What is Dry January and how can it help you?
Trying not to drink for 30 days can help you feel better, or show that you may need help if you struggle
After the excesses of the holidays, an increasing number of people are participating in Dry January—an initiative that originated in the United Kingdom. It involves abstaining from alcohol for the entire month. This practice isn’t about inducing guilt for consuming alcohol moderately; rather, it’s an opportunity for a reset. It allows people to understand their dependency on alcohol and the impact it has on their lives.
The health benefits of abstaining from alcohol for a month are notable. Improved sleep patterns, mental clarity, elevated mood, increased energy levels, and potential enhancements in skin health are some of the reported positive outcomes. The body undergoes a detoxification process during this period, showing gradual improvements week by week.
Older adults with heavier, long-term drinking face numerous health issues including heart and liver damage, increased cancer risk, weakened immune systems, memory issues, and mood changes.
However, this cessation might reveal deeper insights. If stopping consumption becomes challenging or reveals an unexpected reliance on alcohol for coping mechanisms, it may require seeking professional assistance. An addiction counselor provides invaluable support, guiding individuals through the complexities and assisting in initiating positive changes.
Initiating change is often an difficult journey, but the rewards are profound. With professional guidance, it’s possible to transform habits and lifestyles positively.
We can help. Our innovative app-based program delivers comprehensive support, eliminating the need for physical attendance at a rehabilitation center. The accessible platform connects individuals with dedicated professionals, fostering a supportive environment tailored to individual needs.
Tips for a successful Dry January
Our app is a great tool for helping you get through a month without drinking. And if you find it’s difficult to stick with it, help is just a click away. These tips can give you a good start for a successful Dry January reset:
- Find a substitute non-alcoholic drink. For social situations, or when you crave a cocktail after a long day, try alcohol-free beverages like sparkling water, soda, or mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails.) There are a lot of new non-alcoholic spirits and beers that are availble. You can also try beverages that have mushrooms, kava, ashwaganda, and other herbs known to help with relaxation and lift moods.
- Avoid temptations. Keep alcohol out of your home, stay out of bars if you feel compelled to drink. When you are invited to someone’s home, bring your non-alcoholic drinks with you.
- Do it with friends. Let friends and family know about your intentions and encourage them to support you. Better yet, get someone to do the challenge with you. You may want to take a break from your drinking buddies so you don’t feel pressured to join in.
- Don’t give up. If you slip up, don’t feel guilty. Just begin again the next day. This is one of the methods we use in our program, called harm reduction. It’s more about fewer days drinking than about lengths or streaks of sobriety. The less you drink, the less harm you’re doing to yourself and people around you.
Whether Dry January marks an exploratory phase or the inception of a more extensive transformation, remember: empowerment lies within you. Your journey towards change is supported by a network of resources and individuals ready to facilitate your growth.
Here’s to embracing the first step towards a healthier, more fulfilling life. Lift a non-alcoholic beverage and toast yourself: cheers to the journey ahead!