Dry January or Mindful Drinking? Managing Alcohol in the Pandemic

If going fully dry feels too restrictive and causes some anxiety, planning for a dryish month might be better. If you struggle during the month, or give up after a week or so, you may need extra help cutting back. An excellent resource is the Rethinking Drinking site created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). For the record, NIAAA recommends limiting alcohol to two daily drinks or less for men and no more than one drink a day for women.

In the crisp dawn of January, as the new year unfurls its promise, the atmosphere is thick with resolutions, aspirations, and dreams waiting to take flight. And within this evolving landscape of self-improvement, there’s a growing crowd of individuals for whom January signifies much more than just the beginning of another year. It’s the beginning of “Dry January,” a potent movement that encourages participants to undertake a 31-day journey of abstinence. But the reality is that the quality of sleep is degraded by alcohol’s interference of optimal REM cycles.

Dry January 2024 FAQ

My curiosity and interest in Dry January wasn’t that I had a drinking problem or that I was frequently sloshed. For me, it was that drinking had become perfunctory in a way that diminished my appreciation of the fine wines that were so available to me. So, sure, Dry January will put you in a good place for a month—but then what? Focus on the big picture by developing a healthy lifestyle that incorporates alcohol in a more meaningful way—one that doesn’t deny you a single thing. Plus, pre-planning a vacation may even improve mood and boost happiness. Some research suggests that listening to music can help reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve a person’s mood [9].

  • Medication may help you avoid seizures and other withdrawal symptoms, and generally make your break from alcohol safer.
  • It’s not a jarring finding, as a company spokesperson put it, but it suggests cutting down might be on the radar for some who want to change their lifestyle.
  • However, other Nielsen research shows that Millennials, who make up 25% of the legal drinking population, drink 35% of beer in the U.S., 32% of spirits and 20% of wine.
  • Yet, cutting out alcohol for even a month can make a noticeable difference in your health.
  • One such trigger was completing the last bit of business at the end of a long workday.
  • Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts.

Like the original campaign began in support of a charity and improving people’s quality of life, Dry July works to support cancer patients. You can register yourself and your workplace, and donate to support cancer patients in need of nurse specialists, transportation, and medical improvements at home and the hospital. No matter which challenge you choose, you’ll be supported and celebrated throughout your journey.

‘Sober Curious’? How to Embrace Mindful Drinking

You may need to talk with your doctor before trying a sober period if you have any concerns or feel you may be at risk. Occasionally, healthcare providers can prescribe medication on an outpatient https://en.forexpamm.info/how-to-stop-drinking-out-of-boredom/ basis to help you reduce or stop your alcohol consumption. Medication may help you avoid seizures and other withdrawal symptoms, and generally make your break from alcohol safer.

A great way to keep your mind and body occupied is by dipping your toes into new activities. There’s a vibrant sober and sober-curious community online, in particular on Instagram. Follow accounts such as Tempest (@JoinTempest), Listen Bar (@ListenBar), Sober & Social (@Soberandsocial_) and Ruby Warrington (@RubyWarrington).

What happens during a month of sobriety?

These temporal escapades, seemingly small yet imbued with profound significance, are more than just challenges; they are cathartic pauses that allow introspection to dance with action. If you’re thinking of extending Dry January (or taking a break at any time!), a good first step is to make that clear to friends, family members, and anyone you regularly drink with so they can help you stay on track. “Surround yourself with people who understand the situation—people who are going to be understanding of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it,” Benson says.

considering dry january mindful

Meditation can help you stay centered and calm during your alcohol-free month. As a beauty industry veteran, smoother, brighter, healthier looking skin is the reason I Boston Sober Homes have become an advocate of Dry January. Alcohol is a diuretic that can cause your body to pee out more water faster, leading to dehydration and lack-luster, dry skin.

When does Dry January start and end?

Additionally, Donley notes pros such as finding community, experiencing more regular hunger and fullness cues, better sleep, improved concentration, and extra room in your budget. Considering all of the inexplicable couch crying I dealt with last weekend, all of this is starting to make a lot of sense. Dr. Jody Ryan, chief medical officer for Denver-based WellPower says the benefits are beyond health. If you’d like, you can take this one step further and do something to make their day. Whether it’s a visit to your favorite coffee shop or a leisurely museum tour, spending quality time in your own company is one way to promote self-love, compassion, and kindness.

Amidst the burgeoning tide of health consciousness, overall well-being, and an awakened sense of self-awareness, countless individuals are gracefully orchestrating a profound recalibration of their rapport with alcohol. We live in a very New Year’s–resolutions–focused culture, Benson says. As anyone who uses the internet knows, there’s often a lot of pressure to make radical lifestyle choices on January 1 in the name of “health”—and to stick to them, no matter what. But the first changes we decide to make—anytime, not just at New Year’s—often aren’t sustainable long-term and may need to be tweaked along the way. Ask yourself some questions about what your relationship with alcohol has looked like in the past.

Participants said that Sunnyside’s daily reminders and tracking drinks were most helpful for sticking to goals. The top reasons people chose to participate included improving their health and gaining more control over drinking habits. Last year, celebrities went candid and told the world they’d be doing the DryJanuary challenge right alongside everyone else. Bella Hadid, the 26-year-old supermodel, cut down on her drinking and became a big fan and partner of non-alcoholic adaptogenic drinks from Kin Euphorics. The ingredients range from fruit juices, vitamins, nootropics, botanics, and adaptogens to help you feel your best.

  • When you sign up, you’ll be given a choice to define your own challenge.
  • Reduced drinking also improves your gut health, which not only means better digestion and weight loss but also improved mental health and a reduction in chronic health risks.
  • Like in other countries, donations go towards improving health care, offering financial support for those out of work due to their illness, and increasing support lines.
  • Do you thrive with rules or does having a bit of leeway reduce pressure and stress?
  • There are always going to be obstacles to overcome, whether or not you decide on a dry or Dryish January.
  • If you think you might be dependent on alcohol, going fully dry can be dangerous.

I live on a vineyard in California wine country and much of my social life revolves around the fruit of the vine. Yet when the idea of Dry January, or Dryuary as some call it, first came onto my radar a few years ago, I had reason to consider giving it a go. That can be beneficial in many ways, like decreasing your risk of chronic diseases that are linked to going overboard with alcohol. If you need a serotonin boost, there’s nothing quite like the company of people you love. Set aside time to send those text messages or call up some of your favorite people to schedule a hangout. According to Dr. Giordano, alcohol can act as a toxin to your brain and impair your neurons from performing their full range of function—but those effects are potentially reversible with alcohol abstinence.

To learn this technique, you can set 5-10 minutes aside daily and find a quiet place to practice deep breathing. Take a deep breath through your nose while allowing your lower belly to rise, then exhale slowly. Stay mindful of your breathing and practice taking about five deep breaths over a minute. Damp January is perfect for those who aren’t sure about giving up alcohol completely. You’ll have the opportunity to “reset” unhealthy drinking patterns that emerged during the holiday season without the pressure of an all-or-nothing mindset.

considering dry january mindful

Whether you’re a Dry January Veteran or if Dry January 2024 will be your first attempt, take pride in the fact that you’re being mindful of your health, well-being, and relationship with alcohol. Many use the dry month as a chance to strive for resolutions and goals in the new year, and being more mindful of what you choose to put in your body is an excellent place to start. For starters, your sleep quality and mood should drastically improve. Additionally, you’ll be less tempted to eat greasy or unhealthy foods, saving you untold amounts of calories in drunk eating. Your work days and workouts should each be even more productive, as you won’t have the same grogginess that comes with a night out.