Dry January Tips to Get You Through a Month Without Drinking

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Bye, bye booze!

Dry January Tips to Get You Through a Month Without Drinking

Sobriety is a personal thing. Some people choose to do it while others have no choice. It can be emotional and turbulent for families and friends.

Or it can be meant to restart your body and mind in the new year. And that means, Dry January is here!

If you haven't heard of the phenomenon taking the world, you'll want to keep reading to learn about why people are committing to a dry month and what Dry January tips we have in store for you.

What is Dry January?

You might've heard all this talk about Dry January since the start of the new year. So what is it?

Basically, a phenomenon started in 2012 led by the charity, Alcohol Change UK. It's a booze free challenge where participants don't drink alcohol for the entire month of January.

For some, it's easy especially after the holidays. Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and New Years can mean lots of drinking; with friends, family, and coworkers. So, to give your body and mind a rest, January means no wine, beer, or other boozy treats.

For me, I'm giving my liver a break. From wine tasting birthday parties to red wine filled Christmas parties, I just feel the need to sit back and relax, sans alcohol. Besides a few events in January, I don't need to drink this month. Or feel the need to drink. It's a personal choice for a lot of people and for some, simply a competitive challenge.

Health Benefits of Dry January

Abstaining from alcohol for a month (at the very least) has positive effects on your body, and well, liver.

According to The Wall Street Journal;

"A group of liver specialists found that abstaining from alcohol for a month improved liver function, blood pressure and markers associated with cancer. Participants also lost an average of 3.3 to 4.4 pounds, says Rajiv Jalan, a professor of hepatology at University College London and co-author on the study. (He practices Dry January himself.)".

Not only will your liver thank you, but almost everything else will too.

"Three weeks after the dry month, the heavier drinkers had halved their alcohol consumption, Dr. Jalan says. Those who gave up drinking for a month had better liver function, lost an average of four pounds and reported better concentration, sleep, ability to exercise and less fatigue. Ms. Molnar says better sleep is among her favorite things about going dry every January."

"You wake up more refreshed," she says.

"Indeed, sleep experts say alcohol, despite its reputation as a sedative, has a negative effect on sleep quality. Numerous studies have demonstrated this."

Now, there might be a slight downsize to Dry January, according to Time

"Katie Witkiewitz, a professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico's Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions, says the only real downside of Dry January is that it can promote all-or-nothing thinking about alcohol, which isn't necessarily healthy."

"Depriving oneself completely can lead to future binging, Witkiewitz says. Like a dieter who eats very little and then consumes an entire box of cookies, people who participate in Dry January may binge-drink when they do return to drinking, or if they slip up during the month. A "less pejorative" outlook, Witkiewitz says, might promote more measured behavior. And in the long term, the best approach is drinking in moderation year-round, rather than normalizing a pattern of heavy imbibing during the holiday season, followed by total abstinence, she says."

Some people aren't as impressed by a month dedicated to sobriety, as GrubStreet puts it;

"You are doing something that the roughly one-third of American adults who choose to never drink already do every single day. You are doing something that pregnant women have to do for at least nine months, while also growing humans inside their own bodies. Bragging about 31 days of teetotaling is like boasting about four weeks of guitar lessons: It's just a start!"

Whatever your reason might be, Dry January is here in full force .

Dry January Tips

Need help avoiding that glass of wine after a terrible day at work? We have some Dry January tips for you.

Make a mocktail

Craving a margarita at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Ask for a mocktail. Sparkling water with lime or lemon might not get you buzzed but can make you feel like you're part of the celebration.

Plan Alcohol-Free Events

Instead of a wine night why not something active? Go on a hike, walk around your town, or offer up hang out spots that don't require an ID. Think of things you like to do that doesn't involve alcohol. You'll learn what it's like being a pregnant woman!

Work Out Instead

If you come home from work or a long day with the kids, work out instead of opening a robust bottle of red wine. It'll feel better than a headache and you'll commit to a Dry January. Remind yourself that you are only doing it for a short period of time, you can do it!

The Buddy System

If you plan to do Dry January, try it with your friends, partner, or coworkers. You'll feel like someone has your back and they'll understand your priorities this month. Once the month is over you can celebrate with someone, or continue with your New Years resolution.

Let's Keep the Conversation Going...

Are you participating in Dry January? We want to know!

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