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Having a Dry July has great health benefits. We've brought together a collection of articles that could help you with your Dry July.


Exhausted by 2020? Here are 5 ways to recover and feel more rested throughout 2021

By Peter A. Heslin on

For most of us, 2020 was an exhausting year. The COVID-19 pandemic heralded draining physical health concerns, social isolation, job dislocation, uncertainty about the future and related mental health issues.

Although some of us have enjoyed changes such as less commuting, for many the pandemic added extra punch to the main source of stress – engaging in or searching for work.

Here’s what theory and research tells us about how to feel more rested and alive in 2021.

Recovery activity v experience

Recovery is the process of reversing the adverse impacts of stress. Leading recovery researchers Sabine Sonnentag and Charlotte Fritz have highlighted the important distinction between recovery activities (what you do during leisure time) and recovery experiences (what you need to experience during and after those activities to truly recover).

Recovery activities can be passive (such as watching TV, lying on a beach, reading, internet browsing or listening to music) or active (walking, running, playing sport, dancing, swimming, hobbies, spiritual practice, developing a skill, creating something, learning a language and so on).

How well these activities reduce your stress depends on the extent to which they provide you with five types of recovery experiences:

psychological detachment: fully disconnecting during non-work time from work-related tasks or even thinking about work issues

  1. relaxation: being free of tension and anxiety
  2. mastery: challenging situations that provide a sense of progress and achievement (such as being in learning mode to develop a new skill)
  3. control: deciding yourself about what to do and when and how to do it
  4. enjoyment: the state or process of deriving pleasure from seeing, hearing or doing something. Of these, psychological detachment is the most potent, according to a 2017 meta-analysis of 54 psychological studies involving more than 26,000 participants.

Benefits of mentally disengaging from work include reduced fatigue and enhanced well-being. On the other hand, inadequate psychological detachment leads to negative thoughts about work, exhaustion, physical discomfort, and negative emotions both at bedtime and during the next morning.

Here are five tips, drawn from the research, to feel more rested and alive.

1. Follow the evidence

There are mixed findings regarding the recovery value of passive, low-effort activities such as watching TV or reading a novel.

More promising are social activities, avoiding work-related smartphone use after work, as well as engaging in “receptive” leisure activities (such as attending a concert, game or cultural event) and “creative” leisure activities (designing and making something or expressing yourself in a creative way).

Spending time in “green” environments (parks, bushland, hills) is restorative, particularly when these are natural rather than urban settings. “Blue” environments (the coast, rivers, lakes) are also highly restorative.

Even short lunchtime walks and relaxation exercises lead to feeling more recovered during the afternoon.

Two of the surest ways to recover are to engage in physical exercise and get plenty of quality sleep.

2. Assess your ‘boundary management style’

Your boundary management style is the extent to which you integrate or separate your work and life beyond work. Work-life researcher Ellen Kossek has created a survey (it takes about five minutes) to help assess your style and provide suggestions for improvement.

The following table developed by Kossek shows physical, mental and social strategies to manage boundaries and separate your work and life beyond work.

3. Cultivate your identity beyond work

Many of us define ourselves in terms of our profession (“I’m an engineer”), employer (“I work at …”) and perhaps our performance (“I’m a top performer”).

We may also have many other identities related to, for instance, (“I’m a parent”), religion (“I’m a Catholic”), interests (“I’m a guitarist”), activities (“I’m a jogger”) or learning aspirations (“I’m learning Portuguese”).

Dan Caprar and Ben Walker suggest two useful ways to prevent being overly invested in work identity.

First, reorganise your physical space to reduce visual reminders of your work-related identities (e.g. your laptop, professional books, performance awards) and replace them with reminders of your other identities.

Second, do some “identity work” and “identity play”, reflecting on the identities you cherish and experimenting with potential new identities.

4. Make time for better recovery experiences

Document what you do when not working. Ask yourself how much these activities enable you to truly experience psychological detachment, relaxation, mastery, control and enjoyment.

Then experiment with alternative activities that might provide richer recovery experiences. This will typically require less time on things such as news media (especially pandemic updates and doomscrolling), TV, social media, online shopping or video games, gambling, pornography, alcohol or illicit drugs to recover.

You will make it easier to give up activities with minimal recovery value if you supplant them with more rejuvenating alternatives you enjoy.

5. Form new habits

Habits are behaviours we automatically repeat in certain situations. Often we fail to develop better habits by being too ambitious. The “tiny habits” approach suggests thinking smaller, with “ABC recipes” that identify:

  • anchor moments, when you will enact your intended behaviour
  • behaviours you will undertake during those moments
  • celebration to create a positive feeling that helps this behaviour become a habit.

Examples of applying this approach are:

Examples of applying this approach are:

  • After I eat lunch, I will walk for at least ten minutes (ideally somewhere green). I will celebrate by enjoying what I see along the way.
  • After I finish work, I will engage in 30 minutes of exercise before dinner. I will celebrate by raising my arms in a V shape and saying “Victory!”
  • After 8.30pm I will not look at email or think about work. I will celebrate by reminding myself I deserve to switch off.

Perhaps the most essential ingredient for building better recovery habits is to steer away from feeling burdened by ideas about what you “should” do to recover. Enjoy the process of experimenting with different recovery activities that, given all your work and life commitments, seem most promising, viable and fun.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the full article here.

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Tips on cutting down after Dry July

By Dry July Foundation on

Carry on your good work from July through to August and beyond. Here are some practical tips if you want to try to cut down on the amount of alcohol you’re drinking:

  • Before you start drinking, quench your thirst with a non-alcoholic drink
  • Drink slowly – have a drink of water with your alcoholic drink
  • Make every second drink non-alcoholic – this will help space out your drinks.
  • Eat food when you’re drinking, but avoid salty foods – these make you thirstier.
  • Try to dilute your alcoholic drinks – for example, a shandy (beer with lemonade) or a wine spritzer (wine with mineral water).
  • Designate at least two alcohol-free days a week
  • Know your standard drinks – buy an alcohol measure for at home

  • One standard drink equals:
  • 285 ml of beer (one...
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How To Get A Good Night Sleep

By Melissa Ingram on

Every single one of us needs to simply stop and recharge – regularly! Most of us have experienced times where stress is high, deadlines are tight and yet we still seem to be able to move mountains. On the flip side, I can guarantee that all of us have also experienced periods of the same pressure yet feel we are not firing on all cylinders – resulting in lower quality of work being produced or it taking longer to complete.

Allow your body enough time each night to recharge. Start with attempting to get 7 – 8 hours of quality sleep every night. We are all different with regards to the amount of sleep we require to operate optimally, however the average 7 – 8 hours is a great place to start. While we sleep we unplug from our lives and...

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What Happens To Your Body When You Give Up Alcohol For One Month

By Chloe Mcleod on

We all love to indulge in alcohol every now and then, but a night out with friends brings social pressures in regards to frequent drinking. It can feel impossible to dodge having a drink when you want to be part of the group vibe - and before you know it, you’re waking up with a dry mouth and a nasty hangover again.

Dry July is a great way to reassess your relationship with alcohol consumption and see the health benefits of taking a month off. By signing up to raise money, you’ll also be helping people with cancer.

Here are a few ways the human body can benefit from abstaining from alcohol for a whole month.

#1 Improvements to mental health

Alcohol may seem like a mood elevator when you’re dancing and having a great time with your friends,...

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