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dry january

It's time to celebrate one of the biggest holidays in the employment calendar; National Sickie Day. *Tosses confetti*

We figured it's time to do some healthy digging and find out what gems people were using to call in sick to work, and we also desired to know the dumbest excuses too. Natural curiosity gets the better of us…

Employment Law Experts (ELAS) are saying that the estimated number of employees calling in sick in 2017 on National Sickie Day was… wait for it…350,000 WORKERS. Wow.

Why is the first week of February just too unbearable for everyone to face their jobs? A combination of factors are predicted, such as the first weekend after Dry January and the first post-Christmas pay-day.

mean girls wink GIF by T. Kyle

ELAS have also predicted that National Sickie Day will cost the British economy around £45 million (€51.3 million), due to hours lost, wages and overtime. Good God, that's a LOT of wasted labour.

According to a survey by AXA PPP, using the flu excuse seemed to be satisfactory for four out of 10 bosses. However, eight percent of managers weren't convinced by a single one of the nine 'best excuses' listed below…

The number one excuse for ringing in sick (according to the boss) was the flu, with back pain coming in second, and injury caused by accident in third place.

Stress, elective surgery, depression, anxiety, common cold and migraine finished up the top nine, with 'none of the above' in 10th place, meaning there were some other crackers outside of the top 10 that we just NEED to hear.

According to ELAS, the absolute WORST excuses in 2016 for missing work were:

“My only pair of work trousers is in the wash”, “It’s my dog’s birthday and I need to arrange a party for him”, “The dog ate my shoes”, “I got arrested”, “I lost my PPE”, and of course; “I stayed out partying last night and haven’t had any sleep”.

Classic. Other contenders were; “My friend is on annual leave so I can’t get a lift”, “I have no way to get to work” and “My wife earns more than me so I have to look after the kids”

Ah lads, you've got to do better than that. A bit of creativity would go a long way with that lot…

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Prince Harry’s days of partying are well and truly behind him. The dad-to-be decided to give up alcohol as a mark of respect to pregnant wife Meghan Markle, and now he has made another major changed to his diet.

It is understood that the Duchess of Sussex has encouraged Harry to follow a healthier lifestyle.

As part of the new regime, Harry can’t drink tea or coffee.

According to the Express, the lifestyle changes have had a major impact on Harry’s health and wellbeing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Duke & Duchess Of Sussex. (@meghanandharry2018) on

A source told the publication that he is a lot more relaxed than he used to be: “Considering he’s been a pretty brutal drinker since he was a young teenager, it’s quite an achievement.”

They added: “He was always fidgeting and on the go, always looking for the next thrill. He was a great laugh but it was always very full on.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Duke & Duchess Of Sussex. (@meghanandharry2018) on

He is no longer the wild, booze-loving prince he once was, “Now his new regime doesn’t make him the most entertaining party guest in the world, but he’s definitely more chilled and relaxed.”

Since marrying the former Suits actress, Harry has been living a healthier life. “All she [Meghan] did was show him there’s another way to live and he’s become a huge fan. He eats well, doesn’t poison his body, exercises, does a bit of yoga and is a lot happier.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Duke & Duchess Of Sussex. (@meghanandharry2018) on

It is also understood that Meghan is hoping Harry will become a vegetarian, or at least cut down on how much meat he is eating.

The Duchess of Sussex is a big animal rights activists and is hoping her husband will follow in her footsteps.

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It's absolutely no secret that January drags its heels.

But if you think the days are long, the nights have been even longer for many of us who have chosen to embark upon a self-induced month of sobriety.

If you appear to have a swapped a sozzled night for a sleepless one, you're not alone.

According to a report in Metro, this response to a lack of alcohol is by no means rare, with Dr Natasha Bijlani, a consultant psychiatrist at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, providing insights into the phenomenon.

"Most people don’t know that if they quit drinking and remain sober they are likely to have significant sleep problems long after they stop drinking," she confirmed.    

So, what exactly is going on beneath the surface? And why is our attempt at a healthy lifestyle interrupting our precious hours of shut-eye?

"Alcohol use influences sleeping patterns and it can take the body a bit of time to adjust to a normal sleep cycle that is not chemically induced," Dr Bijlani explained.

"In addition, the symptoms of withdrawal such as restless leg syndrome or anxiety can be uncomfortable and these may keep people awake at night.’

So, if you have been staring at the ceiling for most of January, you can rest assured your neighbours are probably doing the same.

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Dry January is in full swing, ladies, and as a result Twitter is awash with posts from people debating the merits of a self-imposed alcohol-free month.

And like every Twitter thread, it's a real mixed bag.

Whether they're dismissing the notion entirely or embracing it with all their might, the inhabitants of the Twitosphere certainly have an opinion on it.

Introducing….

The non-starters

The strugglers

The embracers

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Ladies, it's time to gather around for we have some very interesting news to share.

According to those in the know, the decision to go cold turkey on the alcohol front for the first month of the year is actually not as smart a move as many of us have been led to believe.

Putting it simply, Dr. Marc Romano, an addiction specialist at Pompano Beach, Florida's Ocean Breeze Recovery, explained that avoiding alcohol for thirty days is akin to going on a very strict, but short-term diet.

"It's been shown that people who engage in intense short-term diets actually end up putting on more weight when it's all said and done," Dr. Romano said. "And the same logic applies here, for sure."

"It's definitely possible, and probably likely, that anyone doing a Dry January run will probably bounce back even harder once their month is over," he continued. "In reality, there's a much better way to go about this."

While cutting down on drink is not to be discouraged, if you are embarking on a Dry January because you are genuinely worried about your relationship with alcohol, you definitely need to rethink your approach.

"If you are at the point where you need to take a month off drinking, or take stock in your relationship with alcohol, the 'cold turkey' method could present some serious health issues," said Dr Romano.

If you have been drinking at least three or four times a week, your body may react negatively to a sudden period of abstinence.

"Of course, not everyone is going to have seizures if they give up drinking. It all depends on gender, height, weight, frequency of alcohol consumption, all those variables," Dr Romano said.

"But there's really no way to know till it happens. Is that a risk you are willing to take?"

Well, when you put it like that Dr Romano…

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If you've been doing a Sober October or are considering a Dry January after Christmas, you can give yourself a little pat on the back right now.

A new study has found that refraining from alcohol for just one month could have huge health benefits – and not just in the short term.

Adults who removed alcohol from their diet for four weeks saw improved liver function, a lowering of blood pressure and a drop in cholesterol levels, according to research from University College London.

They also reduced their risk of developing diabetes and liver disease, two illnesses which are both often linked to alcohol and sugar-heavy lifestyles.

Of course, cutting out cocktails and cider for a month has short-term perks too – participants noted weight loss, better sleeping patters and improved focus. 

Of the 102 adults studied, the women had been taking in an average of 29 units of alcohol a week, while the men had been having an average of 31 – both almost doubt the recommended weekly amounts for Irish adults.

Considering cutting out alcohol for a while?  A good start is to reduce your weekly alcohol intake by having a glass of water between each drink and making a note of how many units you generally consume on a night out.

If you're not sure how many units are in your favourite drinks, here's a guideline. 

1 pint of beer = 2 standard units

 

1 pub measure of spirits (gin, vodka, whiskey, rum etc) = 1 unit

 

1 pint of cider = 2 units

 

1 small glass of wine = 1 unit

 

1 bottle of wine = 8 units

 

1 4% alcopop (small bottle) = 1 unit

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It's a strange fact of life for Irish people that while we can't resist alcohol to help us through the other 11 months of the year, we shun it in favour of water and green juices during what has to be the bleakest month of all – January.

Yes, it might have seemed like a stellar idea a week ago, but as Dry January drags on the whole process is getting harder and harder.

Here are a few of the many and varied feelings you'll no doubt experience this month…

1. Confidence
"31 days without alcohol? BE GRAND. Anyone could do it! Sure it'll be February before I know it."

2. Smugness
"It's already been four days and I haven't even thought about wine. Maybe I'll give up alcohol for good? Why not? If it's this easy, like…"

3. Over-excitement
"My god, this is great! I've had a green smoothie for breakfast two days in a row, I truly am the Health Queen. Body = temple."

4. A twinge of anxiety
"God, I'd love a gin and tonic. It's only been 5 days. Meaning there's 25 left… Christ."

5. Shock
"No-one told me a night out without alcohol was this dull. What am I meant to do? Dance or something?"

6. Calmness – for a while, anyway
"One weekend down, just three to go. Oh… wait. FOUR to go. Will this hell ever end?"

7. Hope
"Dry January is just a suggestion really, isn't it? No-one actually goes the full 31 days. That'd just be madness."

8. Indifference
"Ah, whatever. 12 days? That'll do. Pass the wine."

 

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