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This popular annual tradition involves a short-term commitment to sobriety. From January 1, thousands of people will quit alcohol for a full month, and apparently those 31 days will significantly improve your health.
Are you considering temporary total abstention? Keep reading for everything you need to know about Dry January, from the benefits of sobriety to the diet.
Please Note: While Dry January can be a fun way to temporarily reduce your alcohol consumption and improve your health, if you need help reducing your drinking or think you have an alcohol addiction, you can visit the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for more information. resources.
Benefits of Dry January
It is absolutely no secret that alcohol is destroying your body. Alcohol messes with virtually all of your organs, from your brain to your heart to, of course, your liver. Alcohol consumption has been linked to certain cancers, suppressed immunity, digestive problems and more.
Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can improve your health in many ways, but it might sound crazy not to drink alcohol for a month, because what can 31 short days do?
Surprisingly (or not), research suggests that taking short breaks from alcohol can work wonders for your health.
If you try Dry January you may experience:
- Improved sleep
- More alertness and less fatigue during the day
- Less headaches
- Better focus and productivity
- Improved exercise performance
- More good mood and less mood swings
- Weight loss
- Stronger immune system
- Increased hydration
Why Do People Do Dry January?
People choose to do Dry January for a variety of reasons. You might consider trying Dry January if:
- You are trying to achieve a health-related goal. For example, avoiding alcohol can help you lose weight and improve your physical fitness.
- You want to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol.
- You’ve been drinking more than usual lately and want to reset.
- You support a friend or family member who wants to stop drinking alcohol.
- You just want to see what it feels like to be sober for a month.
How to do dry January
In theory, Dry January sounds simple: just stop drinking alcohol, right? But even people who reserve booze for special occasions can struggle to make it a full month without alcohol.
Try these tips to keep Dry January running smoothly:
- Connect with a friend (or a couple) on the month. You can all help hold each other accountable.
- Tell your friends and family that you’re doing Dry January ahead of time, and keep reinforcing it so they know not to offer you drinks – because sometimes saying ‘no’ is the hardest part.
- Stock up on non-alcoholic drinks (as listed below) to enjoy in place of your favorite beverage.
- Choose different activities to fill the time you normally spend drinking. For example, instead of watching TV and drinking wine, play a board game, read a book, make a puzzle, call your mother or draw a picture. Learning a new skill can help keep you busy.
- Invite your friends for coronavirus-safe and alcohol-free outings, such as group walks or outdoor photo sessions over the phone in a beautiful location.
Non alcoholic drinks to enjoy
For many people, alcohol is more ritualistic, cultural, or social than anything else. For example, I like to end the work week with a glass of wine – it’s not so much the buzz I love, but the indication that another long week has passed and I have a few nights to relax.
In social situations, it often feels strange to be the only one without a drink in hand. And if you come from a culture where alcohol is a central element of every gathering, the discomfort can increase. Fortunately, you can still enjoy your rituals and gatherings with the manyavailable thanks to the trend.
This list is far from exhaustive, but here are some tasty non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits to try this Dry January:
January dry precautions
If you think you have an alcohol addiction, Dry January may not be the best route for you. While it is admirable to recognize dangerous drinking habits and try to cut back, people with dependence or addiction can develop withdrawal symptoms by suddenly quitting alcohol and going cold turkey. If you think you need help with your drinking habits, you should research addiction specialists in your area, find a group of Alcoholics Anonymous in your area, talk to your doctor, or call a helpline.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.