Goodbye Hangover, Hello Sunday Morning! Reintroducing Sundays to Ireland Through a New Drinking Initiative

Hello Sunday MorningA new initiative to change Ireland’s relationship with alcohol, one Sunday at a time.

We all know how it is. Sundays spent lounging around, Panadol in one hand, bottle of something fizzy in the other, hoping and praying to anyone who will listen that this fear will pass. Swearing on the bible that you will go to mass next Sunday but alas the pain continues for the rest of the day and into most of next week and no amount of chicken rolls or Chinese food can help you. And you don’t go to mass the following Sunday, you go out again and the vicious circle continues.

Now there is a chance for you to reclaim your weekend and realise your full potential. Hello Sunday Morning is a new initiative which encourages young people to kick the booze for a few weeks, few months or even a year and write about their experiences.

Spunout.ie and Des Bishop will launch the project tomorrow and are hoping for good results. It has been running in Australia since 2010 and over 10,000 people have joined up. Des Bishop spoke of the support offered through making the change:

Maybe there are some people that want to take a break from or a look at their drinking. Hello Sunday Morning gives you some support to do that and connects you with other like minded people. Saying hello to Sunday morning does not mean saying goodbye to Saturday night.

John Buckley from spunout.ie explains the idea behind the initiative saying it is not an anti drinking campaign but more around changing the culture around drinking and believing in a better way. He says we should control our drinking rather than let it control us.

What is impressive about ‘Hello Sunday Morning’ is that it encourages people to change their lifestyles and have the power to control their lives. Alcohol takes too much of a grip on people and that can never be a good thing. You should be controlling alcohol – not the other way around. The research from the Australian example is clear; when you do take a break from alcohol, you feel better, you feel more in control and you end up – generally speaking – with a better relationship with alcohol.

Some well known Irish names have signed up to do this for the month of March and yes, that does include Paddy’s Day! These are:

Rick O’Shea (2FM DJ) @rickoshea

Senator Kathryn Reilly (Sinn Fein) @kathrynreilly

Will St Leger (Artist & Activist) @WillStLeger

Martin Guilfoyle (Spin 1038 DJ) @MartyGuilfoyle

Riyadh Khalaf (Presenter, Producer & YouTuber) @RiyadhK

Buzz McDonnell (Hardy Bucks) @buzzmcdonnell

John Gibbons (DJ) @djjohngibbons

John Buckley (Youth Engagement Officer, SpunOut.ie) @JohnDaveBuckley

I am going to give it a go too. I have signed up to Hello Sunday Morning via their website. My goal? Three months, yes including Paddy’s Day, I don’t think i’ll miss all the fights and people getting sick everywhere all that much. Challenges along the way? I have a hen night in Galway the second weekend of April so there is already one  weekend broken. It will be interesting to see though, I have already been off it for two weeks and missing it slightly so how will I be in six weeks when this hen comes around, will I even want to drink at all?! Then another six weeks until the challenge is completed which just happens to coincide with another hen.

It is easy to say i’m making excuses already, of course I am, who needs drink to have fun right! So let’s just take it one week at a time, gosh I sound like an alco here but there are far too many drinking opportunities which arise nearly daily. Gone is the “would you like a cup of tea” replaced with “sure ya will have a glass of wine”, meeting a friend for coffee usually turns into “sure we will go for a pint” and a few quiet ones is always a messy weekend it is just the culture we live in and it is sad. I hope to document my progress along the way any challenges which arise, any slip ups and how I feel when the demon drink is no longer my stress reliever of choice.

Hello Sunday Morning, Anyone with me?

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