Now that we’re one week into January, we’re sure that you’re seeing one topic swirling throughout your social media feeds, group chats, and conversations—Dry January. Yep. Giving up alcohol for the entire month of January. Now let us start by saying, you should always “do you” and choosing not to drink alcohol is a very personal decision. Clearer skin, improved digestion, and saving cash are just a few reasons why people kick off the new year sans alcohol. Whether or not you decide to dive into the Dry January hype, respecting everyone’s decisions when it comes to alcohol is key. Either way, you’re not alone and we’re here to help you get through it. Ahead, some simple tips for smooth sailing through Dry January.
Find an Accountability Partner
Just like finding a gym buddy, finding a sober buddy can help keep you motivated. Know someone who’s also doing Dry January or would hold you accountable either way? Ask for their hand in help. And surely, you can hold them accountable in return—it’s a team effort. Make it fun, make it a venting session, and most importantly, celebrate your wins.
Swap Alcohol for Mocktails
Temptation is real, and let’s be honest—temptation during a lockdown is even more real. Get rid of any physical temptations and alcohol you might have in your face at home. You’ve heard the saying “out of mind, out of sight”, right? Put it to the test! Instead of giving in to your thirst, settle for mock-tails! There are plenty of nonalcoholic options that are capable of satisfying your desire for libations.
Improved Health = An Improved Mood
Even if you aren’t a huge drinker, a month-long alcohol fast has been shown to improve sleep, lower blood pressure and glucose levels, help with weight loss, and reduce liver fat. Positive mood changes are also commonly reported, likely as a result of improved health. You’ll notice shifts in your mood, energy levels, and overall mindset—in the best way. Who knows, this might even inspire you to continue to keep going past January!
Celebrate Your Wins
Pat yourself on the back for doing this in the first place! Giving up your booze for the month clearly leads to so much worth celebrating. Have you found yourself to be more productive at work? Are you waking up earlier? Whatever it is, honor it and own it. Or, if you want to celebrate zero hangovers that’s worth it too. One study actually showed that the average adult spends around two years of their life hungover. Pat yourself on the back!
Be Easy on Yourself
Cutting out any habit cold-turkey often fails, so if you slip-up once or twice throughout the month, it’ll be okay! One drink shouldn’t discourage you from continuing your journey and trying for the rest of the month. In fact, you’re in control and don’t have to commit the entire month, because the point is to challenge yourself and see where you are on the other side. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
So, take it easy, and use this time to reset your mindset going into the new year. It’s so rewarding! Good luck, and enjoy the challenge.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information and referrals.