#dryjanuary, have you heard of it?
Dry January is a public health campaign urging people to abstain from alcohol for the month of January. I just heard about it in December and thought “why not!”
So, Why Ditch The Alcohol?
Millions of people pledge to ditch the booze every January!
Participants testify to how great a month off from alcohol can be; they sleep better, have more energy, some lose weight, save money, and others notice improvements in their skin and hair. That sounds great! So, I decided to give it a try this year. We live in a culture where drinking is often synonymous with socializing and as far as wellness trends go, Dry January seems pretty harmless. I mean, it couldn’t hurt me physically, but perhaps it could perhaps put a dent in my social life 🤣.
With the New Year’s Eve hangover finally lifted, I viewed Dry January this way – abstaining from alcohol this month is more about starting the New Year off right than about giving up alcohol itself. It gives me a chance to let go of the gluttony of the Holidays (food and drinks). The New Year is an opportunity to make ‘amends’ for that behaviour and wipe the slate clean and IF I reap some benefits from it, perfect 👌🏻
It was also a way for me to set a goal, make a commitment and honour that commitment while acting with integrity.
Further, it gave me the opportunity to try to rid myself of an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Friends request to meet for a “drink” led explanations about my no-alcohol decision, but, EVERYONE was totally supportive. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who respect my choices.
So, after 30 days of being a teetotaler and parting ways with my vodka soda, Prosecco and beer, here’s how I feel:
- BETTER SLEEP: I was able to sleep better – I know I’m not the only one who sleeps poorly when they drink. I had no days of crappy sleep due to alcohol consumption (I still sleep crappy because I have insomnia, but it’s way worse when I drink) – I slept deeper, and I woke less often than I normally did when I drink.
- LESS ANXIETY: I has less anxiety – alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. I often feel way more anxious the next day after the alcohol wears off.
- MORE PRODUCTIVE: I was more productive on weekends – I was able to get up early – start my day, get stuff done instead of nursing a hangover.
- SAVED MONEY: Let’s do a bit of basic math to showcase the amount of money I saved. Generally, on any given week, I’d go out with my friends twice a week – that would set me back anywhere between $40-$50. Then we’d may go out one night on the weekend and spend about the same $40-$50. To keep things a bit modest, that places a week’s alcohol budget at around $80.00. You may spend more or less, but that’s my general tab. So, $80.00/wk x 52 weeks / 12 months = $346.66 per month – minimum!
- LOST WEIGHT – I lost 2 lbs in a month just from stopping drinking alcohol (wasn’t ingesting any empty calories)
- MORE STABLE MOOD – My mood was more stable – alcohol is a known antidepressant – and I now realize why I feel low after I drink – did you know there’s a thing called post-alcohol depression? I did not, but it totally makes sense – that’s usually when my mood is at its lowest and lasts a few days. DING DING!
Please note, I am not making note of any scientific measures, I’m just telling you how I personally felt after being alcohol free for 31 days.
Honestly, I didn’t mind doing Dry January at all. I feel the overall experience was a positive one, and other than the odd day or two when I had super stressful days – I was completely fine 🤩
Interested in trying it? It’s NOT too late ….. Try Dry Feb – it is a fundraiser that challenges you to go alcohol-free in February, and raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. It helps you get healthy and clear your head while also raising funds for an important cause.
Could you commit to your health and give up drinking for a month? Try #dryfeb it’s only 28 days!
I challenge you to make your commitment stronger than your excuses!
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” ~ Benjamin Franklin