The outlook for March is dry

I’m not someone who responds to New Year resolutions, and tend to set my personal goals and targets on a month-by-month basis. It’s usually one big theme that I tend to write about on here, plus one or two smaller secondary ones that may or may not get a mention. In January there was a big Jump Start to improve finances, and I changed my skincare routine. In February I joined the Great British Budget campaign, and also had an eye test and new glasses, plus I re-started a fitness regime.

Dry for March

This month I’m focusing on health and the main thing is giving up alcohol for 31 days. I’m pretty certain that I don’t exceed the safe recommended weekly amounts, but I’m definitely in the mood for the challenge and am looking forward to doing things differently for a while.

I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of prohibitionist culture, or the concept that the occasional drink is somehow a vice or a sign of moral corruption, so let’s get that out of the way immediately. We all know that heavy alcohol intake isn’t good for us, but a light intake combined with few nights off each week is generally associated with good health.

The plan for March is as follows:

  • No alcohol for 31 days
  • Limit caffeine intake (3 cups of tea per day, 3 cups of coffee per week)
  • Swap alcoholic or caffeinated beverages for healthier options
  • Keep up with the exercise

This seems to be as much about caffeine as it does about alcohol, so it seemed a good idea to tackle both at the same time. My caffeine intake has been slowly creeping up in the last year, and I’ve been feeling jittery in the evenings and not sleeping well some nights. That’s led to getting up and having hot milk, sometimes with a brandy nightcap for good measure. While I am in the habit of measuring spirits out with a jigger so I know exactly how much I’ve had, common sense says that nightcaps should be saved for an occasional treat and they aren’t a smart way to deal with insomnia.

It’s funny how things rarely happen in isolation, and how interlinked behaviours are. Less caffeine should equal better sleep and less alcohol. More exercise should equal more energy and less caffeine. More healthy drinks should equal less dehydration and possibly less tiredness. In theory…

I could easily switch out all the teas and coffees for tap water, but I’m hoping to have tasty drinks in there too so there’s a positive incentive to keep up the hydration. My low-cost treats are going to include fresh ginger tea and some heavily discounted coconut water from Approved Food as well as the plain old H2O. I’ve also hunted down a drink that might make an interesting cocktail substitute in case of special occasions.

The best thing to do now is just get on with it, but I’ll keep you updated about the various challenges and general progress.

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