Only water for you

Life Without Booze

What to do Instead of Drinking

Dry January. How horrific it’s been. The hours have crawled by. You’ve spent most of the month stockpiling exotic liquors in preparation for a bender that’ll start at the stroke of midnight on 31st January.

Or perhaps not.

Maybe you’ve relished the clearheadedness, money saved and increased productivity of boozelessness. Sound like you? Then read on. You might want to keep your virtuousness going into February. So in this post we look at ways to spend your time if you’re not slamming Slippery Nipples and gyrating to the Venga Boys.

Research shows that young people in the UK drink a lot less than the generation before them. But, like the carpet of your dodgy local, the fabric of British life is steeped in alcohol. It dictates the way we date, celebrate and commiserate. We let off steam by getting steaming. Not merry mind, but properly munted. Trying-to-let-yourself-into-the-wrong-house drunk. Staggering-from-bed-to-piddle-in-the-wardrobe drunk.

Come the weekend, we feel a strong urge to go wild. It could be a backlash against our reserved northern-latitude temperaments. Or because modern lives are so scheduled and restrictive. Either way, we love a good piss-up.

But there is a price to be paid.

Overindulgence affects our health and our wallets.

The cycle of stimulate with caffeine and wind down with drink is relentless.

“God, I need a coffee”

We barge our brains from one altered state to another.

“God, I need a drink”

It’s exhausting.

Here are some alternatives.

Exercise — but don’t join a gym

True, exercise is not necessarily as enjoyable as sinking eight pints of Guinness, but vigorous physical activity (cough) releases endorphins — brain chemicals that make us feel good. The crappiest day can be turned around with an evening run. Sitting at a desk for eight hours then smashing out reps on the bench press just doesn’t sound healthy to us. We think the trick is to incorporate more movement into your everyday life. Walk to work. Take up gardening. Dance, clean (yay), roughouse with your kids.

Write — find your inner Hemingway

Everyone has a book in them. (Sounds like a bad night in A+E — Ed). Whether yours is a window wedger or a Booker-Prize winner, putting pen to paper is therapeutic. If you want to tap into your creativity but don’t know where to start, try automatic writing. Scribble away for 10 minutes without stopping, editing or thinking too hard. Writing is a great way to relieve stress and exercise your brain. See if you can do it every day for a month.

Cook — feed your body and soul

Cooking is messy and inconvenient. Or at least that’s what food delivery companies want us to believe. But food programmes have never been more popular. It’s not hard to imagine folks cosying up with a takeaway while watching Masterchef. What’s going on? Food is life. Food is love. Cooking and sharing a meal is one of the most fundamental features of human existence. No matter how close to ‘restaurant quality’ that moped munch claims to be, it’ll never be as rewarding as preparing a meal from scratch.

Rest — doing nothing is good

London’s energy is pervasive — somehow the city won’t tolerate idleness. We’re either manically doing or feeling guilty about not doing. Another alternative to charging from one boozy engagement to another is to rest. Read a book or magazine. Meditate. Do some yoga. Go to bed early and enjoy those sweet dreams. Sleeping is not wasted time. It’s essential if you don’t want to feel wasted all the time.

We look forward to welcoming you for your next haircut, served with a herbal tea.

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Huckle the Barber provides high-quality grooming services, including haircuts and wet shaves, for discerning London gents. Visit us in Shoreditch or Holborn. Book your Huckle appointment online.

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