As we close out 2018, it’s time to start reflecting on what we achieved and set goals around what’s next. An excellent way to kick off a new year is with a reboot, which is why I highly encourage everyone to participate in Dry January 2019.
Let’s face it – 2018 was kind of a shit show. You deserve to take thirty-one days to reset your brain and body. Start to form a new relationship with alcohol. It doesn’t matter if you are a heavy drinker looking for a way to escape a negative relationship with booze, or a light/moderate drinker wanting to improve your health. Everyone can benefit.
Whether longterm sobriety is your goal or you are looking to take a time out from drinking, Dry January is going to be helpful for you.
So what is it exactly?
As the name implies, during Dry January you will abstain from alcohol for the entire month.
Okay. Why would anyone do this?
Glad you asked.
Longterm Benefits of Dry January 2019
For starters, becoming a teetotaler for just thirty-one days may improve your relationship with alcohol in the long-term.
Participants in a 2016 Dry January study reported consuming fewer drinks per day and week, as well as getting drunk less often once they resumed their drinking.
Why is drinking less a good thing?
Aside from the obvious benefits of not getting hammered several times per week, even moderate or occasional heavy drinking can have a negative effect on your health in the long term.
The effects of alcohol are cumulative. Years of moderate to heavy drinking puts you at risk for developing certain cancers, heart disease, obesity, mental health issues, and neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Sobriety is good for you.
It’s good for you in the way that exercising and eating healthy is good for you.
It doesn’t have to be a dirty word that people associate with a character flaw or problem. And it certainly doesn’t matter if your goal is sobriety forever or just sobriety for now. You will reap the benefits of eliminating or reducing alcohol in your life.
Immediate Benefits of Dry January 2019
In addition to reducing some major risks in the long term, you’ll likely see some results by the time January 31, 2019 rolls around.
The same 2016 Dry January Study discussed 5 more immediate benefits of abstaining from alcohol for thirty-one days.
1. You might lose weight.
Depending on your consumption habits and drink of choice (I’m looking at you cider and beer), you’ll likely be dropping thousands of empty, liquid calories from your diet which your waistline will surely thank you for. Aside from the calories gained from the alcohol itself, we are also eliminating whatever fried, greasy food binge is associated with drinking.
2. You’ll get deeper sleep.
Who doesn’t want better sleep? Ever noticed how you always feel tired when you wake up the next day after having a few drinks? Even if you’ve knocked out for 8+ hours?
Alcohol disrupts the most restorative phase of sleep, so your nightcap isn’t doing you any favors.
3. You’ll beat those colds faster.
A healthy immune system is a terrible thing to waste, which is essentially what we do every time we grab drinks with our friends. Alcohol does your immune system zero favors and since January is the height of cold and flu season in most places, your body will appreciate the boost.
4. Your skin will likely improve.
Alcohol dries your entire body out, and that impacts the appearance of your skin. Substitute the booze with some much-needed H20 and get ready to glow, baby!
5. You’ll get good at just saying “NO.”
It might sound silly to say, but it’s actually really hard to turn down drinks. We’re adults, but peer pressure weighs on us nonetheless. How many times have your good intentions been thwarted by an overzealous buddy who begged you to stay for one more round?
Taking thirty-one days off from booze will help you get really good at saying no in the future when you’re ready to call it quits before the rest of your friends.
And here’s a bonus benefit not mentioned in the study…
YOU WILL SAVE MONEY.
Drinking is expensive. Depending on where you live, you could be paying upwards to $12 or $15 for one cocktail. Those add up.
I don’t know about you, but in my heaviest drinking days, it was nothing to spend up to 20% of my income just on drinks and smokes. Add that to whatever terrible food you’re having delivered at 11 pm and you’ve got a recipe for, “Where the hell did all my money go?”
Okay, But I Can’t Do This Alone
There’s no need to go it alone. There are so many wonderful resources out there for Dry January 2019, and Soberish will be one of those resources for you.
I’ll be providing daily tips, resources, and motivation to help get you through the month of January.
Sign up if you want to be kept in the loop! I’ll be putting together a daily newsletter to help support folks on their thirty-one-day journey. There will also be daily blog posts with news you can use.
Looking for accountability partners? Join our Soberish Facebook group. It is a closed group so your privacy is always respected. Our group is filled with really incredible, supportive people. Click the image to request to join:
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.