes in your life. 

4. You'll save money 

The average person spends £50,000 on alcohol in their lifetime. Even just in January, you’re likely to save up a lot of money in one month. This will help your bank account recover from all those Christmas presents. You could save up for a reward for yourself at the end of the month. Or you could donate what you’ve saved up to a charity. You can find how to donate to Macmillan on our website.  

If you’d like more advice on reducing your alcohol intake or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we have information on our website, or you can read our booklets, Healthy eating and cancer or Managing weight gain after cancer treatment which are also available as audiobooks. Healthy eating and cancer is also available in several different languages.

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