What Is Dry January?
After the crazy holiday season, January is a month of New Year’s resolutions and fresh starts. Dry January is a health and wellness trend that challenges people to quit drinking alcohol for 30 days. That means no booze at all, for any reason, for the entire month — whether it’s happy hour after a hard day at work or champagne at your friend’s wedding
For some people, quitting alcohol for a month doesn’t sound like a big deal. However, drinking is so much a part of our culture that you may find it difficult to go one day without alcohol, let alone the entire month of January. This challenge is a great opportunity to take a close, hard look at your relationship with alcohol, especially if you suspect that you may have a drinking problem.
If you’re up for the challenge, Dry January could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. After 30 days alcohol-free, you’re bound to notice incredible benefits in your personal relationships, your life and your overall well-being.
Positive Benefits of Dry January and 30 Days Alcohol-Free
For some, staying sober for a whole month will be tough. But if you’re wondering about the benefits you’ll enjoy when you partake in Dry January, let’s just say, there are a lot.
So, what happens when you stop drinking for 30 days?
1. Better Sleep
After just one week away from alcohol, you may find yourself catching more Zs. That’s because drinking impacts your all-important REM cycle. More sleep means you’ll be happier, healthier and more productive.
2. More Hydrated
Drinking alcohol causes you to lose around four times as much liquid as what you actually drank, so your body becomes seriously dehydrated. Your body needs plenty of water to function properly, both physically and mentally.
3. Reduce Your Calorie Intake
Drinking a cup of wine or a bottle of beer every day for a week is the same as eating three fatty hamburgers or five large pieces of cake. You probably wouldn’t have a slice of birthday cake every day, yet most see no problem in having a glass of wine with dinner. Cutting out alcohol for a month may help you lose some weight.
4. Better Looking Skin
The dehydration caused by drinking can have a huge impact on your skin. Those who regularly consume alcohol may notice premature aging and dry skin. Some even experience eczema. When you quit drinking for a month, better levels of hydration means more water is absorbed rather than wasted. You’ll likely have a better complexion as well as reduced dandruff and eczema.
5. Save Money
Supporting an alcohol habit is expensive, especially if you go out drinking regularly. When you’re not drinking, you can afford to do other things that may have been outside your budget before now.
6. Improved Overall Health
From gastrointestinal issues to serious liver problems, alcohol can slowly poison your body over time, leading to a lot of health concerns. Just 30 days alcohol-free can help your body in tremendous ways:
- No more acid reflux
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced risk of heart disease or stroke
- Recovered liver function
- Improved immunity
Tips for a Successful Dry January
You may be looking at your calendar and wondering how you will abstain from alcohol for 30 days. Never fear. A few tips and tricks can ensure you get through Dry January with nary a drink in sight. Here are a few ways to keep temptation at bay:
- Ask a buddy to join you for Dry January.
- Change up your social crowd with non-drinking companions.
- Find healthier ways to manage stress.
- Create a new non-alcoholic, go-to drink order.
- Find fun, new hobbies to try.
Need Help to Quit Drinking?
If you struggle with alcohol and find that it’s too hard to quit drinking during Dry January on your own, you may need professional help. At Gateway Foundation, our evidence-based treatment will help you embark on your recovery journey from alcohol addiction. Contact us today to learn more.