By Jess Brown
I don’t know about you but I love a glass (ahem bottle) of wine... And rum and cokes... And cocktails especially the cocktails with supernatural colours that glow and make you look like you’re sipping on plutonium! However, as a species it’s always good to apply a bit of self-control. Alcohol (especially the plutonium looking alcohol) is after all a poison and can be bad for us in excess.
Dry January is pretty much what it says on the tin, for the whole of this month you just don’t drink booze. Have to clarify booze just in case some of you think that it means you can’t drink ANYTHING. For some that’ll be very simple but for those of us who like a drink that may be a bit difficult. So here’s three recommendations from me about what you can do to keep yourself busy instead of drinking.
1) Get a hobby!
There are so many activities you could take up this month to have fun, from reading that book you’ve been putting off for years to writing, drawing, learning Japanese, doing a sport. The possibilities are endless. Go skydiving if you need an adrenaline boost! The Give it a Go programme at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union is perfect for starting a new hobby, you can try something out without commiting to anything longer term. Check out the What's On page for events and pick up a programme next time you head to the Students' Union.
2) Go out with friends to somewhere other than a bar
Did you know that just outside of Sheffield there’s this big nature packed grassy thing called the Peaks? Apparently it’s part of something called a ‘countryside’ but I’m not exactly sure if that’s the right word. Point is, go there! See the sights, have a walk with your pals. Or if not that, go bowling, go out for food, go to the cinema, go to an arcade, go somewhere with your friends other than bars. It costs about the same, often cheaper, and is just as much fun. Going out with friends at night doesn’t always have to be the same pub or bar. Valley Centertainment Leisure Park is also just a tram ride away and has all the above mentioned things and more, aside from the Peaks obviously.
Here’s some events happening through the Students' Union you may be interested in going to:
Open Mic Night (Every Thursday in Hideout!)
Gardening for Your Wellbeing
Happiness Bootcamp - Pop Pilates
Hallam Bingo (Every Tuesday in Hideout)
Glow in the Dark Badmington
3) Stay in or talk to someone
Dramatic shift in tone here but a lot of us get drunk or go out to escape our issues. This is obviously not the healthiest coping mechanism. Possibly take this month to focus on you and your mental health, take a breather from the pressure society can put on us and just spend some time watching Netflix on your own or with a friend. It’s healthy for us to try and talk about our issues too so if you can find someone or need to go to the doctors, this month is a perfect time to start that and possibly get in a better mindset for the rest of the year. For Christmas my friend got a copy of What a Time to Be Alone by The Slumflower AKA Chidera Eggerue. I read a few pages and I’m going to get it too. It’s a book about loving yourself and knowing your worth with very relatable messages about body positivity and why it’s okay to be alone and focus on yourself. I’m hoping it helps me and it may help you too.