Imagine A Dry January: Studies suggest going sober — even for just a month — has numerous health benefits, including weight loss, mental clarity and better sleep.
Dry January is the practice of abstaining from alcoholic drinks for the first month of the year. Certified life coach Molly Desch shares some tips to make your month successful.
Imagine A Dry January, For many, ringing in 2024 also means kicking off the season of resolutions. Among the list of lifestyle changes is the annual tradition of “Dry January,” where many abstain from drinking alcohol for the first month of the year.
Studies suggest going sober — even for just a month — has numerous health benefits, including weight loss, mental clarity and better sleep. It’s also great for your wallet and helps improve your financial savings, too.
Imagine A Dry January, So, if you’re thinking of giving up alcohol this month, here’s what to know about Dry January and tips to help make your endeavor successful.
What is Dry January?
Imagine A Dry January, Dry January began after a woman training for her first half-marathon, Emily Robinson in the U.K., decided to quit drinking for the month. She later went to work for an alcohol awareness organization that launched a national campaign called Alcohol Change UK, which encouraged people to “ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline and save some serious money by giving up alcohol for 31 days.”
The event slowly went global, gaining popularity on social media and soon spreading state-side.
Over the past couple of years, between 15% and 19% of people have participated in Dry January, according to research by Morning Consult.
Imagine A Dry January, Hilary Sheinbaum, author of the book “The Dry Challenge,” about Dry January, said she wrote from personal experience.
Imagine A Dry January, “On Dec. 31, 2016, moments before the ball dropped, I made a Dry January bet with a friend,” Sheinbaum said. “In the end, I ended up going the full 31 days. My friend did not. He ended up buying me a very fancy meal, but I had the opportunity to see how alcohol was affecting my day-to-day life. With Dry January, I had clearer skin. I was sleeping better. I had so much more financial savings at the end of the month.”
Imagine A Dry January, When she took on her first dry challenge, she was working regularly at booze-infused events as a red carpet reporter, and a food and beverage writer. She was also single and going on a lot of dates. Now in a two-year relationship, she and her live-in boyfriend do Dry January together.
Imagine A Dry January, “Having someone doing it with you is definitely encouraging,” Sheinbaum said. “For many Americans, we start off the year with a number of resolutions, whether that’s saving money, losing weight, just being healthier in general. Dry January checks the boxes for those goals and many more.”
Tips for a successful Dry January
Imagine A Dry January, Experts warn that the ritual isn’t meant as a substitute for addiction treatment and recovery. Dr. Joseph DeSanto, an MD and addiction specialist for the recovery program BioCorRx, agreed but said Dry January may give those in trouble “something to rally around, especially if they’re not in a 12-step group, and provide a sense of community.”
He added: “Any kind of harm reduction is advantageous. If someone is a heavy drinker, they could benefit greatly from switching to moderate to light drinking, even if they can’t stop altogether. I’ve never met an alcoholic that felt worse from drinking less or not drinking.”
Imagine A Dry January, Molly Desch, a certified life coach with a focus on sobriety, offers some helpful tips to make your Dry January successful.
Write a list of 30 activities or hobbies – Is there a skill that you would like to learn or any hobbies that you used Imagine A Dry January, to do? Having a list of interests, activities and hobbies that you could do instead of drinking is a good reference tool to have handy when you’re bored and craving a drink.
Tell your friends and family – Letting your friends and family know you’re not going to be indulging for the month is a good way to help hold yourself accountable. It also lets others know not to invite you to that bar where you’re tempted by a fear of missing out.
Buy non-alcoholic drinks – A growing number of companies and bars are catering to customers who don’t drink alcohol. From non-alcoholic wines to spirits, beers and mocktails, it’s easier than ever to stay sober with booze-free adult beverages.
Get a friend to join you – It’s easier to get through Dry January when you have someone doing the challenge with you as you both encourage each other along the way.
Get professional help – There are plenty of groups and organizations that provide helpful resources for those struggling to stay sober. Whether it be motivational information, daily affirmations or just someone to talk to, it’s OK to get professional help if you think you need it.