Any Canadian guy who has had to brush off their vehicle during a blizzard — or worse, has had to find their vehicle during a blizzard — may like the idea of a Dry February.
The Dry February in question here isn’t about precipitation or snowmaggedon. Nope, it’s actually about challenging yourself to go booze-free for the month. Cutting out alcohol can deliver some amazing health benefits, after all, such as better sleep, more energy, weight loss, and healthier skin, to name a few.
Easier said than done, you say? Here are three easy tips on how to cut back on drinking:
Have fun without booze
Make a list of fun activities that don’t have to involve a trip to the liquor store — playing with your kids or your dog at the park, snowmobiling, ice-fishing, board games, video games, getting it on, the list goes on — and slot them in at those times when you’re tempted to drink.
Steer clear of boozy situations
Parties or nights out with the guys can lead to drinking. Controlling the environment — say, by inviting friends to your place for the big game — can lead to less alcohol consumption. Or offer to be the DD (designated driver). That way there’s no pressure to drink, you’ll feel like a genius next to your drunk buddies, and you’ll be seen as the hero who got everyone home safe.
Fake it till you make it
Many popular cocktails can be just as tasty with no booze. Pack a glass with ice cubes, pour over tonic water, diet cola or Clamato, and squeeze in some fresh lime or lemon. The result is just as refreshing and tasty as a regular gin and tonic, vodka and cola, or bloody Caesar. Nonalcoholic beer, meanwhile, has made great strides in recent years.
If you want to take your mocktail game to the next level, check out these beauties.
The big-time benefits of drinking less
Dry February is also an awesome fundraiser that builds on the growing popularity of Dry January and raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. That’s a great cause, for sure, and it turns out the no-booze part isn’t too shabby either.
Goodbye beer gut, hello hotness: Cutting alcohol’s empty calories out of your life can help you lose that beer gut, and by becoming more attractive, you may well get a boost in the bedroom. Yes, please!
Saving some serious coin: Every time you DON’T have a drink, your wallet stays a little bit fatter. Cut your weekly drink count in half — say, from 20 to 10 — and you’ll save at least $100 if those pints are at a pub. In a year you’ll have saved more than $5,000, which could add up to millions of dollars over your lifetime! Keep cutting your drink count, and the savings will only increase.
At the same time, the foggy thinking and poor sleep that goes along with drinking alcohol will disappear, which will allow you to appreciate fully the extra time you have. Drink less, and you’ll enjoy everything else in life that much more!
This may even include clearing snow off your vehicle. Shovelling with the hangover? The worst!
Do you have a stealthy tip for drinking less? Share it with your fellow guys in the comments below!
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.